News from the Drinks Business has highlighted the fact that Champagne Houses are: “moving away from using traditional flutes for their fizz in favour of white wine glasses”, according to glassware manufacturer Georg Riedel.
“The Champenois are starting to serve their sparklers in white wine glasses as the larger surface areas give more aromas, complexity and a creamier texture.”
Flutes are too narrow and don’t allow the aroma and richness of the Champagne to shine as there isn’t enough air space.
Ideally, a flute should only be half full, or, better still, a third full in order to release a Champagne’s aromatic potential.
In response to demand, Riedel has started making bespoke glasses for several Champagne houses and has developed a new sparkling wine glass more akin to a white wine glass.”
Champagne glasses seem to have suffered from an identity crisis over the years. The Champagne coupe was popular in the 1830s when sweeter Champagnes were all the rage.
Legend has it that the shape of the Champagne coupe was modelled on the breast of Marie Antoinette but there are claims it was invented in England in 1663.
These wide and shallow glasses came back into the fashion in the 1960s and 70s but fell out of favour as the Champagne went lifeless in a few minutes as the fizz went flat.
The Drinks Business reported that Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger has stressed the need for Champagne to retain the flute to differentiate the sparkling product from still wine. He referred to a battle with 'marketers' who, he said, “want us to drink Champagne in a wine glass.”
A report in 2009 by Dr Gerard Liger-Belair of Reims University, France discovered that champagne bubbles are the key to its flavour and tulip glasses or white wine glasses with a narrower rim than the bowl are reckoned to the better than coupes and flutes as they trap the aroma and don't lose the bubbles as quickly.
There are approximately 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne and I intend to enjoy each and every one of them! What do you think Champagne should be served in?