The History of Sabrage
Two hundred years ago, dashing young cavalry officers in the French Army would slice the cork off the Champagne bottle with the sabre, rather than put themselves to the effort of removing the wire basket and easing the cork out.
The art of Sabrage is meeting the glass annulus at the top of the bottle below the cork with a firm tap of the sabre’s edge, at the weakest point of the glass seam in the bottle.
There may be no dashing dragoons, happy hussars or lascivious lancers to sabrage the bottle, but the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or has continued the proud tradition.
Each caveau de Sabrage has a Maître to show you how to do it.
Each caveau has a growing membership of Sabreurs who, having performed the task successfully are created Chevalier-Sabreurs at an investiture.
Founded in France in 1986, the order has a serious purpose in promoting the enjoyment of Champagne and the lifestyle of fine wining and dining. One of our objectives is to recruit Caveaux de Sabrage where one can celebrate this great wine by chopping the top off the bottle and consuming the contents.
The fun adds to the seriousness of this appellation. Opening a bottle with a sabre adds to the occasion and is all the more memorable. We expect all Sabreurs to pass on this message to Champagne lovers throughout the world.
Although only 25 years old, the actual tradition of Sabrage is considerably older; dating back to Napoleonic days (The Regency Period here in Great Britain).
We continued the custom in our Cavalry Regiments but the sensitivities of the pacific nature in less martial republics allowed the idea to fall by the wayside.
We, here in the United Kingdom, consider the sabre a good substitute for the sprained wrist and napkin when opening the bottle and, more especially, a very spectacular way of joining a confraternity devoted to CHAMPAGNE! And this applies thoughout the world.
The Confrérie is headed by the Grand-Maître, Jean-Claude Jalloux (left), with the Grand Council. There are 23 Ambassadors of International Chapters.