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Okanagan-Taste

Sabering in a new year

You have the champagne, but do you have a sabre?

If you’re not familiar with the act of sabering a bottle of something bubbly, be that a French champagne or a sparkling wine or cider from British Columbia, a couple of caveats: don’t try this without some supervision if possible, do it outside, and take note of many failed attempts on YouTube.

Sabrage is literally using a sabre (the dull side of the blade), to ceremoniously open a bottle of champagne, and it stems from the days of Napoleon marking military victories in dramatic fashion.

Today, sabering often is part of celebrations, and you don’t need a sabre. A butcher’s knife will do. Or even the heel of a shoe. Or a properly placed wine glass. 

Summerland’s Lightning Rock winery recently wrapped up 12 Days of Sabering on its Instagram reels featuring bubbles from producers throughout the region, so you’ve got 12 videos to watch for inspiration both on sabering and the alternative items -- a can of hair spray, a chain saw, various farm implements, a lightsaber – that were attempted. 

Meanwhile, if you feel the need to rid yourself of 2020 with a big gesture, do it safely. Just open one of these options in a comfortable manner and enjoy the effervescence. Cheers to 2021.

Élan Effervescence 2016, Evolve Cellars $20: Stone fruit touched by floral notes and a slight sweetness on the finish.

Ti Amo 2019, Hester Creek $19: If you’re planning something special for NYE, the bottle says, “I love you” and this prosecco style wine is fruity and aromatic.

Seven Stars Polaris, 2017, Township 7 $36: A Blanc de Blancs (aka chardonnay), brut with elegant creaminess balanced with refreshing acidity.

Apple-Rhubarb Crisp Cider, Rustic Roots $7/bottle: Available by the individual bottle and sometimes in a six-pack of cans, a semi-sweet cider perfect to pair with apple pie to finish NYE dinner.

Fizzio Rosé Non-Vintage, Therapy Vineyards $25: Pink bubbly with notes of strawberries and citrus, and of course therapy may be in order thanks to 2020.

Integrity 2019, 8th Generation $23: A frizzante full of tropical fruit flavours and endless possibilities for sparkling cocktails.

Reserve Brut Non-Vintage, Mission Hill $24: Fresh crisp apple and pear notes that lead to a bright and refreshing citrusy finish.

sX Imagine 2019, Ex Nihilo $26: An aromatic blend of Riesling, Viognier, and Gewürztraminer, a prosecco style with floral notes on the nose and a crisp lemon finish. 

What the Fog! New England IPA, Slackwater Brewing $17/4-pack: An appropriately named brew for midnight when we can exclaim, “WTF 2020!” and start fresh.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]



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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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