Perhaps you’ve heard of sabering champagne, which is where you take a sharp object, a saber if you have one handy, and tap smartly on the ridge of glass around the neck of the bottle. Hit it right and it will pop off.
Most likely, though, you haven’t considered trying to do this with your iPad, unlike the French dude above. Watch for fun, but I strongly advise against trying this at home.
Decapitating the bottle, rather than easing out the cork, supposedly was invented by French soldiers in the time of Napoleon (a documented lover of champagne, among other things). That’s probably about as true as any other of the many legends that swirl around champagne, but, one way or another, the practice got started and sabering today is a part of champagne tradition.
The reason it works is that the bubbles in champagne create a lot of pressure inside the bottle. In fact, this used to be a job hazard before stronger bottles were invented because bottles would occasionally explode, shooting glass shards into the cellar and any unfortunate workers who happened to be close by. The stress is concentrated at the lip of the bottle, which is why a sharp tap will do the job. I have never felt moved to stab my bottles to death but I have friends who assure me it’s not hard to get the knack.
Bonus word for the day, this is known as sabrage, sah-BRAHZH.