How To Saber A Champagne Bottle

The timing couldn’t be any more perfect. Independence Day is this week and many of us will celebrate the day at picnics and BBQs.

If you’re looking to add a wow factor or an ice breaker at your gathering, try sabering open a bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine in front of your family and friends. Just make sure you point the bottle away from them.

We have done the experiments and have taken the guess work out so that you can saber a bottle safely and confidently. Just don’t come running to us if your Aunt Edna gets sprayed with bubbly as a result.

Follow these steps:

Step #1: Use the coldest sparkling or carbonated bottle you can find (This is essential). Yes, you can use a bottle of beer, if you wish. Note: The wow factor with beer bottles doesn’t quite measure up to the sparkling/champagne bottles.


Super Cold Bubbly

Step #2: You need an object with a blunt edge that will do the sabering part. You don’t need a sword or a saber.

We tried a variety of utensils: spoons, butter knife, and a heavy duty kitchen knife. After experimenting with all 3, the heavy duty kitchen knife won. It general, it seemed like the longer the utensil, the better, since there was more weight behind the object when it hit the lip of the bottle.20130701-142456.jpg

Utensils We Tried

Step #3: Prep the champagne/sparkling bottle to saber. Remove the foil around the neck. Unscrew the cage and remove. Note: some people loosen the cage and tighten in around the bottom of the champagne cork.

With beer bottles, no preparation is necessary.

We recommend wearing eye protection. Sunglasses will do just fine.

Step #4: Identify where you will need to hit the bottle with your blunt edge. All glass bottles have a seam running from the top of the bottle to the bottom. You will hit with your blunt edge along the neck of the bottle at the seam. Note: Heineken Bottles are tricky, since they have a shorter neck.

Step #5: Your sword, I mean blunt edge, will start at the shoulder of the bottle (the spot where the bottle curves to form the neck ) and end at the first lip.


Your sword starts here


Your sword ends here

Step #6: Take a practice shot. We at TVC used Coor’s Light bottles to practice our sabering skills. Since the contents of the bottle are carbonated and under pressure, the sabering technique will work on beer bottles as well.


The knife in the middle ended up being the winner. Don’t forget your safety glasses!

Step #7: Once you’re comfortable, try your new skills on a champagne bottle.

IMPORTANT: Point the bottle away from anyone and anything that you do not want to hurt or damage.

Step #8: Clean-Up. There may be minimal amounts of glass on the ground as a result of sabering. Don’t walk around barefoot. Use common sense.

Wipe up any liquid that explodes from the bottle while sabering. Don’t slip and fall. Did we mention that its best to do this outside?

Step #9: Serve the champagne to your guests. Rarely do pieces of glass get into the bottle from sabering, but if your paranoid you can use a strainer – something similar to what is used for would suffice.

Step #10: Recycle the bottle. Don’t try to do anything crazy, like try to drink out of the bottle. The edge is sharp!

Here’s a quick video that demonstrates the sabering process.

Saber A Bottle of Bubbly


Parade of Rosés


Rose comes in a variety of beautiful pink colors

Summer is here! Visit The Village Cellar to stock up on your warm weather wines.

One wine that you must try is rosé. Pronounced “Rose-A”, not like the flower.

Many people think that rosé is of a lesser quality because it is pink. This is not the case. Rosé is a style used to describe wine that does not come into contact with the grape skins long enough to extract a deep red color typical of red wines, hence the variety of pink hues.


Real men drink pink wine!

Its also common for people to think that all rosés are sweet because they are pink. Again, just a stereotype! Many rosés are actually dry, yet crisp and refreshing – perfect for summer drinking.

Here’s the lineup of rosés that you can find at TVC!


From left: Merriman pinot noir rose, Hugo sparkling rose, 2012 Chateau Saint Pierre Tradition, 2011 Jean-Luc Colombo Cape Bleue Rose, 2011 Akakies Kiryianni, 2010 il Balordo Rosato, Ayala Rose Majeur Champagne

Top 3 gifts for Mom at The Village Cellar!

Mother’s Day is just a week away…and you’ll thank us later when you purchase a gift for mom at The Village Cellar. Just when we thought the gift of wine couldn’t get any better, we were wrong. There is no better gift than wine AND a spa treatment!

TVC has paired up with Hinsdale salon and spa, Zazu, and any gift basket or wine/cheese flight for two that you purchase, you receive a 20% off voucher for any single spa service.

Here are 3 gift ideas that your mom would love, only available at The Village Cellar!

Prosecco and Champagne Flute Basket – $35

A bottle of Bele Casel Prosecco and 2 Crystal Riedel Champagne Glasses, plus a 20% off voucher for Zazu!


Spring Fling Wine Basket – $30

A bottle of wine displayed in a ceramic flower pot, paired with the essentials for spring gardening- a gardening shovel, gardening gloves, and wildflower seeds packet, plus a 20% off voucher for Zazu!


