Learn to Saber with Winemaker Jon Priest

Learn to Saber with Winemaker Jon Priest

Don't Pop That Cork, Saber It!

Enter the New Year with a flourish when you saber a bottle of our Grace Benoist Ranch Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine. The elegance of the saber, the anticipation of the swing, and finally the pop of the bottle makes for a truly unforgettable moment. Follow along with winemaker Jon Priest below to learn how to become a sabering expert. Your New Year’s Eve celebrations will never be the same. 

Your 6-Step Guide to Sabering Bubbles on New Year’s Eve

Sabering can be dangerous if not done properly...saber at your own risk.

1. Chill Your Champagne 

The colder your bottle, the more brittle it will be and the easier to saber. However, you don’t want it so cold that it shatters. Stick your bottle in the fridge for a few hours before the big event or gently place it upside down in an ice bucket for an hour beforehand to get the perfect chill. 

2. Get Your Saber 

If you can get your hands on a traditional sword-style saber, by all means, use that. If not, know that you can use anything thin and sturdy. This includes the dull edge of a typical kitchen knife, the base of a champagne flute, or even a credit card. We recommend finding a traditional saber as it will add that celebratory flourish and guarantee a clean cut. 

3. Set Up Your Area

John has the right idea here. You want to find an open outdoor area where the cork will have plenty of room to fly. Make sure your audience stands at least 10-15 feet back. 

4. Prepare Your Bottle 

For best results, fully unwrap the foil and remove the cage. This is an important step as both will absorb force and make it harder for you to get a clean cut. 

5. The Pop

Now you’re ready for your big moment! To saber the bottle, run your fingers over the sides until you find the seam. It should feel like a slight rise in the glass and run from top to bottom. Then, position your bottle at a 45-degree angle and get ready for the big swing. The key is to evenly apply pressure, starting at the base of the neck. Try a few times with just light pressure and when you feel ready, strike with confidence. Don't give up if you don’t get it the first time. Sometimes it takes a few tries and when you do finally get it, the moment will be that much better. 

6. Pour and Enjoy 

Hurrah! You did it. Before pouring your bubbles, make sure no glass chards got into the bottle. Once the coast is clear, pour, sip, and cheers to a fabulous New Year. 

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