Saberriffic
July 3, 2009 11:09 PM   Subscribe

How to properly open a bottle of bubbly with a saber is an awesome entry from the French Culinary Institute's tech blog. Features a detailed video how-to with 1000 frames per second super slo-mo shots of proper saber technique. Impress your drunken friends at your next party with the ultimate sommelier trick!
posted by mathowie (72 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Around the year 1979 or so, I was living in Boston and my girlfriend at the time was a waitress at a wine bar/restaurant in Cambridge. A fellow came to the wine bar and did a demonstration of this, which I attended. He used an actual sword, you know, a damn big one, and he didn't run the blade up the side of the bottle, he actually just, well, swung at the bottle, full out, like you'd swing a saber at someone you wished to decapitate. It was pretty wild. Although now, seeing the video, I'd imagine that his swing of the blade must've (surely) involved some of the same upwards-along-the-bottle-neck angle motion that we see in the link.

He was French, and he talked about how there were only very few people in the world who could do what he did, and that the bizarre and unlikely technique had its roots in the French Foreign Legion or some such.

Hadn't thought about any of this in decades.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:35 PM on July 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was hoping for real sabres and over-the-shoulder swinging. None of that unfortunately.
posted by jouke at 11:36 PM on July 3, 2009


Just come to the London meetup flap. I'll smuggle my 19th century Czech sabre along in the plane and you can show me the technique.
posted by jouke at 11:38 PM on July 3, 2009


What a cool blog, thanks.
posted by device55 at 11:39 PM on July 3, 2009


I'll smuggle my 19th century Czech sabre along in the plane and you can show me the technique.

This will not me.
posted by wendell at 11:40 PM on July 3, 2009 [35 favorites]


While impressive this seems like a really good way to get glass fragments in your bubbly, which is not a good idea. Watching the slow-mo video shows lots of small shards of glass going every which way, including back down the neck of the bottle.

One of these days I'm going to have to try the phone book method of opening a bottle of wine, which seems like it might be faster and more appetizing than just jamming the cork into the bottle with a pocket knife or screwdriver.
posted by loquacious at 11:46 PM on July 3, 2009


Custom Stainless Pimp Ring. Custom Stainless Pimp Ring??
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 11:53 PM on July 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the pimp ring aspect. I have a new hobby. Between beatin' my bitches.

loquacious, given the nature of pressure, I don't think you have to deal with glass shards unless you are taking it on the face.
posted by ryoshu at 11:53 PM on July 3, 2009


this seems like a really good way to get glass fragments in your bubbly, which is not a good idea. Watching the slow-mo video shows lots of small shards of glass going every which way, including back down the neck of the bottle.

Are you sure? That these particles are glass, and not wine/frost/CO2/whatever? I rather trust anyone who's put the time into developing this ability to check the bottle for fragments afterwards, at least the first handful of times. I've never tried it, but every account internet account I've ever seen (see also: previously) has strongly stated that any fragments which do result are expelled by the pressure.
posted by 7segment at 11:56 PM on July 3, 2009


I'd like to see this shard-theory tested 5-ways from Sunday with the Mythbusters crew.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:03 AM on July 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


One of these days I'm going to have to try the phone book method of opening a bottle of wine

How does that work? You just slam a phone book on the top of the bottle, and the pressure pushes the cork down?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 12:04 AM on July 4, 2009


One of these days I'm going to have to try the phone book method of opening a bottle of wine

That sounds like code for an escort service call.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:11 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Protip: try this on your FIRST bottle of champagne, not your third.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:11 AM on July 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


Upon reflection, let me qualify: What I'm saying is not "I trust what a bunch of random people on the internet say" so much as "the people who write about this seem (a) to have done it a lot and (b) to be service industry or boozing professionals, two demographics which are both very sensitive to and experienced in the spotting of glass shards in a beverage. They seem universally never to have encountered this in the use of the technique under discussion."

