The tradition of Champagne sabering might have been born of necessity but it seems to be making a comeback for its style. Some of the elite restaurants and luxury hotels are actively encouraging the revival of the trend. It is believed that the tradition had started during the Napoleonic wars. It is said that when victorious troops returned home, the townsfolk offered them bottles of champagne as a token of appreciation and gratitude. Since they were on horsebacks holding the reins it was difficult to uncork the bottle and so used the saber to remove the foil and cork in one stroke.
There is a variation to this legend which says that Madame Clicquot offered Champagne and glasses to Napoleon’s soldiers in return for protecting her land. From here on the story is the same that the soldiers on horseback and used swords to uncork the Champagne bottles all in one fell swoop. The important point is that the art of Champagne sobering developed. The Champagne connoisseurs have continued with the tradition and prefer enjoying the bubbly with the flourish of a saber. If the bottle is chilled to the right temperature hardly any champagne spills in the process of sobering it.
The St. Regis Bangkok offers a ritualistic Champagne sobering against the backdrop of the setting sun. It is their way of paying homage to the old tradition and art. The saber used for the purpose is from the Royal Thai Army and the bottle of champagne is The St. Regis Bangkok house Champagne, Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage 2000. Hotel TerraVina in the UK plays host to Chevaliers Sabreur Gerard Basset who was declared the “Best Sommelier in the World” and Laura Rhys who was the “UK Sommelier of the Year 2009”. They offer a special Champagne sabering lesson if the guests upgrade their selection.