Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by causing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to achieve carbonation.

Champagne - sparkling wine

It is produced exclusively in the region of Champagne located in the northeast of France.

How to open a bottle of Champagne? There is an ordinary way. First you remove the foil and wire cage on top of bottle and then finally by holding cork in one hand and bottle in another gently turn the bottle to take off the cork.

But there is also a different way, kind of French tradition. French people have the expression "sabrer la bouteille" or in English "saber the bottle". What exactly does it mean?

Long time ago during the time of Napoleon his generals and Hussars (French would say Hussards) cavalry units used to celebrate victories by swinging a sabre and cutting the top off a champagne bottle.

French hussar
French hussard

The Hussars were skilled riders. According to a legend, they would ride at full gallop to a lady holding up the bottle and with one swipe „behead“ the bottle.

Champagne sabre used to "behead" the bottle

Replicas of such sabres can be bought today. French city of Thier is famous for them.

What kind of glass should you use for drinking Champagne? There are people who say it got lot to do with breasts. Some believe that the shallow, bowl shaped champagne "coupe" was modelled in the shape of Marie Antoinette's (the wife of Louis XVI) breast. There are other opinions. Those people people believe that the perfect glass was created in the memory of the breast belonging to Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of the Louis the Fifteenth.

Let's get serious. All experts today say that Champagne should be drank from a tall fluted glass which allows circulation of bubbles.

What about how Champagne should be drank? To taste best, I mean. If you drink it too fast, you will swallow all the bubbles and they will go into your bloodstream too fast. Because of it many will get a headache. You should take small sips and let the bubbles dissipate in your mouth before you swallow.