Aside from being "blown away" by the escaping gas (which is a rather extreme force), I wonder if there might be some effect from the stress existing in the glass before impact. Strongly agree with iamkimiam that mythbusters should take this up.
posted by 7segment at 12:14 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of these days I'm going to have to try the phone book method of opening a bottle of wine

What is that, look up one of you neighbors, call them, and say, "Sorry to be a bother, but I seem to have misplaced my corkcrew, and was wondering if you could open this bottle of wine for me?"
posted by louche mustachio at 12:19 AM on July 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: You don’t want to fail, it is embarrassing.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:22 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just woke up the bf to ask him if they taught him how to do this in culinary school. Groggily, he says, "Yep. Yep they did. It's surprisingly easy. Just pops right off." Now he knows he has to show me tomorrow.

Re: the glass shard thing...I bet that if there are any shards, they are expelled by the force/pressure escaping out the top, in the direction of the cork, and not back in the bottle.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:22 AM on July 4, 2009


I used to work with a bunch of French people who introduced me to this trick; we'd do it for any celebration in the office (usually birthdays). I wouldn't be particularly concerned about glass shards ending up in your drink, since (IME) the glass breaks very cleanly. Besides, you'll probably get a bit of champagne gushing out of the neck when you crack it, which will wash away any shards that might appear.
posted by asterix at 12:31 AM on July 4, 2009


How does that work? You just slam a phone book on the top of the bottle, and the pressure pushes the cork down?

No, you slam the bottom of the bottle against a vertical surface like a tree, fence or wall. The phone book is really just to protect the wall, or help keep the bottle from breaking.

Since the bottle is horizontal the wine sloshes against the cork from the inside and pushes it out.

Are you sure? That these particles are glass, and not wine/frost/CO2/whatever?

No, I'm not sure - but that's enough for me. Considering that champagne is more-or-less self-opening and considering that the saber opening technique isn't really even necessary to open a modern bottle of champagne, and considering that the technique is one of showmanship and not necessity - it's only logical that the best way to open a bottle of champagne is not the one that breaks the bottle and sends glass fragments flying.

Combine that with my keen eye for science and physics I'm not going to trust that the glass shards are all pushed out by the relatively low pressure of the champagne. In the main linked video the champagne surges to the neck of the bottle and recedes. Capillary action and surface tension act very strongly on small objects like irregular-smooth fragments of glass making it highly likely microfragments of broken glass get pulled into the liquid as well as remain attached to the broken neck, which would likely be dislodged on the first pour.

And since I like watching frangible objects getting smashed to bits on high speed cameras and I do it a lot - the one thing I've realized for certain is that nothing is certain and in the real world physics is often surprising and chaotic especially when it comes to things breaking and shattering. I've had plenty of shards of glass and metal stuck in my body, and getting internally perforated by a random shard of bottle glass isn't on my to do list.

So, sorry to get my science all up in your party, and though the risk may be minimal - but I would personally prefer to have a glass poured from the non-sabered bottle, thanks. You go ahead and do whatever you like, but maybe you should read some links on glass ingestion in this google search first. It only takes a small shard the size of a broken pencil point to fuck your insides up pretty good.

Also, I wouldn't mind a Mythbuster's style piece on this, but it's going to be one of those things that doesn't happen every single time even in a controlled environment. You'd want to test hundreds of bottles in a variety of attitudes to get some kind of bigger statistical picture of how likely it is, or isn't. But that's just how the amorphous solid frangibles shatter.
posted by loquacious at 12:40 AM on July 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


You can even buy a saber (sabre?) specifically for this purpose (found via this previous FPP). Also previously. Ever since I first heard about this I have meant to buy some cheap sparkling wine and give it a try. I do have to wonder; does this really impress women or is it just a macho show-off type thing?
posted by TedW at 12:41 AM on July 4, 2009


The best saber jobs don’t gush at all (take that anti-saber snobs). You’ll see gushing in the bottles on the video because they warmed up while we were shooting and were treated roughly.

This is, according to absolutely everything I have seen read and heard, incorrect. The gushing carries the small glass flakes out of the bottle, preventing them from winding up in your glass. Gushing is a feature, not a bug.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:44 AM on July 4, 2009


*me sends up a signal that looks like a crash test dummy falling from the sky, on fire and covered in band-aids*

Paging Adam Savage. Your high speed cameras and filming budget are being requested. Bonus: There's booze involved this time. Exploding booze. And swords.
posted by loquacious at 12:46 AM on July 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sabrage is cool. But I have to say, that last pimp-ring sabrage with the slo-mo and the foam creaming out of the bottle was a little...unexpectedly stimulating.
posted by darkstar at 12:50 AM on July 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


A guy from the French Foreign Legion taught a bunch of us how to do this at a party - but the wimpy, "slide-the-blade-down-the-seam" method, not flapjax' "take a swing" style. The bottle breaks cleanly just under that upset, the champagne comes out a bit, everyone goes "ooh, aah" and you pour. Since the party celebrated a Ph. D. of course we tried to find flakes of glass in the bottles and couldn't come up with any.

