Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Art of Sabrage: an Austrian Wine Themed Wedding

 Words + Pictures by Angela Cappetta

When a couple is in the wine business, naturally, there has to be special wine at their wedding.  These two had traveled together on wine trips to Austria and it was with the winemakers, whom Erica calls call her Austrian family, where William, the groom, proposed.  The Steininger's, owners of the vineyard whose wine Erica distributes, even taught the couple how to saber a champagne bottle.

To saber a bottle, traditionally, you use a saber or a fancy sword-like item - a kitchen knife works - and with the blade, hit the exact point on the bottle where the mouth and the side seam of the bottle meet. It is a weak point on the glass and with all the pressure of the CO2 inside the bottle, it causes the glass to break and shoot the cork off of the bottle.  If done properly, there is a clean break and you can - and should - still drink the wine.

William nailed it in the first shot. As he held the bottle and struck it with a special saber bought especially for the wedding, he gallantly sabered it open for his bride.  The couple enjoyed this rare, small run of champagne, whose bottle displays a very special, hand-written label.  The recipe for this champagne hasn't changed in over 100 years.

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