WHEN SABRAGE GOES WRONG… [World Wine Web #1]


Hello YouTube and Happy New Year! All my best wishes for 2019 May the year be filled with… some great wines of course! I’m Samuel You’re on the channel of Monsieur Wine and watching my first real video which will belong to a series called World Wine Web. It’s about the things about wine I have seen on the Internet. So…let’s begin! I’m sure a lot of you celebrated New Year’s eve well drank some sparkling wine and even Champagne! Not long ago, a video recorded in an American restaurant was posted on Reddit by splashtonkutcher and…it made quite some noise on the Web but first, if you haven’t seen it let’s watch it together! … yes that really happened. But first of all, let me give you a bit of context about where and what happened exactly. As I was saying previously, this video was recorded in America and more precisely in the small town of Yountville, California at the 3 Michelin star restaurant: French Laundry If you have never heard about French Laundry French Laundry is a restaurant that was launched twenty years ago by chef Thomas Keller currently ranked among the 100 best restaurants of the world! Taking place in the kitchens, this footage shows us a man desperately trying to saber a bottle of champagne which ends up exploding. Why did this happen in the first place? Well, let’s rewind a bit and see what exactly is sabrage. Sabrage (in French) or sabering (in English) is a specific technique used to open a bottle of sparkling wine or usually champagne. The story behind sabrage is linked to Napoleon’s armies. And more precisely, the Hussards. The Hussards were light-weighted troops mounted on horses. After each victory, the Hussards started opening bottles of champagne with their sabers on the battlefield. Hence the word: sabrage. The technique is rather simple. All you have to do is find an object which has a clean edge in order to… slide it along the bottle seam to break the bottleneck at its weakest point and make it pop! For the scientific explanation and pratical demo, I’ll let Alton Brown show it to you. Nowadays, some people use this technique to open a bottle of sparkling wine because it has a great wow effect! But, the truth is… it’s actually more impressive when people don’t use a saber for sabrage. In theory, you could use any object which has a clean edge such as… an iPhone or a spoon! However, the main problem of sabrage is that you’re trying to open a highly pressurized bottle with a potentially lethal object which… in many cases ends up being a massive disaster! Speaking of disasters, let’s go back to French Laundry and let’s watch it again. So this fancy man holding the saber in the video is alleged to be one of the general managers of the restaurant. Only one question comes to my mind: What the f*ck did you think about? Taking a closer look at the thread on Reddit, I found out the bottle of champagne was a Nebuchadnezzar. A Nebuchadnezzar or Nabuchodonosor in French is a 15L bottle of champagne. I mean, if we compare it to your average bottle of champagne which equals to 0.75L A Nebuchadnezzar is… 20 of them! Also, this bottle was apparently valued at $2,000 So basically, they wasted 15 litters of champagne and two grands in 15 seconds… Another fun fact, the Reddit thread where the video was posted was tittle as it follows… Seriously? Questionable technique? There’s no doubt sabrage is tricky but come on! This guys literally smashed it like he was Uma Thurman in fuckin’ Kill Bill! But let’s not forget about the poor man holding the bottle as well. He’s surely a cook because of his apron. And he’s holding a bottle that between 20 to 25 kilograms And I cannot imagine what went through his mind just before the bottle exploded… Luckily for him, he got away with no injuries. With a bottle of this size exploding in his hands consequences could have been dramatic… In the end, only the cook and his manager got completely wet. Well… at least now we know why it’s called French Laundry For their defence, sabrage remains a risky way to open a bottle of champagne And even opening the “Regular way” can be challenging. especially with larger formats. A video posted last summer clearly showed it to us. Long story short, if you’ve never done it before and paid a fair amount of money for your bottle of champagne DON’T TRY IT AT HOME! I know it can be tempting… especially after a couple of glasses but trust me, you don’t want to slice your hand off! And to end this episode, I have curated over the Internet some of the best sabrage fails I could find. Let’s get comfortable and enjoy! Thank you very much for watching this video! Merci beaucoup encore une fois! I know I haven’t been very active in the past months but I was really busy with work. This format is quite… a new format for me and quite unusual on YouTube so if you have any feedback on how I should improve it what I should make different feel free to give me a comment down below the video. As always, if you want to be supportive with the channel subscribe and share on your social media Until next time, have some great wines!

4 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *