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When having ceremonial champagne, remember to focus on the experience, not merely the expense. The most memorable champagne wedding toasts are those which throw in a little public sabrage play! The art of sabrage originated in the age of our favorite height-challenged casanova, Napoleon Bonapart (also the namesake of this author's favorite wedding dessert). Madame Clicquot would entertain Napoleon in her vineyard. As the conquerer rode off from his tryst, he would use his saber to open his free booze.
Opening techniques utilize a short sword, a kitchen chopping blade, or even the stem of a champagne glass (the expert method). A champagne sword is designed with a blunt blade about 12 inches long. The bottle is gripped at a slight 20 degree angle. The sword is held flat against the bottle and swept along the neck using the wrist. The trick is not to use too much strength, it is all a wrist move! The sword hits the nub. The pressure within the bottle sends the top flying a good distance. This same force ensures a clean break with no broken glass falling into the bottle.
When giving a wedding toast and providing good sabrage, always remember:
Keep it short.
Focus on the couple.
Keep it clean! Parents and Grandparents abound!
Be sober (for the toast that is).
Watch where you point that thing!
Salut! - Gary DeGregorio
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