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The ‘Confrerie du Sabre d’Or’ (Brotherhood of the Golden Sabre), is a prestigious association that promotes the noble art of sabrage…

...and the enjoyment of champagne around the world. Therefore I was particularly pleased to be invited to the ‘Second Bangkok Chapter’ on the 8th of April at the luxury Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, Bangkok.

“Sabrage is a tradition that dates back 200 years”, explains Eric Hallin, General Manager of this 5-star hotel located in Bangkok’s prestigious Sukhumvit district. “It’s the technique of opening a properly chilled Champagne bottle with a sabre (sword), by knocking off the glass collar that surrounds the cork. I admit, a highly unusual way of opening a bottle…”. The Confrerie du Sabre d’Or started in France over 25 years ago and currently boasts 30,000 members in 12 different countries. Initiates move up the ranks first becoming a sabreur, then a Chevalier, Officeur, and eventually a Commandeur.

Photo: Nathalie surrounded by Eric Hallin (next to her on the left), GM of Rembrandt Hotel & Towers, and members of Sabre d'Or (Bangkok Chapter)

"It can seem daunting when you are initially handed a sabre and a bottle of Champagne with the expectation that you will sever the top of the bottle with the sword’s blade", says Simon Rindlisbacher, Hotel Manager of Rembrandt Hotel & Towers. "But then, they say, no-one has ever failed and all it needs is a firm wrist with a high elbow and you’ll be back at your table regaling your fellow guests with tales of how easy it really was..."

Photo: Nathalie with Simon Rindlisbacher, Hotel Manager of Rembrandt Hotel & Towers

When performed on a suitably chilled bottle of Champagne, the cork and glass annulus fly away, spilling little of the precious wine. The pressure of the Champagne always ensures that no glass falls back into the bottle. Today, the Maître-Sabreur is always there to make sure safety is observed, and the cork flies away from spectators.

The Bangkok Chapter also welcomed senior members of the brotherhood from France, Germany, and other neighbouring countries at the event.

The evening at the Rembrandt Hotel & Towers began with a ceremony at the elegant lobby where guests were introduced to the noble art of sabrage. Everyone was given the chance to learn and test their skills personally, and successful candidates were subsequently knighted as a sabreur. The evening ended with an exquisite dinner at Rembrandt’s Italian Restaurant ‘Da Vinci’ accompanied by Delamotte Champagne from France, part of the Laurent-Perrier Group.

Of course I enjoyed a few glasses of this sparkling ‘golden nectar’ – all night long!! Finally the ‘Confrérie du Sabre d'Or’ is not only devoted to promoting the act of Sabrage. As I said at the beginning of this text: to wave a sword might be fun, but in the end it’s all about the enjoyment of quality Champagne…

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