prevent the residue yeast from contaminating the champagne, the
bottles were stored upside down and the tops chopped off immediately prior
In the similar fashion, port was 'tonged', by snapping
off the neck with red-hot port tongs! To keep port sealed up for the twenty years it needs to mature, the
corks were glued into place. When it came time to serve, you did not
want to pour the port over that glued top, so you would instruct
your butler to heat up the tongs!
The Higgins Armory in Worcester, MA is the only
armory museum in America and has one of the world's largest
collection of sabers - they also own a set of port tongs! When the
Knights meet at the Armory, we saber Perrier-Jouet Chmpagne and tong
If you saber a bottle of bubbly
and serve yourself from a tonged bottle of port, you are an inducted
into the Knights of the Saber and Tong and swear never to open a
bottle using the dreaded corkscrew so long as you shall live!