Champagne Glasses and Flutes

What you drink Champagne out of matters!


What you drink Champagne out of matters as it can certainly affect the taste and experience. I once drank a lovely Dom Perignon 85 out of small 10 ounce glass Coca-Cola glass, and although it rocked, it would have been much better from proper Champagne stemware. As the only other choice was swigging it from the bottle, and there were several of us there, we opted for the little glasses.

Good Champagne Glasses or Champagne Flutes can cost a bit of money, but they can last a long time. Keep them out the dishwasher for example, and be gentle! I do break one occasionally and do not worry about it, but I have some I’ve had for a couple of decades that may outlast me.

Champagne glass is an overall term for a (usually glass) vessel used to drink Champagne out of. Traditionally they were short and squat, and some people still prefer these. Often cheap plastic ones for weddings are in this shape also. Supposedly they are in theSchott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Saucer Champagne shape of Marie Antoinette’s breasts.

These short squat glasses are sometimes called champagne coupes or champagne saucers are were invented in the 1660s in England, well before Marie Antoinette’s time. Supposedly they were appropriate for the sweeter Champagne that was popular then, although the large amount of surface area causes today’s Champagne’s bubbles to dissipate very quickly.

To the right is a Schott Zwiesel Tritan Crystal Champagne Saucer as an example. These are superb glasses if you prefer this traditional shape.

Riedel Vinum Champagne GlassesMore commonly used today are Champagne Flutes, such as the wonderful Riedel Vinum Champagne Glass to the left. Flutes are stemmed narrow wine glasses and the small surface area helps retain the bubbles much longer. The bowl may be tulip shaped like a white wine glass, a trumpet shape (significantly wider on the top than the bottom), or narrow and straight edged. Flutes are the most common type of Champagne and other sparkling wine glass today and I prefer them as well.

A simple white wine glass will also suffice and some connoisseurs prefer them, as after all Champagne is white wine. Some prefer special glasses designed for tasting wine.

Personally, I don't get too uptight about Champagne glasses although some of my friends do. I have some relatively inexpensive yet lovely Speigelaus (now owned by Reidel) for everyday use, some more expensive Reidels that are more fragile, and some Crystal Waterfords I bought on closeout for just when I feel like it.

Let's be serious: The glasses matter, but it's all about what's in them! A brilliant Champagne drunk out of a woman's shoe on the deck of a yacht will beat a weasel piss like dirt cheap industrial swill sparking wine out of great glasses. If you take the former approach, beware of falling off the yacht and drowning or getting stranded on a desert island for years like Mr. Thurston and Mrs. Lovey Howell, two well known Champagne lovers on Gilligans Island!