A special birthday, New Year’s Eve or a loved one’s wedding, some occasions just call for Champagne. The ultimate symbol of celebration, toasting with a glass or two of your favourite fizz is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but did you know the shape of the glass can alter your taste experience? In this easy guide to Champagne glasses, we’ll take a look at the different shapes and styles of glasses available and which one is best for your favourite fizz…
What are the different types of champagne glasses?
Elegant and classy, flute glasses are characterized by their sleek, straight sides, long stems and minimalist forms. The most popular choice for Champagne aficionados, flute glasses have a tapered rim which results in a smaller surface area, this allows the aroma of the champagne to be collected for a longer time and improves the drinking experience. Perfectly shaped for encouraging bubbles to rise to the top of the glass, the flute glass is best suited to Brut Champagnes which are characteristically dry with just the right hint of sweetness.
Also known as a Champagne saucer, the coupe is the oldest type of Champagne glass and peaked in popularity in the early 20th Century. Evoking the feel of Great Gatsby-style parties, this flatly-shaped saucer radiates vintage glamour, but it isn’t the best shape for enjoying your finest Champagnes. The shallow bowl of the coupe has a large surface area, meaning the bubbles are exposed to air and will dissipate quickly, so you’ll have to drink fast if you like your Champagnes full of fizz. Despite this, it’s still an incredibly popular shape and it’s hard to deny its charm, plus it could double up as an elegant serving dish for puddings. We recommend serving your very best Champagnes in a flute or tulip glass and enjoying a Prosecco or a fruity, sparkling wine in a vintage coupe.
A curvier version of the iconic flute, the tulip glass is quickly becoming one of the most popular choices for serving Champagne. The wider bowl gives a little more room for aeration, so the flavours and aromatics of your favourite fizz are better developed before you take your first sip. The narrowing of the rim also encourages the aromas towards the nose, maximizing the drinking experience as you naturally smell, as well as taste, the wine. The tulip glass is ideal for serving mature and vintage Champagnes as they’ll have a little more space for the flavours to develop than in the popular flute.
What glass is best for Champagne?
The glass it’s served in can greatly affect the taste of Champagne. There’s no single shape that’s perfect for all varieties, however there are three key points to remember when looking to invest in Champagne glasses.
• The very finest Champagnes should be served in a glass with an incredibly thin rim. A thick rim can alter the taste and aroma of the wine, whilst a thin rim will preserve its delicacy and allow you to truly taste its flavour profile.
• Try to find the perfect balance between long and short stems. A long, thin stem gives you plenty of room to hold the glass and prevents the heat of your hands from warming the Champagne, however if you love to host they’re not always practical for serving several guests at once. Look for glasses with stems that are long enough to keep your hands away from the bowl, but short enough to provide enough balance on a serving tray.
• Where possible, opt for crystal. Crystal glassware tends to be thinner than regular glass whilst maintaining its strength. Lead and lead-free crystal can both be crafted into very fine glasses, however stick to lead-free if you’re concerned about the toxicity.