Once you've seen how it works it seems pretty much infallible, too. The greatest hazard was the sharp edge on the bottles post-opening. Fifteen bottles, opened by fifteen different people, and it worked every time.
posted by jet_silver at 1:15 AM on July 4, 2009


You go ahead and do whatever you like, but maybe you should read some links on glass ingestion in this google search first. It only takes a small shard the size of a broken pencil point to fuck your insides up pretty good.

Sideshow performers eat glass light bulbs all the time with no ill effect. I've seen guys do it dozens and dozens of times.
posted by Tube at 1:19 AM on July 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


My French ex father-not-quite-in-law did this once at Christmas. The cork and glass top flew up, hit a light fixture, somehow causing the fuses to blow, and then the top ricocheted onto the roast chicken below. The chicken was on a cutting board balanced between two tables, and the cork was going fast enough to knock it off balance and onto the floor. All of this happened in the space of a second. Do be careful with this trick!
posted by fraula at 2:01 AM on July 4, 2009 [7 favorites]


jouke: swords don't have to be 'smuggled' as long as they are hold baggage. You will, however, get your bags opened by the baggage handlers who see the swords on the X-ray and want to have a look.

I was also disappointed by the lack of actual sabres in this post.
posted by Coobeastie at 2:27 AM on July 4, 2009


No problem Loquacious, I'm all for having science in my party. You claim the pressure in the bottle is "comparatively small," but let's take a look at what that means: This link lists the internal pressure in champagne as around 4-6atm. So (neglecting gas which diffuses out of the liquid) we've got a couple cubic centimeters of gas at least quadrupling in volume at well in excess of the speed of sound. As you correctly point out, surface effects dominate at the length scale of a glass splinter, because the ratio of mass to surface area is almost vanishingly small. But it's exactly this ratio which determines the susceptibility of a particle to the effects of a compression front. Any material that remains attached to the bottle through this shock wave is, at the very least, highly unlikely to be dislodged in the act of pouring.

That being said, 4 atm is pretty close to 60 psi. The CRC (via) gives the tensile strength of bulk glass at around 200 times that much. So, any spalling effects that tend to drive shards inward are probably going to dominate the fluid dynamical contributions. It's my speculation that the stress patterns in the glass prior to impact tend to preclude spallation in this direction, but this is admittedly propter hoc reasoning since again I feel there's a good anecdotal basis for that the glass doesn't end up inside. I see that as the only way of attacking the problem, since, as you point out, the fracturing behavior of an inhomogeneous, amorphous solid in the presence of a highly nonequilibrium fluid dynamical process is pretty much intractable from first principles.

Anyways, sorry for derailing massively. I totally respect your reasoning and readily admit there's a risk for glass ending up in the booze. Moreover, I didn't read your links, but was never under any illusions as to what swallowing glass does to you. I'll also leave recourse to Darwinian principles for anyone who disagrees.
posted by 7segment at 2:29 AM on July 4, 2009 [16 favorites]


This should have been one of the answers to the recent Askme about what things to learn to do that can impress people. Granted, now we know all about the seam, and that you don't really need a sharp blade for it, but still, how impressive is it to say:

"No corkscrew? Luckily I have this left over from my days in the cavalry."

Instant cool points from everyone at the party.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:16 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Um... it was.
posted by flabdablet at 5:00 AM on July 4, 2009


I think the real question for MythBusters is, "Can you open a bottle of champagne using EXPLOSIVES?"
posted by steef at 5:35 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well...it's certainly impressive, to be sure. But it does violate the rule about opening bubbly that has been taught to me for ages...that the proper way to open champagne is to NOT pop it open. Rather, you should gently slip the cork out with a quiet "hissss" of escaping gas.

