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The Fastest Way to Open A Bottle of Champagne

"Confrere des Sabre d'or" to Be Established in Bali. The Secrets of How to Mix Sword Play and Champagne Consumption Revealed.

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Don't ever accuse the French of being a patient race.

Some 200 years ago, thirsty French Army Officers, not content to be encumbered with the time-consuming intricacies of removing foil and wire retainers from their bottles of Champagne developed a more direct method of opening their bottles of bubbly: they simply whacked the top of the bottles off with their sabres.

Thus was born the Order of the Golden Sabre or Confrere des Sabre d'or which has now grown over the past two centuries to a world-wide fraternity of sword swinging, occasionally inebriated imbibers of fermenting Chardonnay. No doubt, some tragically unfortunate episodes over the Order's 200 year history prompted the appointment of a MaÓtre-Sabreur whose assorted responsibilities include relieving debilitated members of their swords, making sure the Champagne is properly chilled, and ensuring no innocents are down range of either the swinging sword or the decapitated bottles of wine.

Despite any suspicions you may harbor of drunken debauchery connected with such a ritual, the entire process is, in fact, highly scientific. A proper temperature ensures sufficient pressure to eliminate the possibility of cork or glass commingling with the wine. The technique - referred to as the Art of the Sabrage, carefully prescribes how the edge of the sword must "tap" the glass annulus at the top of the bottle just below the cork, the weakest point of the glass seam in the bottle.

If all this sounds like great fun, I'm assured that it is just that. Especially so when combined with the traditional black-tie gourmet dinner which always accompanies the Ordination of new members. Perhaps, on a more practical level, having the participants well dressed facilitates a speedy burial if something goes terribly wrong at such an event where so many of the guests are armed?

But forgive me, I digress.

The Brotherhood of the Golden Sword will gather in Bali for its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, September 12, to establish a Bali Chapter. Those still standing at the close of the evening who have demonstrated their skill at slicing the top off Champagne bottles will form the nucleus of the Bali Chevaliers Sabruers.

As an added bonus for the Bali event, The French Grand Master of the Order and his highly decorated team will be on hand to officiate at the event bringing with them a 3 star Michelin Chef.

Those wishing more information on this unique event in Bali's culinary calendar should contact Mr. Jean-Luc Bonneau at e-mail

To learn more about the Brotherhood of the Golden Sword click on their web site below.

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