Open a Champagne Bottle

During one particularly punchy crunch period at work, I started talking about expensive, yet useless, things that I should ask my boss to buy me for spending my life endeavoring for the company. I then set my sights on a champagne saber. Talk about a mono-tool. It’s basically a dull sword, already a useless object in this day, but particularly useless due to its incredibly focused application: it is only used to open champagne (something that’s not exactly a daily routine in my household) and only in the most ostentatious of manner. It’s, “let’s go back to my yacht for quinoa” in physical form. It should be added that my wishlist item was not any champagne saber. It was a $500 gem-encrusted one. Not only useless, but irrationally so.

Fast forward in time and I fell down a youtube rabbit hole that found me on some video demonstrating how champagne sabers work and I found it more fascinating than at first thought. I also learned that it doesn’t have to be a saber, but any solid, flat metal will work, even a kitchen knife.

There are two main ‘tricks’ involved and they are both common sense:

  1. Chilling the neck of the bottle will help it break cleanly as the glass is more frigid. I read this (and did it), but I wonder how necessary it actually is. Glass is, by nature, brittle. Might try it without just to see what difference it makes.
  2. Bottles are created by melting two pieces together, creating a seam that runs along both sides. This is where you want to run your saber/knife. The key to saber opening is striking the bottle at the weak spot located where the neck meets the strong cork-holding end, at the junction of one of the seams.

Nothing really to prepare for here, just needed the champagne and some ice. I went cheap with the bubbly, largely because we’re not big champagne drinkers. I used the back side of a chef’s knife. Forgot to mention that you don’t want to us the sharp side because A) you’ll potentially damage your knife’s edge and B) having a wider point of contact is actually better as there’s more surface area to contact the bottle’s neck. My camera person was Ruby, then an excitable 9 year old. The uncertainty of her camera style made the endeavor more exciting.

Success! I did try to use the little cheese knife, but couldn’t get it to work. The back of the knife though, that was butter. Guess this will be something to pull out at parties. Apologies in advance.