But, hey...it's a party!
posted by Thorzdad at 6:06 AM on July 4, 2009


I think each MeFi 10th Anniversary event should post a video of their sabering.
posted by theora55 at 6:29 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Will this technique work with a bottle of Yoo-Hoo, or no?
posted by stargell at 6:45 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


and considering that the technique is one of showmanship and not necessity

No. I think if you are in a situation where there is a saber and a bottle of champagne, you must heed the call. There is no other way.
posted by iamkimiam at 6:56 AM on July 4, 2009


Years ago I shared a gig with a guy whose act involved, among other crazy shit, eating a beer glass.

I asked him how he did it and he explained that apart from learning how to bite and chew glass without lacerating your mouth, there's also a requirement to prepare your stomach by eating a bunch of bread and olive oil so the glass fragments don't rip your insides.

He was also generally built like a brick shit house which may have helped. Not to be tried at home etc.
posted by motty at 7:05 AM on July 4, 2009


I've done this probably 50 times, sometimes in the presence of other MeFites. It really is impressive.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:25 AM on July 4, 2009


you can even buy a saber (sabre?) specifically for this purpose

You could, but why would you want to? Lacks panache, really. Embarrassing if you use one in the presence of a Hussar. (My understanding was that the custom went back at least to Napoleonic times, if not further, the imagery being campaigning cavalrymen too busy or flamboyant to waste time with the civilian de-corking method. (And you have to ask yourself, would the foreign legion be anyplace where (stolen) champagne is really available?)

If the mushroom cap of the cork snaps off leaving the stem intact, you may find that a corkscrew applied to the stem will shatter the neck of the bottle as well. (No, not my personal experience- but I did once see the aftermath of someone else making that mistake.)
posted by IndigoJones at 7:32 AM on July 4, 2009


No problem Loquacious, I'm all for having science in my party.

Two nerds enter, one nerd leaves!

/thunderdome
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:36 AM on July 4, 2009


The saber thing is too flashy, vulgar. You get bits of glass in your wine. And opening champagne is easy anyway, the cork is literally pressurized and just needs a little encouragement.

Port tongs, however, nicely solve a problem. I can't find a video of a proper set with some ceremony, but these two guys show the concept pretty well.
posted by Nelson at 7:43 AM on July 4, 2009


My husband and I saw this trick on an episode of Rick Steve's Europe. We got home one night after a party, had both had a bit to drink, but decided we needed to open a bottle of champagne. We went out on the back porch with the bottle of champagne, and a sword he got on a high school trip to Germany. We both took a few "swings", but very luckily, we decided that 1. The neighbors must think we are insane right now, and 2. We're going to kill ourselves if we continue. Not sure if it was the fear of the neighbors or death that made us stop, but so glad we did.
posted by fyrebelley at 8:07 AM on July 4, 2009


Yeah my wife has a wine opening technique that has saved a few picnics, she wraps the bottle in a towel, blanket, or whatever, and bangs it against a tree till the cork is about 75% out of the bottle and then you can just grab and pull.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:13 AM on July 4, 2009


loquacious: "While impressive this seems like a really good way to get glass fragments in your bubbly, which is not a good idea. "

In the sparkling wine biz, we call those Flavor Crystals™.
posted by Plutor at 8:23 AM on July 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


I did this one Halloween using cheap Freixenet Cordon Negro (the black bottles are very Halloweeny). I was a pirate that year and had a cheap sabre from India with a not very sharp edge. I'd already had quite enough to drink so the results were mostly due to luck. I didn't know you're supposed to actually break the bottle's neck, so with one theatrical sweep I managed to hit the cork from underneath its swell and propel it out of the bottle with just the right amount of gushing bubbly. In retrospect, a life highlight that could have gone so wrong!
posted by Standeck at 9:46 AM on July 4, 2009


Is this where I vote that this technique is tested at 10th anniversary meetups? Specifically the one I'll be at in PDX? And that it be attempted by mathowie himself? There should be pix - better yet, video - of course.
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on July 4, 2009


I do have to wonder; does this really impress women or is it just a macho show-off type thing?

