Dear Wine Ladies, On our recent Canada Day celebration a brave soul, cautioned us to stand back as he opened a bottle of Champagne with a sword! How is it that the broken glass doesn’t pose a danger to drinking the bubbly… or does it? – Jessica

Dear Jessica, As unlikely as it may appear whilst the neck of the Champagne bottle suddenly detaches from the body and the bubbly forcibly bursts out it is actually perfectly safe. This technique is called sabrage. It is because of the pressure in the Champagne bottle, between 70-90 pounds-per-square-inch, three times incidentally of a car tire’s pressure that sabering is safe, swift and effective. Striking the bottle at its weakest spot – where the seam or two halves of the bottle come together, and meet the ring under the cork creates a fracture that quickly snaps the top cleanly from the body. Propelled by the pressure, the cork and the glass collar, as well as any glass shards, fly off and the wine starts to flow. The balance is the bottle is clean, clear and dee-lish! There are several tales as to who was the genius to first sabre a bottle of Champagne with one of the most popular attributing this to the times of Napoléon Bonaparte. In the days following the French Revolution Napoléon and his soldiers upon returning home victorious of many a battle had Champagne bottles thrown to them as a form of celebration. While atop their horses opening the bottles traditionally was not an easy task, until it was discovered with a sword in hand, a swift strike to the bottle was all that was needed and the custom began.

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