How to saber a bottle of sparkling wine, and then some!

Saber Bottle Veuve Clicquot

Saber like a boss.

Sometimes life throws you a special surprise. This was the case for our hero Mike R., during his bachelor party weekend. Watch as Mike conquers both the knife and a bottle of Segura Viudas Cava using the time honored saber technique. Like a pro! Read on the learn the key steps to a successful feat of sabering.

Congrats to Mike and Susie on their upcoming marriage! A man with his good cheer and dexterity is bound to succeed. Video filmed by Jeremiah S., August 1st, 2015 in Leavenworth, WA.

Ok, so here we go. The steps to sabering like a boss:

1. Pick a quality bottle of sparkling wine, with heavy glass.
Some wines are bottled in thin, lightweight glass which is prone to major breakage. Check the “punt” underneath the bottle to estimate glass quality. Saber-worthy Louis Roederer “Cristal” has no punt for historical reasons: Russian Czar Alexander II was aware of the likely risk of assassination from a bomb hidden in his Champagne, therefore he demanded bottles of Cristal be made with ordnance-proof flat bottoms and clear glass. At that time the glass was made with lead, making it extra shiny, which the Czar must have loved.

2. Chill down that fizzy juice.
Sparkling wine should be served cold, plus sabering is easier with a frigid bottle. Ten minutes in an iced bucket will do just fine.

See what happens here, when the glass can’t take the power of the saber. Ms. Emily Walker, Wine Director of the Vancouver Four Seasons Resort, has more gumption than that Pol Roger was ready for:

Video provided courtesy of

3. Choose a sturdy saber, or other object.
From ornate swords reminiscent of the Arabian Nights to a simple cafeteria spoon, sabering is possible with all manner of tools. Greater object weight will ease the act.

4. Locate the seams of the bottle.
Most bottles are made by fusing three or four pieces together: the bottom, two body-halves, and often the top. These seams are the weak points, which allow for easier sabering. Find the two seams on the body of the bottle, and choose the one with less label interference.

Note here how the deft pizza-wheel skills of Brandon F. are no match for an unsuspecting bottle of Luc Belaire Rosé. Many fine kitchen implements can be used to impress colleagues in an act of courageous saberage.

Music by Xavier Cameron:

5. Remove the entire foil wrapping from the bottle.
Unlike a formal Champagne service where only the top portion of foil is removed, in sabering the entire dressing should be disrobed. This will allow the implement to smoothly maintain contact with the glass, and not be interrupted by wayward stickers and foil.

6. Carefully remove the cage from the cork.
Here is where things can get dangerous. As sparkling wine is bottled under significant pressure, the cork may discharge soon after the cage is removed, like pulling the pin from a grenade. Try to keep the cork naked for as little time as possible. Some practitioners advocate re-securing the cage to the far lip of the bottle for safety. We play it risky here at Medium Plus, and embrace the thrill of danger.

7. Hold the bottle in the dominant hand with a firm grip.
Dropping the bottle would not be advised, so treat it with care. Avoid squeezing tight, to minimize injury should the bottle explode.

Notice how this fine bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is primed and ready to go; chilled bottle, foil removed, cage carefully discarded. The special effects add an extra nice touch to this act of saberosity.

Music by Xavier Cameron:

8. Starting from the bottom of the bottle, swiftly saber!
Momentum is key for a successful performance of sabering. Multiple attempts can telegraph lack of experience to onlookers, so to appear a seasoned pro, get it right the first time. Place your implement at the base of the bottle, applying half a pound of pressure into the glass. Swiftly slide up the bottle, maintaining contact with the glass, and following through at the end of the stroke like a major-league slugger.

9. Use caution, since the top of the bottle will be razor sharp.
The point of razor sharp glass must be reemphasized here. Do not touch, lick, or joust the bottle for any reason.

10. Savor the fruits of your talent with a “hazaah” and a toast!
The best part of sabering is the feeling of satisfaction when taking a sip of cool bubbly following a successful demonstration. Medium Plus recommends 1996 Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Champagne for warm summer afternoons.


PLEASE NOTE: safety is key when attempting to open any sparkling wine, regardless of method. Be sure to wear chain-mail gloves, Pyrex goggles, and NASA-grade earplugs for personal health. The bottle may explode, risking severe laceration. Do not point the bottle in the direction of any deserving person, innocent animal or display of chinaware.

Never drink before sabering, less you risk being cited with a SUI. You have been warned. Medium Plus takes no responsibility for your mishapery of hijinks.

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