The concept of slicing open a bottle of champagne with a ‘Saber’ (i.e. a Sword) originated during Emperor Napoleon’s time of rule in France.

Facts on Napoleon’s history and Legacy

Interestingly, Napoleon’s family were of Italian origins that had emigrated to the Island of Corsica.
“Napoleon’s family was of Italian origin. His paternal ancestors, the Buonaparte’s, descended from a minor Tuscan noble family that emigrated to Corsica in the 16th century and his maternal ancestors, the Ramolinos, descended from a minor Genoese noble family….Napoleon was born one year after the Republic of Genoa ceded Corsica to France.[18] The state sold sovereign rights a year before his birth and the island was conquered by France during the year of his birth. It was formally incorporated as a province in 1770, after 500 years under Genoese rule and 14 years of independence.
Napoleon’s parents joined the Corsican resistance and fought against the French to maintain independence, even when Maria was pregnant with him……
Napoleon’s noble, moderately affluent background afforded him greater opportunities to study than were available to a typical Corsican of the time.
Napoleon Bonaparte (born Napoleone Bonaparte;[1][b] 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led successful campaigns during the Revolutionary Wars
He was the leader of the French Republic as First Consul from 1799 to 1804, then of the French Empire as Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814  and briefly again in 1815.
Napoleon’s political and cultural legacy endures as a celebrated and controversial leader.
He initiated many liberal reforms that have persisted through the years, and is considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. His campaigns are still studied at military academies worldwide. “

How is Napoleon connected to Champagne and the Art Of Sabrage?

a black and white image of a drawing depicting Napoleon Bonaparte arriving to visit Jean Moet in Epernay, Champagne in 1807

As the self-proclaimed Emperor of France, Napoleon would travers the open plains of the Champagne Region of France as the shortest way to the rest of Europe…
In 1807 he stopped en-route and visited the town of Épernay.
“Napoleon had a very close connection to the Moët & Chandon Champagne dynasty.
The connection began back in 1782, when the future Emperor was at military school in Brienne-le-Château. It was here that he met Jean-Rémy Moët, grandson of Claude Moët, who founded the Moët business. The younger Moët was actually at the school soliciting orders for the family business when he encountered Napoleon.
The word “Champagne” was music to Napoleon’s ears.
The two boys formed a fast friendship that not only remained strong and steadfast over the years, but arguably led the light, bubbly beverage to play quite a supporting role in French history as well.
Before every military campaign, Napoleon made a point of visiting the Moët & Chandon house to stock up on cases of Champagne.
(Well, every campaign except Waterloo, according to Don and Petie Kladstrup in their book Champagne)
Maybe that’s when Napoleon famously said, “Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it.”

Now the Mayor of Épernay: Monsieur Jean-Rémy Moët, hosted him for a tour of his family’s caves, winery and accommodated Napoleon’s Officers’ horses in his own stable.
Naturally Jean Moet offered his very best champagnes to Napoleon, and by all accounts Napoleon enjoyed himself.

Soldiers of Napoleon's Grande Armée 1st Regiment of Cuirassiers Trumpeters toasting with Champagne

Soldiers of Napoleon’s Grande Armée 1st Regiment of Cuirassiers Trumpeters toasting with Champagne

After defeating the Prussian Army in the Spring of 1808, Napoleon’s armies returned through the Champagne-Ardeche region, triumphant.
Napoleon’s battalions were celebrated and applauded as they galloped through the streets of Épernay, Reims and nearby villages.
Les Champenois, the people of Champagne, offered-up bottles of champagne to the Officers on horseback.
Their prized champagne was caught and the Officers continued riding: They took out their dress-swords, or Sabers and with one swift action, sliced the string and cork top from the bottle of champagne and poured it into their mouths…The Art of Sabrage was born!

Interested in more stories such as Napoleon, The Western Front, including how the townsfolk of Champagne moved underground during World War I and avoided the perils of Hitler during World War II ?
Book Susan’s Keynote presentation: ‘War and how it impacted Champagne as we know it today…”

Why not bring the Art of Sabrage into the current century, and share the magic of the experience with friends and family?
And it certainly IS a thrill: learning how to calmly and definitively Master the Art (and it is an art) of Sabrage, with the safe and careful instruction from Susan, the Champagne Goddess.
You will experience the empowering satisfaction of successfully slicing that top right off a bottle of champagne, sparkling wine or Crémant de Bourgogne… whatever takes your fancy!

Book Susan for your private – or corporate – ‘Art of Sabrage’ event now.
Perfect for ‘special zero’ birthdays, any milestone event, successful graduations, promotions and also 21st birthdays!