Whether you are hosting a company dinner party, a big birthday bash, or even performing the maid of honor role at your best friend’s wedding, knowing how to open a champagne bottle with a knife (sabering) is a guaranteed way to liven up any occasion.
Follow these four steps to open a champagne bottle with a knife:
- Grab your champagne—be sure to chill it before you start.
- Grab your knife—use a blunt blade or the back of the knife to prevent it becoming dull.
- Remove the foil and wire cage—hold the bottle firmly at the bottom, loosen the wire cage around the cork and reposition it up to the next lip, or remove it completely.
- Get the angle right—Angle the bottom of the bottle up 30-45 degrees and place the blade against the bottle neck at a 45 degree angle. Run your blade gently and slowly up and down the seam of the bottleneck to get a feel for the bottle sabering motion.
You don’t need ninja-like knife skills, nor, despite what you may think, do you need a long bladed sword to master this trick.
All that’s required to open a champagne bottle with a knife is an extra chilled bottle of your favorite bubbly, a regular chef’s knife, a little bit of practice, and a whole lot of zest, as you send the bottle ring flying across the room.
See what opening a champagne bottle with a knife looks like in action:
Now this may seem an intimidating task to try, so we’ve provided this step-by-step guide on how to saber a champagne bottle to help you out. Next time you find yourself at a social occasion wanting to impress your guests, you’ll have a nifty trick to wow the crowd and get the life of the party flowing.
How to use a knife to open champagne
1. Choose your champagne
You may want to practice on a less expensive variety before heading straight to the Dom Perignon. Grab a heavy wide-bottomed bottle of sparkling wine such as the Dominio de Requena Cava NV (the bottle on the left), and pop it in the fridge overnight or for at least one hour. Chilling is a crucial step as it lowers the pressure of the wine and reduces how much is spilt.
2. Choose your knife
Forget the samurai-sword-wielding images you may have in your head. All you need to open a champagne bottle with a knife is an ordinary blade found in your kitchen, even a butter knife will do! We suggest selecting a suitable chef’s knife. Use a blunt blade or the back of the knife to prevent it becoming dull.
3. Remove the foil and wire cage
First wipe the moisture off the bottle and remove the foil. Point the bottle away from yourself, guests, light fittings or anything delicate, to avoid injury or damage. Hold the bottle firmly at the bottom, loosen the wire cage around the cork and reposition it up to the next lip, or remove it completely. Champagne can build pressure unexpectedly, so be very cautious of the cork shooting off by itself.
4. Get the angle right
Find the seam of the bottle (this is where the two halves of glass meet) and position it facing upwards. Angle the bottom of the bottle up 30-45 degrees and place the blade against the bottle neck at a 45 degree angle. Run your blade gently and slowly up and down the seam of the bottleneck to get a feel for the bottle sabering motion.
image via tmagazine
Now this is the fun part. Lay the knife low on the bottleneck, keeping it at a 45 degree angle, and slide it up in one quick, smooth, punch-like movement, hitting the underside of the lower lip firmly. The entire cork and glass ring will shoot off in a dramatic act of bravado and sommelier-like brilliance.
6. Pour and enjoy
The pressure ensures a clean break, so don’t fret about shards of glass in your champagne. But do be cautious of cutting yourself. The rim is now very sharp, so be careful when you charge the glasses to cheers your impressive party act!