Originally Posted By: wsieber
Ah, oui, you meant "sablage" rather than sabrage!
- Interestingly enough, in French you say "sabler le Champagne" (specifically to celebrate) - "sabrer" also exists, but according to the "Petit Robert" dictionnary, it is not used in connection with Champagne. So this arouses a faint suspicion that your "official" story might belong the the realm of myth.

Which official story would that be? The quoted passage above begins with "There are several legends of the story of Sabrage or Sabering Champagne...." Michael Quinion at World Wide Words provides the following info on sabrage (excerpt) and also addresses the lack of certainty to its origins:

Stories hold that [the term] dates from Napoleonic times and was invented by cavalry who found it difficult to open champagne bottles while on horseback, but did have usefully heavy sabres handy.

Its language origin is definitely the French sabrer, to hit with a sabre. Itís a close relative of sabreur, one who fights with a sabre, best known in beau sabreur, a fine soldier or dashing adventurer.