LIFE STYLE The Art of Champagne Sabering with The St. Regis Astana The Ritual. The St. Regis Astana, a new gem in St. Regis Hotels & Re- sorts collection, which opens in summer 2017, celebrates a century-long legacy of refined luxury and meaningful rituals. The Champagne Sabering ritual is one of the most noble and elegant ceremonies to observe. As opposed to tradi- tional uncorking, the art of sabrage has become a signature ceremony in St. Regis Evening Rituals series. Often performed by St. Regis butlers, the evening ritual continues to bring guests together at sunset to celebrate the victories of the day or to welcome new St. Regis ho- tels to the portfolio. The ceremony touches all the senses – sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. Lights dim, candles glow and music fills the evening. Guests are often treated to an exceptional demonstration of skill, and the sparkling wine is served in the most exclusive theatrical presentation. The St. Regis Astana Saber. One of the highlights of the performance is certainly the saber. Following tradition, The St. Regis Astana features a beautiful champagne saber with the hotel logo engraved by the noble French producer Claude Dozorme (1902). While not in use, the saber rests on the mahogany display stand. The Legend. It all dates back to the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and Barbe-Nicole Ponsardin, better known as Madame Clic- 74 world monitor quot or Veuve Clicquot. The wealthy widow of an aristocrat turned out to be a skilled winemaker, though it took a number of years before she achieved true success. Under her guidance, the company developed the process of riddling, which is why the Veuve Clicquot champagne we drink today is so crystal clear. Her husband died in 1805, in the early years of the Napoleonic Wars. When Napoléon’s soldiers came through Reims, in Cham- pagne, they found a wealthy young widow who was running her own Champagne business. The story goes that she would entertain Napoléon’s officers in her vineyard, handing out bottles of champagne to the men as they mounted their horses and left for battle. The officers, hop- ing to catch the eye of the wealthy young widow, unsheathed their sabers, and while astride their horses lopped off the tops of the bottles. In the beginning of the XX century John Jacob Astor IV, the leg- endary founder of St. Regis brand, performed the champagne ritual for the first time in The St. Regis New York. Since then St. Regis Hotels and resorts around the globe continue to serve the vintage sparkling wine in this spectacular and exclusive way. The guests of The St. Regis Astana will soon also be privileged to participate in this beautiful evening ritual every week after the opening.