Wine and Cheese Flight for 2 – $35

Stop by TVC before or after your spa treatment at Zazu and enjoy three 2oz. pours of our wines by the glass. No wine flight is complete without Brie, White Cheddar, Aged Gouda, and Gorgonzola – a perfect pairing! Don’t forget to cash in your 20% off voucher for Zazu!


Visit Zazu’s website to see a list of spa services!

Zazu Salon and Day Spa

Zazu is located in downtown Hinsdale at 18 E Hinsdale Ave.

Stop in at TVC soon to pick up the perfect gift!

Wednesday Wine With Caroline!

Finally! My name in lights! Ok, maybe not lights, but hopefully I convince the people in charge to make me a sign or something. My 15 minutes of fame may very well get extended a few hours longer on Wednesday nights.

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all at TVC, we’re adding yet another fun event to liven up your week.

Wednesday’s are officially “Wednesday Wine with Caroline”! I like to call it WWC, not to be confused with WWF. Make no mistake, there will be plenty of me to entertain you all.

Here’s how it works:

I pick 5 wines that I would like to share with you.
You pay only a $5 tasting fee to join me! I promise to be worth your time (and money) 🙂
I can tell you, hopefully, anything you want to know about the wines. Oh, some of the stories that I can tell…
We can swirl and sip as much as you heart desires.
Who knows, there may even be cheese and chocolate involved!
We can start drinking, I mean tasting, at 5 pm. We’ll stay until the wine is gone, or until we get kicked out of the place.
Of course, any of the wines you taste can be purchased to take home and show off to your family and friends.

WWC officially starts this coming Wednesday, April 24. So bring your family and friends for a fun Wednesday night. I promise that you’ll be in good enough shape to be able to make it to work on time the next day!

Any questions, call the store at 630.325.8466

Hope to see you there!

photo provided by Sun-Tines Media


TVC Spring Semester Wine School Kick Off!


wine 101

The academic school year may be coming to an end at every other respectable institution, but here at The Village Cellar, our semester is about to begin.

This isn’t what you think… hours of boring lecture and endless studying for exams.

Nope, this is the The Village Cellar’s very own Wine School!

The Spring semester begins April 18 and runs through June 6. You can sign up for one or all courses.

Here, we encourage fun conversation and lots of questions. From novice to expert, all wine drinkers are welcome. The only prerequisite is that you be prepared to learn about and taste fabulous wines.

Each class is led by sommelier Eoin O’Donnell and includes 6 featured wines, with lessons about terroir, vintage, and varietal; along with cheese and hand-made chocolate pairings!

Classes are held at the store on Thursdays, 7pm-9pm and are $75 per person in advance. Sign up through Lving Social and pay a special price of $37 per person, per session.

To sign up for a class (or two or three, or ALL) call us today at630-325-8466 or email
Here’s our class lineup:
4/18: Tuscany and Italy
4/25: Great Wines of France
5/2: Napa, Sonoma, & Oregon Gems
5/9: A Taste of Europe’s Vineyards
5/16: USA vs Europe
5/23: Big Reds & Super Sparklers
5/30: Heritage & Bordeaux Tasting
6/6: Great Cabernet Sauvignon & Pinot Noir

“The Most Exotic Hinsdale Book Club” makes TVC home base!

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Laurie Thomson and “The Most Exotic Hinsdale Book Club!”

The Village Cellar is getting more and more studious by the week. Wine school, book club…I’ve even seen a business meeting or two being held here during the week.

Who are we kidding – the place is filled with wine, beer and great laughs; who wouldn’t want to hang out here or make TVC a satellite office?

Instead of cramming into someone’s living room, a boring office with no windows, and even worse yet – a place with no wine…

“No wine book club”


Come to The Village Cellar! I can assure you that every gathering is a success when there is wine involved!

The Most Exotic Hinsdale Book Club livened things up with chardonnay and Sancerre, great friends, and the book – Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English.

The book

Aside from sipping on wine and enjoying an amazing dessert prepared by Hinsdalean Sue Barton Liss, the group did actually talk about the book. I interrupted their light hearted conversations to snap this photo…

The Club



The Cake

The amazingly delicious cake was made by Sue Barton Liss of Hinsdale. Sue specializes in custom baking, cake and cookies, and sugar art. She also offers courses in which she teaches special baking techniques. This sounds like something I need to sign up for…

Contact her at:

Here at TVC, you can have your cake and eat it too. The ladies were kind enough to share their cake with me. Now, I’ve had a lot of cake. I feel confident in going out on a limb and saying that this is by far one of the best that I have EVER had.


The only thing that is wrong with this picture is that my wine glass is empty.

Next time your looking for somewhere to hang out with your friends, business partners, and book club members, come to TVC!

Spring Fling Wine Tasting, including winemaker Bill Wolf from Eagle Eye!

Spring is supposedly here! If you’re a skeptic like me with the Chicago weather though, I wait until at least early May to retire my snow boots for the season. On that note, this is the last time I will use “spring” in this post, as to not jinks ourselves and have a winter weather advisory by next week.

