Sure, you can open a bottle of Champagne with your bare hands—but why would you when you can use a bona fide sword instead? A good Champagne saber will not only pop your favorite bubbly, it’ll make you look really cool while doing it.
We’d recommend taking a class or doing ample research before attempting to saber a bottle yourself, but, in short, it involves taking a Champagne sword and running it down the bottle so it hits where the seam meets the lip. The pressure in the bottle will be so great that even this small imperfection in the glass will cause breakage—if done correctly, the cork will fly off with the glass collar still attached.
How did this cool but incredibly superfluous practice come to be? Napoleon Bonaparte’s soldiers popularized it. When Bonaparte’s cavalrymen would ride home to France after a spectacular victory, they would often enjoy a bottle of Champagne to celebrate. Opening the wine by hand proved too cumbersome from horseback, so they’d use their swords to pop the corks clean off. If you’re looking to inject some of the same flair into your next party, then you’ll want to make sure you have the best Champagne saber on hand in order to pull off the stunt. And here are four of the top.
1. Laguiole en Aubrac Champagne Saber
Laguiole en Aubrac’s Champagne saber is created by the pros. It’s handmade by a master cutler and has the craftsman’s signature on the spine to prove it. Arriving in an elegant wood gift box, the Sandvik stainless-steel blade has a sturdy Buffalo horn hilt—in other words, it will pop bottles with both grace and style.
Pros: A certifiably handmade stainless-steel blade.
Cons: Not the most stylish of sabers.
2. California Champagne Saber Company Rosewood Sword
The blade of California Champagne Saber Company’s sword can be laser engraved with anything you want, so no two will look exactly the same. Handmade, as the name would suggest, in the state of California, each features a gorgeous rosewood hilt. Plus, every saber comes packaged in an oak crate, so along with the personalization options, it makes a great gift.
Pros: A customizable blade that’s a great gift for the Champagne lover in your life.
Cons: Not everyone will want the theatricality of the display crate.
3. Berkel Champagne Saber
If you’re going to dramatically pop a bottle of Champagne with a saber at your next big party, then you’ll want a blade that makes a real statement. Berkel’s Champagne saber has you covered on that front, with a dark red hilt and a curved blade—one that resembles a pirate’s cutlass. It’s such a great showpiece that you may even want to display it on your wall.
Pros: A stylish saber that’s great for parties.
Cons: The only hilt color option is red.
4. Fox Knives Maniago Champagne Saber
Learning how to properly saber Champagne is a tricky thing, but if you’re going to give it a whirl, then you’ll want Fox Knives’s sword by your side. Not as bulky as other Champagne sabers, this one’s handle is available in either a bronze or nickel finish. No matter which you choose, though, the attached tassel and bead give it some extra flair. The saber also comes with its own wooden crate, which, thanks to an included black metal stand, doubles as a display case.
Pros: A reasonably priced saber that’s great for beginners.
Cons: Tassel component may be too fussy for some.