Yeah, nothing is more seductive on a big night out than when your date brandishes a giant hunting knife over the aperitifs.
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:08 AM on July 4, 2009


given the nature of pressure, I don't think you have to deal with glass shards unless you are taking it on the face

I think if you look at a distribution plot of acceleration of the shards (-X towards the bottle, +X away from it), given the energy expended, there should always be some shards at the outer fringes of the graph that are able to get into the bottle at a significant velocity, and then perhaps stay in there. Maybe it happens once every 5 strikes, maybe once every 500, but I wouldn't think this is completely risk-free. Anyway it wouldn't stop me tasting it.
posted by crapmatic at 10:20 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is apparently a tradition at the New Year's Eve beach party my boyfriend visits home for almost every year. I found this out when I came with two years ago and, as the newbie, was promptly handed a bottle and the sword.

I was eventually successful, but all I can say is that it was a unique form of pressure upon meeting one's boyfriend's friends. I became wary of the labyrinth and fire-pit tests that were sure to follow...
posted by ilana at 10:24 AM on July 4, 2009


1- With your right hand, clasp the bottle to your torso with hand around the neck, holding the bottle with the cork end forward and higher than the rest of the bottle.
2- Place your left hand over the cork
3- with you right hand, remove the wire holding the cork
4- with your left hand, slowly twist the cork, with your right slowly turn the bottle in the opposite direction
5- after a turn or so, the cork will release with a soft "puh"

No breaking glass or spilling champagne required. Use the saber, instead, to impressively carve the turkey, using high overhead whacks at the carcass.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:39 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, doctor_negative has the real technique. Back when we first met, my wife had never seen champagne opened that way, and she was quite surprised. Also relieved, since I had insisted on not going outside, knowing that I would not be creating any mess.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:02 AM on July 4, 2009


A WWI bayonet is a nice compromise between portability and drama. Though this did lead to an awkward juncture, since it's legal to buy one at an antique store here in New York, but not legal to carry it on the street.

Returning from my father's 80th birthday, I reached a compromise where one police officer gingerly carried it with two hands from my car to my building lobby, while another police officer video taped him doing so.

5- after a turn or so, the cork will release with a soft "puh"

I've seen that sound referred to as the "sigh."

Also, it's possible to remove a cork from a bottle of wine by repeatedly banging the bottom of the bottle against a tree, with force just short of breaking the bottle. The cork will slowly inch out, until it can be grabbed with your teeth.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:42 AM on July 4, 2009


(um, yeah, what Stonestock Relentless said.)
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:44 AM on July 4, 2009


I attended an Australian military wedding (walking under a tunnel of lifted, crossed swords etc). At the reception I was maybe the only single chick in a crowd of drunk army guys, so of course I was handed a huge sword and jokingly invited to open the first bottle of champagne with it. I had seen this done before in TV, thought "what the hell," and gave it a go. Damned if i didn't get it on first try. Earning mad props (and lewd propositions) all around.
posted by memewit at 11:45 AM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is 'de rigeur' of course in the officers mess whenever the champagne comes out.

Well, this or 'champagne roulette' where you slam the bottle down on the table in front of the guy to your left. If it blows, he pays - if not, he picks it up and does the same. Doesn't take long before it doesn't so much as explode as rip apart the pointy end. He pays. Everyone cheers, drinks what's left and it starts again with the loser.(The old rules had a legal fiction wherein women couldn't lose).

Things we learned:
Sabering: the edge does work better, it's easier, less likely to skip off the neck. But don't do this. On close examination the pattern of damage is like little bites along the blade - very hard to explain. Expensive to repair.

Champagne roulette. Use placemats. Or put about a grand and a half aside for the french polishing bill. Also its really expensive to get the guy to come in and repaint the ceiling if it means he wants you to move some 2 ton table that the french polisher has just started work on.

That and occasional 70 pound fines for bringing in a girlfriend with short skirts at mess nights (quite rightly not easy to stop her) and things could get close to genteel penury.
posted by fingerbang at 12:23 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


For those of you worried about potential glass shards, surely there must be a follow-on filtering ritual involving silk underclothing. I'll go search the web now.
posted by Killick at 12:29 PM on July 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just to double up the danger, this can be done with the base of a stemmed glass.
posted by elwoodwiles at 2:02 PM on July 4, 2009


Any relationship that starts with swordplay and booze can't go far wrong.
posted by darkstar at 2:10 PM on July 4, 2009


The cork will slowly inch out, until it can be grabbed with your teeth.

