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Posts Tagged ‘champagne sabering’

How Not To Saber, Or May Be What Not To Saber

March 23, 2016 18 comments

I know many of my readers are well familiar with Jeff, a.k.a The Drunken Cyclist, writer of the eponymous wine blog. Jeff loves Champagne, and Jeff also loves to saber those Champagne bottles – I learned from him that it is fun, and the bottle of Champagne can be sabered not only with a proper champagne sword, but with variety of household items, particularly with a wine glass.

A short while ago Jeff posted a video of his attempt to saber the bottle with a stapler. His attempt was not successful, and he ended up sabering the bottle in the “traditional” way – with the wine glass. After watching the video, I left him a smart ass comment that he used the wrong stapler, and I thought that if he would’ve used nice heavy device such as Swingline, he would have no issues prying that bottle open.

Emboldened by my earlier successes with sabering with the glass, I decided to demonstrate how pros do it, so the others would learn.

Duh…

Here is a clear proof of my failure – the only difference with Jeff’s video is that mine is shorter and not well edited (it is just no edited at all). Plus my dog was trying to voice her encouragement (nope, that didn’t work):

My embarrassment didn’t stop there. Feeling challenged by some annoying bottle, I decided to show it who is in control and brought in the nice Chef’s knife:

The end result of this exercise was damaged stapler (the bottom bent slightly, as it appears that what I considered a solid steel was just a thin steel shell on top of something soft) and damaged ego. I definitely think that my choice of sparkling wine was part of the problem, as this French sparkler from Saumur didn’t have much bubbles after all – and I think having exuberant Champagne ready to “pop” is important for the success of the sabering (however I was previously successful with non-Champagne sparklers).

Well, I might need to practice again with the glass, at least until my confidence will be restored. But what about that stapler? I know! Staple Gun is next…

Month In Wines – August 2014, plus a Sabering Video

September 1, 2014 7 comments

Summer is practically over, and the school is about to start, together with all the after-school activities and other busy things. Well, this is not the worst of the problems to have, isn’t it? Anyway, we should be talking about wines here, so let’s do that.

August is usually an interesting month with the wines, as August 31st is our wedding anniversary, which requires to kick it up a notch when possible. We didn’t drink anything insanely out of this world this past month, but there were quite a few of the very solid wines worth mentioning. As usual, this summary includes only 8- or higher rated wines – with some exceptions possible; many of the wines you see below were previously discussed in this blog, so this only serves as a summary post.

2007 Champagne Veuve Doussot Brut (12% ABV) – beautiful complexity of the vintage champagne – yeast, toasted bread, nice and elegant mid-palate weight, toasted bread on the palate. 8-

2011 Adega Pedralonga Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain (13% ABV, $22)ocean air in your glass – a sea-driven pleasure, with lots of minerality and delicious complexity. 8+

2012 Buil & Giné Joan Giné Blanc, Priorat DOQ, Spain (14% ABV) – a Burgundy rivaling complexity and elegance, with touch more floral and white fruit notes. 8

2012 Villa Bellangelo Chardonnay Finger Lakes (13.8% ABV, $20) – Chablis-style, restrained, balanced, delicious. 8

2012 Villa Bellangelo 1866 Reserve Riesling Finger Lakes (11% ABV, $32) – excellent minerality and complexity, classic Riesling aromatics, lots of pleasure. 8/8+

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2010 Marco Sambin Marcus Veneto IGT (14% ABV, Cabernet Sauvignon 45%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Syrah 5%) – delicious from start to finish. Multilayered, complex and bringing lots of pleasure. 9

2013 Wonderwall Pinot Noir Edna Valley (14.9% ABV) – a supercharged California Pinot Noir with fruit forward power balance. Exuberant wine. 8-

2011 Bodegas Caro ‘Amancaya’ Gran Reserva Malbec–Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendoza, Argentina (15% ABV, 70% Malbec, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon)playful, open, dark chocolate and mocha notes, dark fruit and big voluptuous body, all very balanced. 8

2010 Château de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge Les Restanques de Pibarnon, Bandol, France (14% ABV) – cherries and blackberries, firm structure, earthiness, noticeable acidity. Very pleasant overall and pairs great with steak. 8

2009 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley (14.2% ABV) –  Perfect Bordeax elegance coupled with unmistakably a New World flair. 8

2005 Neyers Vineyards AME Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (14.7% ABV)  – stunning elegance of red berries, acidity, tannins and firm structure. Delicious one sip after another. 9

2013 Newport Vineyards Landot Noir SENE AVA ($18) – barnyard on the nose, freshly crushed berries on the nose and palate, very unusual – and a new grape. 7+

2011 Robert Storey Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley (14.4% ABV) – classic Cabernet profile, cassis, green bell pepper, eucalyptus, balancing acidity, medium to full body and firm tannins. 8-

2000 Primus Casablanca Valley Red Wine, Chile (14.1% ABV, 60% Carménère, 22% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon) – lots of pleasure which only aged wine can deliver. Very complex, rich, with great bouquet of herbs, spices, fresh eucalyptus, touch of cassis and earthiness, fresh. Had lots of life left in it.  8+

