8 Steps to Champagne Sabering

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

Champagne is mostly consumed (with higher consumption per head) during special occasions - weddings, birthdays and or the horse races. If you want to take "Champagne Days" to the next level then it's time to partake a quick learning - the 7 steps to Sabering.

In the early days this was done whilst riding a horse (the troops of Napolean both before and after wars). In the words of Napolean "I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate... and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself."

If you have a horse you can perform this in Napolean style - if not you can follow the 8 steps below.

8 Steps to Champagne Sabering

1. Grab a Champage Bucket and add ice (plenty of ice - if in doubt add more).

Not only does champagne taste better when chilled the chilling of the bottle itself makes it easier to crack.

2. Place the Champagne bottle in the bucket and add water.

Try and put as much of the bucket beneath the ice as possible (you can add the champagne then the ice). If you are in hurry then add some water. This brings the cold ice water in direct contact with the bottle and help accelerate the cooling of the bubbles (and bottle).

3. Toss a generous fist full of Salt into the bucket

This is a step often missed. Water (without salt) can go to  minimum of 0 degrees. Any colder and it turns to ice (and will lose contact with the bottle). Once you have added a got shake/toss of salt water can get a lot colder before turning to ice - up to minus 21 degrees celsius. This makes a big difference!!

The air is warmer than the bucket. Get it in fast and let the cooling begin.

4. Wait (at least 15 mins - even if you are thirsty)

If you are very thirsty add a few more bottles (and still wait 15 mins). You may need a larger bucket or another one. This is important as cold glass cracks more easily.

5. Remove the foil and wire around the cork

These items that can ruin the partay. Remove them and flick them toward (hopefully into the bin).

6. Find the Champagne bottle half line 

Champagne bottles are made by creating to half bottles and then connecting the pieces. This is the weakest area of the bottle and the place to aim the blade.

7. Position the knife aiming for the top of the neck (known as a the annulus)

We need to strike the bottle where the glass goes up (usually at 90 degrees). We don't need to swing hard - we need to concentrate, focus and relax - similar to the perfect golf club swing or snooker tap. 

8. Lastly BANG! Slide the knife blade toward the champagne. Please note - you use the BACK OF THE SABER not the front (this is about power not sharpness). As you do this think of your best friends, think of Napoleon and think of the future. Hope for the best and savor the moment!!

Good luck!!


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Grocke Knives

Posted by Shannon Dolman on

The Barossa Valley is a place we associate with fine wine, dining, days of leisure, tasting and exploring the region.

This can not be said for the Grocke family. Four generation Valley natives who for hundreds of years have been hard at work farming the land, not producing grapes as most in this region do but farming grain and running sheep and cattle also.

Just as you leave Lyndoch you turn left up Rifle Range road and travel towards the hills that form the valley, past their own road, and I mean their own road! You pass through Grant Burge vineyard and keep going beyond Mt. Krondorf and through the hills.

Grocke Knives

Barossa Knives

My family love camping out in the camper trailer and getting into nature. So when we were invited by Sue Grocke’s brother Dale to come stay with them on April long weekend, we jumped at the opportunity.

As we passed the vineyards and wound up the tight roads the land was no longer looking like a wine region as the ground was all grassy and rocky covered in gum trees. We had passed over the top of the hills that flank the Barossa Valley and had dropped off the other side.

Camping for Knives

We found a good spot to set up camp, just up from the old shearing sheds. After setting up, getting the fire going and of course cracking a beer we decided to explore.

Knife Wood Searching

Sue’s husband, the man who worked on the land  tragically passed away only in his 60’s a couple of years ago. He was the Grocke bloodline leaving poor Sue a widow with a massive farm. Reasons for his passing remain a mystery to this day, it was in the depths of Covid so the autopsy was difficult and inconclusive.

As we adventured around the land with Kangaroos jumping past us, Koalas in the trees, I was fascinated by the age of the farm, the shearing sheds,  and the fences that had to have been made over a hundred years ago.

Forgery :)

I found an old redgum fence post on my travels and couldn't help but think how hard it would have been to make every post then put it in the ground back then. At that moment I decided I was going to bring this old post back to life as a knife handle of beauty. I wanted to make a knife that was a symbol of the work her husband and his father and grandfather had done on that land to set up a life for them and something she could remember her husband by.

Shannon in the whoop whoop
Handle Wood

Later we came across a sheoak tree with very interesting sheoak nuts. I knew I had to play with them as I wanted to make a gift for Dale also.

Sue and Dale were lost for words when I presented them their knives as a gift. A knife each from the land they had spent so much time.

Gyuto Knife

Santoku Handle

We have both styles on display in our shop and always ready to be seen and felt.

Interior wood

Grocke Knife Handles

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Local SA Woodworkers Chopping Boards

Posted by Steven Tuckey on

Since moving into our new location at 330 Goodwood Road Clarence Park, we have met a lot of the local characters in the community. It has been a wonderful response to be welcomed into the neighbourhood. The other day we were introduced to a local woodworking group that is based out of the Clarence Park Community Centre Shed.

They are a very talented group of woodworkers who teach members of the community how to make high quality wooden toys and chopping boards out of reclaimed wood. We naturally felt that it was a perfect match for our knives so have started to stock their boards in our store. As you can see, they are absolutely stunning pieces of functional art.


More Info

To find out more about this lovely group of chaps, head here:

The Shed at Clarence Park Facebook Group

The Shed at Clarence Park Homepage

Open Tuesdays, 9am - 12noon & Thursdays, 9am - 3pm
Clarence Park Community Centre, 72-74 East Avenue, Black Forest

For more information, contact Sharon, Shed Coordinator, phone 8293 8166 or email theshed@clarencepark.org.au 

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Butchers Boning Knife

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

This knife is a sample boning knife we made with a Damascus finish which we probably never make again.

If you'd prefer otherwise (aka - make one you mf's) then we will consider :) You can comment below and let us know what you think.

Damascus Boning Knife

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The Big Red Chefs Knife

Posted by Shannon Dolman on

Winter is here and time for soup. With Thai flavoured Pumpkin soup on the menu, I decided to use my Big Red Chefs Knife with Orange ochre Gidgee handle as my knife for this cook up. Whilst I was chopping away I was working though some "Frequently Asked Questions" in my head whilst chopping...







The knife did all the heavy lifting for me. This is not an elegant knife, but it has rugged good looks and it possesses brut strength to get the job done. I would say its the Robert Redford of the kitchen.


Do yourself a favour!

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