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The manager of a Michelin star restaurant tries to remove the cork from a bottle of champagne with a sabre only for the bottle to shatter, leaving the kitchen floor flooded with New Year’s Eve bubbles.
The footage emerged after New Year’s Eve, allegedly featuring the manager of 3-Michelin starred San Francisco restaurant French Laundry, Michael Minnillo tried to open a 15-litre Nebuchadnezzar bottle of champagne using the sabage method. The technique was developed by French cavalry officers and if done correctly, the cork and a ring of green glass from the lip of the bottle should fly off in dramatic fashion.
Things don’t really go according to plan however, and Manillo can be seen taking increasingly desperate swipes at the neck of the €1600 bottle of Billecart-Salmon brut. Instead of the desired effect, the entire bottle shatters, drenching the kitchen in rather expensive champagne.
It’s worth watching a few times just to ensure you never make the same mistake. The correct technique is to employ the blunt side of the sabre, knocking the glas lip of the bottle with sufficient force as to separate it from the neck, though we're pretty sure the French Laundry staff are well aware of this. If you do it with the sharp side of the blade, the chances are, just like in the video, you will crack the entire neck, leading the whole bottle to shatter.