WebstaurantStore / Food Service Resources / How-Tos / How to Saber Champagne

How to Saber Champagne

Last updated on 6/06/2018

Sabering a bottle of champagne is a neat trick that is very impressive to your guests. Opening a bottle of champagne with a saber is most typically done for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, and New Year's parties, but with our easy step-by-step guide to sabering a bottle of champagne, you can be able to open a bottle with a blade every time. Here we'll teach you the history of sabering champagne, what type of blade you'll need, the physics behind the phenomenon, as well as how to saber champagne safely.

The History of Opening Champagne with a Saber

Opening champagne bottles with a saber is also known as sabrage, and it became popular in nineteenth-century France under the reign of Napoleon. After winning a battle, Napoleon's armies would celebrate by drinking champagne, and they would open the bottles using the easiest method on hand. In many cases, the easiest way to open the bottles was with the sabers that many soldiers carried. Since then, opening a bottle with a saber has become a tradition in fine dining settings for special occasions and celebrations.

What Blade Should You Use to Open Champagne Bottles?

Traditionally, sabers have been used to open champagne bottles in this fashion. These champagne swords have medium-length blades that are around 30 centimeters or 12 inches with dull edges. Many champagne sabers have decorations on the handle and a highly polished blade, which enhances the show.

A traditional champagne sword is not necessary for sabering a champagne bottle, though. For restaurants and clubs that only need to open bottles on rare occasions and holidays, you can use a simple chef knife.

The Science Behind Sabering Champagne Bottles

So why can you cut off the top of a glass bottle using a dull knife? It has to do with the pressure. Champagne is very bubbly and full of carbon dioxide, which creates a lot of pressure inside the bottle and on the cork.

In medieval days, many bottles of champagne would explode in wine cellars due to the pressure. To combat this, wine makers would add wire cages over their corks to keep them secure. When sabering champagne, you're creating a small crack in the glass near the top of the bottle, which releases the pressure in a powerful burst that removes the top of the bottle completely.

How to Saber a Champagne Bottle

  • saber champagne1.

    Chill your champagne before you're ready to open it. You can either refrigerate the bottle until it's around 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit or chill it in a bucket of ice for 10-15 minutes. The glass becomes more brittle when it's cold, which makes it easier to open.

  • opening champagne with a saber2.

    Remove the wire fastener and any foil that might be over the cork.

  • sabrage3.

    Find the seam on your bottle. The seam is the line that runs down the side of your bottle, and it's the weakest part of the glass.

  • sabrage video4.

    Hold your bottle firmly at a 45 degree angle with the top of the bottle facing away from you. The cork may fly a fair length, so be sure to stand at a safe distance from your customers.

  • how to saber a bottle of champagne5.

    Hold the knife flat against the bottle with the blunt edge facing the lip. Run the blade along the seam, and then quickly and firmly thrust forward, up the seam toward the lip of the bottle. You are aiming for the spot where the seam meets the lip of the bottle.


If you did it properly, the cork should break off and champagne should spill out of the opening. Allow a little champagne pour out to ensure any remaining glass shards are washed away, and then serve your guests.

Opening champagne with a saber is great for special occasions, New Year's parties, and catered events, and it is a necessary skill for foodservice operators at banquet halls, upscale restaurants, and classic venues. With a little practice and by following our easy guide and video, you can be practicing the art of sabrage in no time at all.

Related Resources

Wine Tasting Room Basics

As with most ancient and artisanal things, there’s an etiquette to tasting wine. Not just for customers, but for people who sell wine, too! People who are serious about wine don’t want to just spend their money on a mystery bottle. By opening a wine tasting room , you can provide prospective customers with an opportunity to try your product. But more importantly, a lot of people will visit wine tasting rooms for a fun day out. Let’s explore some of the ways a tasting room can benefit your business as well as some ways you can give customers a great experience while helping select their new favorite wine. Benefits of a Wine Tasting Room If customers have a great experience at your wine tasting room, they may keep it in mind for their next pa

How to Run a Proper Wine Service

Delivering an elegant and sophisticated wine service for guests is crucial to the success of any bar or restaurant. It's important to educate servers on the way to serve wine, as this conveys attention to detail and care for the needs of guests. Whether your restaurant's customers are wine experts or casual enthusiasts, a polished and elegant wine service is sure to impress them while also elevating their overall experience and increasing the likelihood that they will return. Our advice on how to choose, present, and serve wine at your restaurant will not only benefit your business and improve revenue, but will also help your servers earn better tips. Helping Guests Choose a Wine Regardless of whether your guests are aspiring sommeliers or

How to Build a Restaurant Wine List

Building a wine list for your restaurant is a great way to attract new customers and enhance your current menu. Suggested meal pairings are a great way to encourage wine sales! It's not necessary to have every kind of wine when first building a wine list, but choosing a few of the most versatile, common types of red and white wines will be a great addition to your establishment. Serving Tips Red wines are often bold in flavor, great for pairing with savory chicken and beef dishes. It tastes the best when served at room temperature (59 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit), making it easy to serve in a stylish decanter or carafe . Types of red wine to consider include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. White wines are available in an array of s

Subscribe now for great deals and industry tips! Sign up for our mailing list to have weekly discounts and industry knowledge sent right to your inbox.

From Our

At WebstaurantStore we love sharing our fun! Check out some of our weekly Instagram posts! We might even have a recipe or two to share!

View Posts
Spoon the sauce over a plate of tender, steaming pasta for a classic Italian dish, topping it with meatballs and parmesan, or use it to create your own special, signature sauce. Try adding smoked bacon and white cheddar for an extra-hearty recipe, or mix with locally-sourced beef for a meat lover's option. For a more creative spin, add prepared horseradish and hot sauce for cocktail sauce bursting with heat. However you serve it, this spaghetti sauce delivers reliably mouthwatering flavor to upgrade any dish.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Thanks to the heat-resistant nylon, this spoon can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The one-piece construction also eliminates hard to clean crevices that collect bacteria for a more sanitary kitchen tool. Plus, its seamless construction makes this spoon durable for long-lasting use.⠀ ⠀ When you need fast, accurate measurements for portion control, this Taylor mechanical portion control scale is the answer.⠀⠀ Dispense your condiments with ease with this Carlisle condiment pump kit! This condiment pump kit comes complete with an adjustable plastic pump and 5 lids to allow dispensing from most institutional-size containers. It's sure to save you time while minimizing the messes associated with transferring condiments to other dispensers. The pump can be set to dispense at either 0.5 oz. or 1 oz. portions per stroke using the included portion control clip, making it great for dispensing condiments, dressings, and sauces while controlling portions and ultimately, costs.⠀ ⠀
Food Service Resources

Tips, guides, & advice

Explore Resources
  • Visa
  • Discover
  • American Express
  • MasterCard
  • Paypal