2008 Flam Merlot Reserve, Israel (14% ABV) – restrained and elegant. Dark fruit on the nose with a touch of espresso. Blackberries and touch of plumes with supple tannins and clean acidity on the palate, excellent balance. 8

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Somewhat unusual addition to the “month in wines” post – a short sabering video. I have done sabering (opening the bottle of the sparkling wine by hitting its top to create structural damage in the glass and to allow the internal pressure of the sparkling wine to break the top off – in a classic scenario, done with the sword) before, using the bottom of the Champagne glass. Then I had a number of fiascoes, breaking a few glasses and cutting myself. Then I was again inspired by the drunken cyclist sabering video, and while I didn’t attempt to use the golf club, I did it again (successfully) with the glass. Here is the video for you (the Champagne I’m opening is the one mentioned in this post, 2007 Veuve Doussot):

And we are done here. What were your wine highlights of the past month? What do you think of sabering – would you attempt it? Cheers!

Wine Video: My Personal Sabering Experiment

June 28, 2012 8 comments

If you remember my Father’s day post, I mentioned successful experiment in Sabering of the Champagne bottle. Okay, not really a Champagne – it was Cava Rose ( a very tasty one, Marques de Gelida Cava Brut Reserva). As I promised, here is the video for you:

To tell you the truth, once you open a sparkler this way, it is hard to go back to the traditional bottle twisting…

So…yes, you can try it at home! Have fun! Cheers!

Father’s Day Escapades

June 19, 2012 6 comments

This Father’s Day was one of the best ever, so I decided to share with you some of the experiences – as you can imagine, mostly in the form of the pictures.

The day started with the cards from the kids – this is always a great beginning. Then the weather gradually changed from overcast to a beautiful clear sunny day with just the right temperature (don’t know what is your idea of a great summer temperature, but for me 75F and a light breeze is almost ideal). From there on,  there was great food, great wine and … some interesting new experiences.

Here are few pictures to give you an idea about cooking (well, yes, not so much cooking, mostly grilling).

Grilled chicken tights:

Kebab, on the grill:

And the same kebab, off the grill:

I don’t know why, but potatoes fry the best on the side burner of the grill (we have electric stove in the kitchen):

And then mushrooms… I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to eat mushrooms any time and any day:

Enough about the food. Let’s talk about the drinks now.

First, we had some [very lazy] cocktails. Just take it out from the freezer, squish in the glass and voila! 8 different flavors are available in the store – and Mango Daiquiri was the best out of the four we tried:

Then we switched to Champagne – errr, Sparkling wine. We had Marques de Gelida Cava Brut Reserva, which is Rose (Pinot Noir based) – very nice, round, medium bodied and refreshing (Drinkability: 7+) :

The best part about this sparkling wine was… opening of the bottle. Despite the fact that I told you not to saber a bottle of Champagne at home, I decided to ignore my own recommendation and try to saber the bottle (you should know that deep inside I’m a 10-years old, masquerading as an adult). Sabering was an absolute success, as I managed to do it from the first attempt. I have even a short video of that process, but it will require time to process, so for now, I can only show you some pictures which will illustrate  what happened. Here is the top of the bottle:

And here is the very top of the neck – the glass top was completely separated during  the opening, cork and glass together:

The only problem is – Sabering was so much fun, now I want to do it again!

Then we had a very nice red – 2009 Cave de Tain l’Hermitage Crozes-Hermitage Les Hauts de Fief (13% ABV, $17.99)- earthy nose with some roasted notes, same on the palate – deep concentrated ( but not jammy) fruit, great acidity, touch of spices, round tannins, very balanced (Drinkability: 8).

Then we had scotch – 41 years old Lonach Glendarroch (from Highlands, distilled in 1967) – absolutely amazing. I can’t even try to describe complexity of that scotch here – it will take a few tasting sessions to figure that out (my wife said that it was by far her favorite scotch ever):

Now last, but not least – my Father’s day present – 2005 Giribaldi Cento Uve, Langhe, Italy:

In case you are wondering what’s so special about this wine: it is made out of 152 grape varieties (you can read more here), so it will mean a serious progress of my grape count.

That’s all folks. I’m very happy with my Father’s day. How was yours? Cheers!

Wine Videos: Don’t Do This At Home, Kids

June 14, 2012 4 comments

Last week we compared wine video commercials from some of the major Champagne brands (in case you missed that post, you can find it here). Today I’m not asking you to rate the videos. Just watch and learn… or not (one of the videos is definitely giving me an urge to actually try it at home). In these videos you will see how professionals deal (meaning: open) with champagne bottles. This method  of opening the champagne bottle is  called sabering, and if you never heard of it before, just watch the videos (you can also read about some history of champagne sabering here).

First one is showing champagne bottles being opened in a rapid succession to achieve a world record:

The second video shows how sabering can be done with just a regular glass instead of a sword. While it looks easy and effortless in this video, make no mistake – it does require good amount of skill.

If you will be brave and try it at home, let me know how you will make out! Cheers!

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