By Richard Pascale
Published December 30, 2007
Extract from France-American No. 16 Special celebrations of 19 December 2007 to 1 January 2008
* On sabre champagne yet with real swords as did custody rise of Napoleon. Reportage.
They joined the "brotherhood of sabre gold." They are insiders, a ritual practice, and their decorum have nothing to envy the Grand Orient. They are made knight commander or grand master. They have connétables in the provinces and ambassadors all over the world. They belong to a club, have an exclusive sport, like others playing polo or hunt for runs. With some variations, this elite sport is practiced in bars gladly do little muscle and can climb to the top, between them, they sabrent champagne and often the sand *, the two operations within necessarily in the order supra.
The French association set up in 1986 has qu'institutionnaliser relatively common practice: This may seem archaic and even anachronistic, yet the sabrage champagne with a sabre is still. The technique, they say, goes back to Napoleon's officers who engrangeaient victories and celebrated, sabers at the point, could not find nothing better than to use the blades of their weapons, barely dried blood of their enemies, to decapitate bottles. The Berezina made them sheathe their knives, but the habit lasted.
"Sabrage practiced on a bottle extremely cold that we keep in an ice bucket in reverse so that the neck is still colder and therefore easier to break. Bottle should be a normal 75cl bottle and one vial, "says Eric Benn, one of the owners of Bubble Lounge in New York and San Francisco. The continued rotation of stories rooms guards, which will not surprise. The aim is to "undress the bottle from shoulder down," removing the muselet small cage wire that holds the cap to the bottle, to keep it "with the thumb in the c ... " At an angle of about 20 degrees, maintaining strong pressure on the cork, placing "the blade on the body along the junction" and drag the sword "of a blow from the elbow, not the wrist ".
Without apparent effort, the bottle is decapitated just below the neck collar. And the cap, projected to be 5 metres away. The explosion, very strong, would stir ... A Hussars Regiment! It is fast approaching the flute (which retains the turmoil better than the cut) to collect these bubbles that remain magical even if the specialist gives an explanation quite rational. The dual fermentation practiced by the champagne method of winemaking creates those famous bubbles of carbon dioxide which in contact with the rough edges of the glass, proliferate.
At the Bubble Lounge, those who seek the experience of sabrage receive a diploma, the title of master ronflant sabreur and slashed the neck as a souvenir. In the champagne bar in New York, a replica gold edges of a sword Napoleonic throne above the counter. The champagne sabers, like Laguiole home with his blade of 28 cm and the rosewood handle is 14 cm presented in a wooden case, have become perfect gift to celebrate the new year with pétillance. "But we can also cut with a simple knife or even a small spoon or a pencil," says Eric Benn, who admits to having practiced sabrage in extreme conditions, 25 metres under water with a conch shell. But beware, Benn recalls the precautionary measures to comply: Always keep the cork with a velocity of projection can reach 50 km / h, cut a piece spacious avoid being cut with broken glass. The champagne is it better? He bodied taste of victory.
Wines monks and kings, oscillating between recollection and lust, wine for some of the devil, "wine of civilization," said Talleyrand, the exclusive effervescent drink, which produces 350 million bottles per year in an area of 32000 hectares in Champagne, still associated in the collective imagination at times exceptional. And ceremony sabrage makes the most solemn moment. Thus alerted, ready to draw, it is in spite of itself, in the great history of wine champagne. Rome finds out, the Dom Perignon capture, Shepherd explained. Names parade: Heidsieck, Moët, Perrier-Jouet, Bollinger, Pommery, Veuve Clicquot .... And very soon we said that the sword is to champagne what the crown is the king, the symbol of the omnipotence, the obvious.
* "Sabrer champagne," not to be confused with "champagne Sabler" well known expression which means today lead a bottle of sparkling wine and drink with friends. In the eighteenth, the formula had an entirely different meaning. It was dry cul drink a glass of alcohol in a dry gosier, would have been absorbed like sand.
New York 228 Broadway 21243134 33,
San Francisco 714 Montgomery Street 41543442 04
The Fraternity of sabre gold www.lesabredor.fr
Cocktails and champagne
Lovers of great champagne and vintage will be pouting. The highest quality is eaten pure. But cocktails based champagne are fun and make an impact. They are in vogue in the lounges and bars champagne and a vintage cheaper. Cocktails "kill" the specifics but multiplies champagne bubbles. The "Splash" that can be added to the champagne are all impurities on which the bubbles are formed. By chemical reaction, a slice of ginger or fruit thrown into the cup multiplies the turmoil. Do not neglect to impress your friends and smile. What is also peculiar champagne.
At the Bubble Lounge in New York, the cocktail is becoming ogue Champagne Mojito. In bowl, mix 44 ml rum Mauritian Starr, 6 mint leaves, 2 tablespoons coffee sugar, 4 slices of lemon and fill the rest of champagne or blanc de blancs.
In San Francisco, is the Bubblicious who has the listing. Mix approximately 15 ml of fishing Schnaps, 30 ml of mashed fish (found in supermarkets quality), and fill the glass of champagne or blanc de blancs.
The market for champagne
In the United States, where the champagne is associated with the party rather than a french wine, 30% of annual sales are made in December or 7 million bottles sold on an annual volume of 21 million bottles consumed. The first brand in the United States is Möet et Chandon with 5.5 million bottles sold annually. Veuve Clicquot ranked second. Both brands share 60% of the market. A total of champagne accounts for 44% of imports of sparkling wine.
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