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Ridgefield Wine Merchant Aims To Chop Down Record For Library

Mitch Ancona of Ancona's Wines & Liquors in Ridgefield will try for a world record in opening the most wine bottles in a minute with a saber.
Mitch Ancona of Ancona's Wines & Liquors in Ridgefield will try for a world record in opening the most wine bottles in a minute with a saber. Photo Credit: Contributed

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Mitch Ancona, who loves a challenge, has taken up “sabrage,” the art of opening a champagne bottle with a saber.

Now, he has set his sights on getting into the world record books — while simultaneously raising money for the Ridgefield Library.

On Sept. 8 at 12:30 p.m., he will attempt to break the world record for most bottles of champagne opened with a saber in one minute. The current record is 32.

“One for the Books” will feature champagne brunch and prime viewing of the record-setting attempt.

Sponsored by Ancona’s Wines & Liquors, Ancona’s Market, and Tusk & Cup, the event will begin at 11 a.m. under a tent in the Ancona’s parking lot in Branchville.

“I’ve always been fascinated with the thought of breaking a record,” Ancona said “and what better way than with champagne? And of course, Sunday brunch is a natural pairing with champagne.”

Several local residents are assisting. Ancona in making sure all aspects are correctly documented. Official witnesses will include First Selectman Rudy Marconi. Kristina Kelly, an attorney with the Ridgefield Main Street law firm of Reese, Hirsch, Shoults & Harrison, will act as civil notary. Several local photographers and videographers will be on hand, as will experts from the wine industry. Officials from the Wolfpit Running Club will time Ancona.

“The library is thrilled to be a part of this,” said Library Director Chris Nolan. “We love the play on words —’One For The Books’ with reference to the world record plus designating the fund to benefit the Ridgefield Library.

“Mitch’s enthusiasm to showcase his sabering skills is contagious. Many of us from the library will be witness to this —and we hope many from the community come as well. It’s for a great cause.”

The sabering technique, formally known as “sabrage,” is often used for ceremonial occasions. The saber or sword  is slid along the body of the bottle to break the neck away, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to pour. The current record for sabrage is held by Julio Gonzalo Chang of Spain, who sabered 32 bottles in one minute on April 18, 2011.

“The temperature of the bottle, the angle at which it’s held, and the exact point where the blade meets the glass all play a role,” Ancona said. To reduce sabering time, bottles must also be placed on the table at an exact distance apart from one another.

Tickets are $25 (children 10 and under, $10), which includes: bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, mini pastries, fruit, gelato, juice, coffee, and the chance to witness to the historic record-breaking attempt. Tickets are available at Ancona’s Wines & Liquors, Ancona’s Market, Tusk & Cup, and through the Ridgefield Library. They can also be purchased online .

A limited number of VIP sponsorship tables are   available, and can be purchased exclusively at Ancona’s Wines & Liquors. For more information, visit

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