- The glass you use for wines – including Champagne – influences how it tastes.
- A glassware expert explained to Business Insider what the ideal Champagne vessel is – and it isn’t the flutes and coupes you usually see.
- The flute’s shape stops you appreciating the wine’s aromas properly.
- Old-fashioned coupe glasses let the bubbles escape too fast.
- The best glass for Champagne has a wider middle and narrow top.
Most wine drinkers choose the wrong glass for their grape, and it can have a massive impact on how wine tastes and smells.
And Champagne is no exception.
Matt Knight, UK Business Manager and wine-tasting guru at glassware company Riedel, said there’s a growing momentum behind the differences between styles of Champagne glasses.
These are the two worst shapes…
1. The old-fashioned coupe
The wide, flat shape of the glass – made popular in the 1920s – means your Champagne will lose its bubbles fast.
“The old-fashioned coupe used to work when we were drinking sweeter styles of Champagne,” Knight explained. “Now they’re much drier, with a lot more acidity, it doesn’t work.”
2. The narrow flute
“The narrow Champagne flute originally came about through the hospitality industry because they wanted a glass where, when they were pre-pouring for receptions, they could keep the fizz in the glass,” Knight said.
“Also if you’ve got a tray, you can fit many more narrow glasses, so that sort of developed and had a mind of its own over the last 40-50 years.”
However, while the glass does keep the bubbles in, it also traps in the aromas, meaning you’ll miss out on the Champagne’s scents and flavours.
…And this is the best one:
“The glass we’ve developed [has a] wider middle and narrow top,” Knight said.
“The reason for that is it allows you to get more of the aromas of Champagne coming through, but then the narrower top controls the Champagne being acidic.”
And it’s not just Riedel that follows this logic.
“We make own-label glasses for all of the Champagne houses, and the demand is for that style – large in the middle, narrow at the top,” Knight said.
Make sure to use a different glass for Rosé Champagne
“There’s a different glass for Rosé Champagne – the predominant grape is Pinot Noir, so you use the Pinot Noir glass,” Knight said. “It brings out the fruit and aromas of the Champagne.”
Here’s what the Veritas New World Pinot Noir glass looks like:
“The winemaker for Dom Perignon will only serve Dom Rosé in this shape,” Knight said.
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