On a cold December evening, we went to the Enoteca dagli OstiNati in Bologna, to interview Fabio Gangetti who, in addition to being the owner of our favorite wine shop, is also a Saber Master certified by the Academy of Sabrage and will teach us tricks to try our first saber.

Today it has become a scenic, almost iconic gesture that is often seen on special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, New Years. But let's get some clarity thanks to the definition of Wikipedia.

The Sabrage is a particular technique to open champagne bottles with a saber, usually used as a ceremonial.
This practice became popular in Napoleonic France when the army visited the aristocratic domains belonging to the empire. Given the numerous victories won by the army, there were many celebrations, during which it was common practice to open the bottles with a comfortable and readily available object.

Now that we know a little more about it, let's ask Fabio how to saber without killing anyone.

The Interview

“Hi everyone, we opened the Enoteca dagli OstiNati in Bologna five years ago and we mainly specialize in Champenoise Method sparkling wines, both Italian and French. We organize events, tastings with producers and wine lovers will find a selection of almost 600 wines from us.”
“It was born a little as a joke years ago, in a square with the president of the Accademia Italiana Maestri Sommeliers. He insisted on making me try and, after doing my first slash, I "excited". I was twenty-two and wanted to become a Sword Master. I was called from other wine shops and from there I made over three hundred slashes in public until I acquired the Saber Master.
Today I do it with customers sometimes to keep them entertained. When you abuse one thing then it becomes tiring, but done occasionally, for a birthday or a New Year, in my opinion it's a nice thing.”
  1. The bottle
    "It can be done only with spumanti, because it is thanks to the pressure that these wines exert inside, that the wine will shoot out the neck of the bottle and any glass residues."
  2. The temperature
    "The whole bottle must be cold but what matters is the neck, which must be frozen by 2-4° more or less. You can put it in the freezer or upside down in a glacette with ice."
  3. The saber
    "The most important thing is that the blade is not sharpened. In this case, use the other side. The slash was originally a noble gesture, now you do it with a steel card, with the Rolex, with a basic knife."
  4. The wire cage
    "Remove all the foil and leave the neck completely free. At this point, unscrew the cage and place it from the lower ring to the upper ring of the bottle neck."
  5. The welding line
    "Each bottle is composed of two parts of glass, welded together. You need to locate the welding line. It is clearly visible and can also be felt by passing your finger over it."
  6. The blow
    "Place the bottle at 45 degrees and give it a sharp blow under the rim (neck of the bottle), following the welding line. I recommend, shot in the neck, not in the cork, and jump off. It's a simple gesture."

“You can do it anywhere, but if you are at home you can break everything because the cork is shot out at great speed. I advise you to always do it outdoors because a small amount of wine must come out anyway. It is that jet that throws off any glass residues.”

“Yes, because it is a very simple thing. Be careful of the temperature and the right blade.”


Enoteca dagli OstiNati
Via Giuseppe Albini, 5,
40137 Bologna BO
Tel: +390516238829
Instagram: @fabiogangetti
Facebook: EnotecadagliOstinati