This ages-old technique is also known as the "Sending The Dentist's Kids To College" manuever.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM on July 4, 2009


The saber thing is too flashy, vulgar. You get bits of glass in your wine.

It's not, you don't, read the damn thread before inflicting your comments.

I've seen this done in person a few times, most recently by Kevin Brauch (Iron Chef) and Bob Blumer. Hell of a way to open a bottle of Prosecco, and many people had some. No reports of lacerated insides.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:08 PM on July 4, 2009


I wish I attended more Legionnaire parties, maybe then I'd actually see some champagne bottle saber action.
posted by soinclined at 3:37 PM on July 4, 2009


On second thought I don't think any kind of study would really convince me that my drink would be shard-proof. It's always seemed odd to me that we drink out of glass in the first place. The more you think about it, the dumber it seems.
posted by rahnefan at 4:46 PM on July 4, 2009


Still -- quite a frigging trick.
posted by rahnefan at 4:46 PM on July 4, 2009


Personal notes: (1) Any steel straight edge (e.g., a framing square) works quite nicely, never having had an actual *sabre* handy, and (2) I've drunk champagne from at least 10 bottles opened that way without encountering a glass shard. Also, (3) I no longer care to drink the kind of champagne where this seems like a brilliant idea, but I'm probably just getting old.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 5:52 PM on July 4, 2009


That is an awesome trick. Loved the clear information about how to do it too.
posted by nickyskye at 8:12 PM on July 4, 2009


I saw this done a few times fairly recently at a busy, high-end restaurant. I was appalled. I hadn't seen it before and it seemed so hazardous. Towels have to be put down to catch spillage in places where customers have to walk, glass is flying, not to mention a large flying blade. Not that it should never be done, but perhaps not in a busy restaurant. It seems like a law suit waiting to happen. It'd be fun to try at home. Now I've got to.

As for glass falling into the bottle. Nobody should ever drink the last bit from a bottle opened this way.
posted by wsg at 1:05 AM on July 5, 2009


Glass=silicon dioxide=anticaking agent E551, which is already in a lot of the food you eat.
posted by TedW at 11:35 AM on July 5, 2009


OK, I finally decided to try this with some empty bottles I was getting ready to throw out, using the back of a 12 inch chefs knife. The results: a magnum pinot grigio: top cleanly snapped off; Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce: top cleanly snapped off; Frank's Wing Sauce: took several tries and top came off in two pieces (one on top of the other), possibly because the screw top was still on it. I will definitely perfect this for use at parties and Thanksgiving, where I am often called upon to open the champagne (but not after this!).
posted by TedW at 2:10 PM on July 5, 2009


"No corkscrew? Luckily I have this left over from my days in the cavalry."

Who uses a corkscrew to open a champagne bottle? No one.

Fair warning for the stupid and/or drunk. This trick will not work with a bottle of red wine. On a company trip, my colleagues broke into the hotel restaurant and stole wine from a display case.

Stuck at 3am in industrial-park Denver with no corkscrew, no room service, and no sympathy from the awake hotel staff...

Coworker: "Hey, I've seen somebody open a bottle of wine with a saber before ... maybe we can use a big knife..."

Me: "I think that only works with champagne."

Coworker: *no response, taking a big hack at the neck of the bottle with a chopping knife*

Bottle breaks, red wine covers the bathroom. I think he got a half a glass.

Champage is easy to open even with a broken cork and no materials at all. The big question is: how do you open a regular (corked) bottle of wine with no corkscrew?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:15 AM on July 6, 2009


It's explained above; bash the bottom of the bottle against a vertical surface. Pad first.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:19 AM on July 6, 2009


A drill press will work in a pinch.
posted by Plutor at 12:34 PM on July 6, 2009


A friend did this in the woods with beer and a crowbar. Nice clean-looking break, but without the high pressure we were too nervous to actually sample the bottle.
posted by hippugeek at 12:38 PM on July 6, 2009


Done this a bunch of times since the 4th. Great fun!
posted by grobstein at 1:22 PM on July 9, 2009


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