On New Years eve, I did something with wine that I had never done before. I "sabred" a bottle of Cava. You might have seen this in movies or on TV- you slide a big knife along the side of a bottle of bubbly wine, and cut the top portion of the glass and the cork off. Mythology holds that Napolean used to do this with a bottle of Champagne to celebrate each military victory he had. I don't know if it is true, but it sure is a lot of fun.
I got the courage to do this, because I had seen it on a couple of different tv shows, most notably "Three Sheets" on the Fine Living Network. It's a goofy show, but I have actually grown to like it a bit. At any rate, I figured if Zane Lamprey can do it, so can I.
Here are the basics:
Get a bottle of champagne, cava, prosecco, etc, and chill it down. I later went back and saw that you are supposed to chill the top and neck of the bottle in ice water before you sabre it. We didn't, but I'm sure it would help (our first attempt took several whacks). You then take the foil off of the bottle, as well as the metal cage off of the cork. BE CAREFUL. At this point, you are holding a "loaded weapon" as the cork has nothing but friction holding it in, and has about 4 atm of pressure behind it. Locating the seam along the side of the bottle, slide a heavy knife or sabre, if you have one, along it, striking the bottom lip of the glass, right where the seam hits it. It's all about using your elbow, not your wrist. The top of the bottle, and the cork, should break off cleanly, and everyone will be amazed. Don't worry about chards of glass in the bottle, the pressure blows those right out.
After that, yell "opah", "Salud", "Cheers", "Go Chiefs" or something else, pour, and enjoy.
In case you need another "expert's" word on it, here is a link to a video demonstration:
Enjoy the new year folks, 2010 is going to be a helluva year.