Holiday Entertaining

How to Saber a Bottle of Champagne

December 30, 2014

Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. 

Today: Erik Lombardo, our resident drinks expert, shows A&M how to saber Champagne. 

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We already know you like to throw awesome parties: that you're an unflappable host, that your food will be perfect. But the key to making your New Years party even more fabulous, even more memorable? Sabering a bottle of Champagne. Watch columnist Erik Lombardo teach Amanda and Merrill the art of sabrage -- and start practicing.

Then invite us to your next party.  


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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


razzy October 3, 2020
$585 for a champagne saber? You're clearly not writing for the average person but for the wealthy who can afford to purchase anything they choose.
Green R. January 1, 2015
It looks very impressive, but as for me I intend to continue rocking, and gently pushing, out the cork. I don't like the thought of glass shards, or sharp bottles, ruining a perfectly lovely evening.
US E. December 31, 2014
Uh, and why would you want to do this? In my short 24 hour plus of having become aware of this affectation I've already seen more catastrophic failures (for the champagne and sabragers' dignity and attire) than successes. The real show should be in your mouth.
[email protected] December 31, 2014
I am French. My mother used to saber our Champagne bottles. It always made an incredible impression on all of us not to mention our guests. But one day my father didn't pay too much attention when he grabbed the bottle and he cut himself badly. From that day on, she stopped sabering our bottles of Champagne. So be extremely careful as the neck of the bottle will be very sharp once it's sabered.
Chris August 7, 2014
Great video. I have one champagne saber which I had ordered last month from Alcohol Delivery Singapore, but haven't tried it yet. I would like to give it a try in front of my friends just like you did.
Cookie16 January 22, 2014
Insanely cool but I'm going to leave it to the pros! I'll continue to watch Jacques Pépin in awe — that is enough thrill for me :)
Luvtocook December 25, 2013
I never heard of this technique before, either in the USA or in Europe (France, England, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, among other countries) where I have had the good fortune to partake of fine dining and fine wines... Am I to understand that no tiny shards of glass will remain on the neck of the now-opened bottle (or fall into the contents) or left to be poured into a glass along with the champagne? This method may be tres chic, but I see it as an awfully risky way to uncork a bottle of champagne... Shards of glass in our intestines? No thank you!
Ashley M. December 25, 2013
I can't believe you've never heard of this before! I've mostly seen it done in movies but I've always wanted to try it! Now that I know I don't need a saber to do it, and that a large kitchen knife will work, I'm so excited to try! I've never heard of anyone having shards of glass in their champagne afterwards... Maybe a professional can shed some light on the science as to why it's a "safe" method to drink the champagne.
dymnyno December 26, 2013
I don't see the need to saber a small bottle of champagne or sparkling wine as most US makers must call it, but I have enjoyed watching Hugh Davies, who is the owner of Schramsburg saber a 9 liter on many occasions and it is VERY impressive! (He holds the bottle in a specially made sling and he uses a real full size saber/sword.
Ashley M. December 21, 2013
I need to go buy an extra case of champagne and start practicing.
Donecia December 19, 2013
That was sooooo cool!!! Too bad I will NEVER have the guts to try it!!! LOL!
Nicole December 15, 2013
Dude, that was awesome! I just learned how to saber a bottle of champagne!
Kenzi W. December 15, 2013
We've been practicing here at the office, too!
dymnyno December 14, 2013
Don't forget (especially at a party) that the top of the bottle is now razor sharp glass and that the top is somewhere else in the room, also with sharp glass edges. Personally, I would not saber such a small bottle...the traditional method works perfectly every time. But for drama, sabering a very large format bottle with a real saber or very large knife is unbeatable! I would recommend doing that one outdoors!