The Staff
of Valet.


There are all sorts of excuses to open a bottle of bubbly this time of year. Whether to liven up a tired holiday party or simply ring in the new year, there's one way that's sure to impress guests—it's also the most fun—and it's called sabering. The act started back in Napoleon's time, when overzealous troops cracked open French bottles with their swords. "But you can use a chef's knife, a crescent wrench, a spoon, anything with an edge" laughs Tom Verhey, owner of Pops, a Chicago Champagne bar. Here, he shows us how it's done.

It's All in the Wrist

Make sure your bottle is well-chilled. Remove the foil, but keep the wire basket on.


Find the seam that runs down the side and tilt the bottle at a 45° angle.


Starting at the bottom, run the saber (or spoon) along the bottle's seam with a single, quick stroke in downward motion.


In a downward motion, strike the base of the glass collar. Follow through and any shards of glass are blown out.

  • Moët Et Chandon produces more than half of all the world's Champagne.

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