You’ve cleaned the house, appetizers are out, and you have enough Champagne in the fridge to drown a small army. Your bubble-crazed guests will be spilling through the door at any moment and you are still trying to figure out which glassware to use.
With all the differing opinions and schools of thought out there, we’re here to ease your panic and lift your spirits. At fatcork, we think that the perfect glassware for drinking Champagne depends on two things: personal preference and occasion. Ultimately, shed the stress and just use what you have!
C’mon flute, baby flute
The fizz keeper. Stemmed flutes are always classic and tend to be one of the more popular choices. Although just as festive, the stemless flutes require guests to hold the glass in their hand, which we don’t recommend for a few reasons:
1) Brr it’s cold!
2) Your guests’ hot little hands will warm up the Champs in the glass (and no one wants to drink warm bubbles).
The flute is ideal for sustaining bubbles for longer because of the narrow shape of the glass and vertical sides. This glass is loaded with imperfections for the bubbles to form off, which perpetuates constant streams of fizz. When you pour Champagne into flutes, the glass shape also invites you to pour to the brim, which causes aromas to jump immediately off the top.
Flutes are jovial and celebratory. They take up the least amount of room on a cocktail tray or table and are great for the occasional toast. The only downside is that you can’t really get your schnozz all up in there for all those fragrant aromas. Always remember that the nose is half the flavor! So, if you are pouring a special vintage Champagne, or drinking for taste, it’s best to shelf the flutes for another soirée.
What flower has two lips?
Tulips. If you have a few of these lingering on your shelf, a bottle of Champagne might be the perfect opportunity to dust them off. This glass is recognized by its rounded bowl that sits atop a small, delicate stem. The glass tapers at the top to best capture the wine’s aromas. The U-shaped bowl is often called a tulip because of its resemblance to the flower.
With its tall, elongated shape and long stemware, this glass is perfect for celebrations big and small. The rim curves in first and then outward providing a foamy mousse and invitation for a deep whiff. This glass is much like the classic flute but is much better for expressing aromas inside the vessel itself.
Coupe, there it is.
Old fashioned and sophisticated. Before the flute arrived on the scene, the coupe was the ‘Queen’ of Champagne.
Who doesn’t love drinking out of a glass that was, as legend has it, created in honor of Marie Antoinette’s left breast?
It turns out not all legends are entirely true.
We’re not sure where the confusion began, but research shows it was not the coupe glass that was designed for madame Antoinette, but rather porcelain bowls for her drinking of milk.
The queen would often have what she called pleasure dairy, or “a gathering of the queen and her lady’s maids, where they would dress up as milkmaids and frolic, milking and churning butter all day in her rustically designed hamlet at Versailles.”
Don’t worry, we’re certain she also drank a ton of Champagne.
This delightful petit bowl or saucer-shaped glass was actually created in England in 1663, long before the reign of the young queen. This glass regained popularity during the prohibition era of the 1930s and again had a resurgence in the 1960s.
If you and your guests are to dress in three piece suits and flapper flair, or plan on ballgowns and petit fours, coupe glasses are a roaring good time. These glasses are short in stature and easy to hold without schloshing your precious bubbles everywhere. However, like flutes, we believe that this glass shape does make it hard to smell and taste your bubbles in the way that they truly deserve.
All purpose. Universal or sometimes called white wine glasses are the fatcork pick. Not only can you use them for any wine, but it’s the perfect medium between a flute and a Burgundy glass. This all purpose glass is like your favorite pair of jeans - it simply goes with everything! Not to mention, you can use it for a night where you are pouring more than just Champagne.
We love them so much that we use these glasses in our tasting room!
Aroma blaster. Enter, the Burgundy glass. Large bottomed and narrow topped, this glass is fatcork founder, Bryan’s, favorite vessel. What you lack in sustained effervescence, you are guaranteed to gain in complexity of aromas.
These big bellied bowls offer a terrific environment to cradle your bubbles and are best used when you are truly drinking to taste.
They allow for the most nuanced flavors and aromatics to be savored, while also giving you plenty of room to give your Champs a good swirl.
There are many opinions, but we always encourage you to aerate your Champagne. Your bubbles might dissipate faster but it will reveal tons of fragrance and will enhance the taste of the wine.
You probably had no idea there were so many options! Hopefully you have all the information you need to make the best choice for you, your guests, and your party. Just remember that any style you choose should suit you and your wine drinking habits. If it feels right, then it can’t be wrong!
And if you still don’t know what glass to choose or any fancy glasses, drink right from the bottle and pass it to the left.
Laissez les bonnes temps rouler!