Champagne

We’re back in action with our guy Tom Stocks, who previously taught us how to shuck an oyster, at Taylor Shellfish oyster bar in Seattle.

Now he’s teaching us how to saber a bottle of champagne. That’s when you take the cork off WITH its surrounding glass intact, by slicing off the entire tip of the bottle with a big knife. Execute this at a graduation party–or any party–and gain instant fame.

How does it work?

We don’t really know!

But air pressure is key: this won’t work with non-carbonated wine. And the bottle must be cold. We recommend storage prior to sabering in an ice slurry, a bucket of ice and water. And you must use the flat side of whichever blade you use.

There are a few more things you should know. Watch the video and check the technique.

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Still slightly dazed by the holiday flurry, we raided Instagram to see what our colleagues have been up to. From braving elements to popping bottles to crafting merry #menswear Christmas cookies, it’s safe to say our friends rang in the season with style. Keep reading to see our favorite holiday Insta’s from the Nordstrom Men’s Team.

[Above: We’re suckers for ladies decked out in dapper menswear—and Site Merchandiser Kelsey Tyler dressed the part like a pro on New Year’s Eve. Way to stay hydrated, too, KT.]

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Legally, we’re required to advise you against this. Morally, however, we feel obligated to call your attention to the 200-year-old technique of popping bottles with extreme panache known as sabrage (i.e., using a sabre to open a bottle of champagne). Legend has it that Napoleon’s cavalry invented the method to show off, on horseback, after partying with Madame Clicquot—the “Grand Dame of Champagne” who inherited Veuve Clicquot from her late husband in 1805. Here are a few tutorials on how to do it (not that we recommend it, of course)—and how not to. Extra style points if you’re on a horse.


Tips and history from a bonafide sabrage master.


Eighteen examples of exactly what NOT to do—even when a sword is
nowhere in sight. (For a refresher on basic bottle-opening, click here.)

 

We’ll leave you with one more piece of wisdom, no matter how your 2012 (and ill-advised sabrage attempts) panned out. Here’s to a stylish and successful 2013:

“Champagne! In victory, one deserves it; in defeat, one needs it.”
—Napoleon Bonaparte
 

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