For a Facebook Live event with Williams-Sonoma last week, Mark Oldman teaches Amanda Haas, Williams-Sonoma’s Director of Culinary, how to saber a bottle of champagne like a total pro. Located at the Williams-Sonoma test kitchen in Northern California, the beautiful space offered the perfect setting for a little saber-training session. You’ve got to see the video to believe it – Amanda is a natural!
Missed the Live video? You can still get your wine questions answered by leaving a comment!
Sabering a bottle of champagne is a triumphant and crowd-pleasing way to open bubbly – but it doesn’t always work. (watch me struggle on the video)
If you dare to try it (at your own risk), I recommend following these steps:
MAKE SURE THE BOTTLE IS VERY COLD.Give your bubbly a twenty minute ice bath or stick it in the freezer to ensure the bottle is more brittle and thus easier to saber
REMOVE FOIL AND CAGE, POINT THE CORK AWAY FROM YOU…and away from all eyes around you, as you never know when the cork may spontaneously erupt
THERE ARE TWO FAINT SEAMS RUNNING UP THE LENGTH OF EACH BOTTLE. Find one and take any heavy knife (a chef’s knife works just as well, even if it bestows less drama). Don your safety gear and hold the bottle at a FORTY-FIVE DEGREE ANGLE, trace the blade along the seam in a practice motion.
SLIDE BLADE ALONG THE SEAM – do this up and down a few times to create a vibration
STRIKE THE THE LIP OF THE BOTTLE with the blade at a slight angle
IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL, THE TOP PART OF THE BOTTLENECK, WITH CORK INSIDE, will fly off. The outward force of the eruption causes any shards to blow away from the bottle, ensuring that pieces of glass do not end up in the bottle
Now check out my video where I forgo my trusty saber in favor of a more Aspen-apt tool: an ice scraper for skis. Consider this both entertainment and practical research: now we all know that, should we get cold feet at the top of that black diamond, we can always ski-saber a bottle of bubbly for some liquid courage.