Sabrage... Where it began
Sabering combines the elegance and prestige of champagne with the chest-thumping badassery of wielding a sword. According to various legends, we owe this grand gesture to Napoleon and his army of Hussars. The Hussars were a stylish bunch of light mounted infantry who rode into battle with sabers in hand. Rumour has it that townspeople would throw them bottles of Champagne after the battle was over.
“Champagne! In victory one deserves it; in defeat one needs it”
– Napoleon Bonaparte
François Clicquot’s family was associated with various organizations, including the creation of Champagne. When he passed away six years later, Madame Clicquot, now Veuve or ‘widow’ Clicquot took control of the organization. After some wrangling with her father-in-law, she secured a new venture that enabled her to centre exclusively around Champagne production. This choice being a phenomenal one, as she ended up being a gifted winemaker, however, it took various years before she made genuine success. Under her direction, the organization developed the process of riddling, which is the reason the Champagne you drink today is perfectly clear.
Her Husband passed on in 1805, in the early years of the Napoleonic Wars. At the point when Napoléon’s fighters came through Reims, in Champagne, they found a rich youthful widow who was maintaining her own Champagne business. The story goes that she would engage Napoléon’s officers in her vineyard, giving out containers of Champagne to the men as they mounted their horses and left for battle. The officers, planning to grab the attention of the affluent youthful widow, unsheathed their sabers, and still on the back of their horses, lopped the tops off the bottles..