Anyhow, the weather is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow (Saturday) for our APRIL tasting! What better way to spend the weekend than to come to TVC and meet winemaker Bill Wolf from Eagle Eye, and try over 50 wines from all over the world? I can’t think of anything better to do…


Bill and Roxanne Wolf make wine and olive oil in the Napa Valley. Together with their winemaker, John Gibson, they produce limited quantities of high quality wines and blends. The Eagle Eye brand was created from the couples love of wine, food, and art.

Eagle Eye’s wines are incredibly popular at TVC. We currently offer Eagle Eye Infatuation by the glass, and have various other blends to offer by the bottle. Stop in Saturday to meet Bill, taste his wines, and hear the story from Bill himself!

The tasting runs from 1pm to 5pm. Only $5 per person to try over 50 wines, and meet Bill.

Hope to see you there!

Easter Bunny sighting at The Village Cellar

The Easter Bunny has been spotted at The Village Cellar! While this isn’t the same kid-friendly bunny you take your kids to see at the mall, this cute and cuddly creature has been busy putting together her version of surprises for Sunday’s adult Easter basket hunt.


Bring your basket and we will fill it up with goodies for you! Not sure what to bring to a family gathering? Here are some ideas…

California Dreaming Basket


2011 Dawn’s Dream Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands
2011 Dawn’s Dream Pinot Noir, Monterey
2011 Thomas Fogarty Gewürztraminer, Monterey County
Coleen’s Three Cheese Breadsticks
Pesto Spread
Gourmet Chocolate Spread
Cottonwood Ripened Goat Cheese
Illinois Triple Cream Brie

Spring in Chicago Basket


Matilda Belgian Style Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.
Pere Jacques Belgian Style Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.
Pepo Nero Belgian Style Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.
Sofie Belgian Style Ale, Goose Island Beer Co.
Mild Winter, Goose Island Beer Co.
312, Goose Island Beer Co.

Connoisseur’s Basket


Highland Reserve Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey, 12 year
2010 Justin Obtuse
2004 Sylvester Sangiovese Port
Kallari Organic Chocolate

The Voice Behind The Curtain

You may be wondering who writes all of this witty information on TVC blog. Well, I’m going public and it’s time for my 5 minutes to shine; or maybe longer depending on how long it takes you to read this.

In upcoming posts I will feature a smart, good-looking member of TVC family so you can get to know us better.  You may know what Pandora stations we like or our wine of choice.  But it’s time to get personal.

For now, it’s all about me.  So here are a few things that you should know…

First off, if you can’t already tell, this is Caroline Schrader.  This is me


Birthday: May 18, 1983

Astrology sign: Taurus

Hometown: Tinley Park, IL.  I currently live in Oak Lawn

Height: 5′-7″

Shoe Size: 9

Description: Blonde Hair, Brown Eyes, Fair Skin

Demeanor: quiet yet talkative, personable, humorous?, clumsy at times (think bull in a china shop)

Nationality: German

Favorite Color: Black

Hobbies: Drinking wine, reading about wine, writing about wine…I think you get the picture.  I also enjoy yoga, cross-country skiing, hiking, off roading in my jeep, camping, painting, reading, baking, music, and playing chess.

Pets: I have a beagle.  Her name is Lilly

Favorite Book: The Great Gatsby

Favorite Vacation Destination: Palm Springs, Sonoma County, and Big Sur

Favorite Wine: Pinot Noir from Carneros AVA

Drink of Choice: Scotch

Favorite Pandora Station: Today’s Country (Sundays), Adele (Thursdays), Rihanna (Fridays)

Childhood Aspirations: Become an Astronaut, a teacher and work at Toys R Us

Current Aspirations: When I grow up I want to be a wine writer, winemaker, and do anything and everything with wine. Oh, and to live life and have no regrets.  You only live once. One more thing…perserve and restore mid-century modern architecture.

Random fact about me: I love italian strung lights.  You know, the clear round bulbs.

Another random fact: Bryan, manager at TVC, and I competed in high school marching band against each other. I went to Marian Catholic, Bryan – Lake Park.

If stranded on an island: I would need lipstick (red or pink), ferment the native fruits, and make a grass skirt.

The craziest thing I have ever done: Too many to count.  But a highlight is trying to hop the fence at Frank Sinatra’s house.  The security company was called.

Alyssa heads to The Golden State!


As some of you may know, yesterday was Alyssa’s last day with us at TVC.  Before you pick up and try to figure out which wine shop she moved on to, relax-  she’s planning on returning in May!

Next week, Alyssa will reunite with the sunny skies and much warmer weather in Carmel, CA.

Over the next few months she will be directing the play Snow White at The Forest Theater, one of the oldest outdoor theatres in the country.

Jealous?  You should be.  While Alyssa is catching some sun on the west coast, we will be here, contemplating whether or not to put away our snow shovels for the year.

What will Alyssa miss the most at TVC?  Aside from her awesome co-workers, she is going to miss the Eagle Eye Meritage!

Good Luck Alyssa!