which champagne glass to buy?
I'd like to buy a nice set of champagne glasses as an engagement present for a friend. The couple are beginning to develop their palate for wine and have started stocking up on Riedel glasses. Should I purchase Riedel flutes, or is it ok to buy something from Waterford, Lenox, Mikasa, etc? I wasn't sure if nice champagne glasses have similar requirements as nice wine glasses (ie, the material used, no etchings in the glass, etc)
Thanks for any insight.
For years I collected champagne glasses in pairs from a wide variety of styles, an eclectic but fun collection which included marie antoinette style glasses, flutes, tulips and solid glass cylinders with hollow designs down the length.
I guess I'm saying "do what 'cha like".
My favorites include more than a dozen Romanian crystal tulips that I got in 1989 from a discontinued crystal line.
We've got Riedels and Spiegelaus for champagne. The Riedels are the normal tube shaped ones, and the Spiegelaus is a model called the "Adina". You can find it on Spiegelau's website.
We've found for us that the Spiegelau glasses are much more elegant and convey the tastes and smells of champagne better. They are also a little bit taller.
I've included a photo. Spiegelau Adina to the left, Riedel to the right.
PS: Although we've got an extensive collection of Riedels, I like Spiegelaus and Schotts better because they're more practical.
I love champagne. I really like the Riedel champagne glasses. I have three different sets - the Sommeliers Vintage Champagne glasses - which are great for the best champagnes (even if not very old). The shape of the glass impacts where it lands on your tongue, and this makes a world of difference. I forget the model number, but I bought them at www.WineGlassGuys.com, like the other poster in this thread. I also have the Riedel Sommeliers Sparkling Wine (model 4400/88) which are not the classic shape, but look much more festive. They don't do as much for the taste, but sure do look great. I also bought a whole bunch of Riedel "Wine Series" champagne glasses. These are similar to the Sommeliers in shape (ie: traditional), but not as refined as the fancy ones. We use these when we have people who we know to be clumsy coming over, or larger groups. These are very durable, and one or two have even survived drops (miracle).
Mmmm... After talking about this, now I want to go open a bottle! Too bad it's 11am!
What a great gift! I collect Champagne glasses, and really love when someone finds a couple of antique and unique ones in a collectibles store.
That said, I also have Spiegelau tulips (called "vintage Champagne" glasses) when I want to serve from matching glasses. Spiegelau is owned by Riedel now, and their quality is similar, but the prices seem to be lower.
In answer to your question: < I wasn't sure if nice champagne glasses have similar requirements as nice wine glasses (ie, the material used, no etchings in the glass, etc)
> yes, Champagne glasses should also be made of the same materials...
I used to collect Champagne glasses also. I don't anymore because I have enough to stock two houses! I don't care about them matching as mostly we drink it as an aperitif. We ARE serving a rose Ch. with dinner tonight (carbonara) and I set the table with similar shapes even though they don't exactly match. I think it's a lovely gift. What's more fun than bubbles???
I have both Champagne glasses, Baccarat Dom Perignon and the Lalique Ange. To me, the Baccarat wins hands down. The way it handles is so different. It sits in your hand like you are holding a precious gem. The flute is smaller, hence, the champagne does not warm up as quick, because less champagne fits into the glass, it is not as long in the glass. People also drink slower and enjoy it more.
We used to use Riedel, but after seeing the gorgeous champagne glasses they had at Chez Sophie in Saratoga Springs, NY, we had to ask about the manufacturer. They are Schott Zwiesel (the Fortissimo line) - and while you would never know to look at it (they are very tall, thin and elegant - the prettiest glasses we had ever seen) they are supposedly also break-resistant. A real concern for a restaurant, but also of interest to us, as we have a tendency to enjoy our champagne upstairs, downstairs, inside and out.
Not all Riedel collectors are purists... I have quite a collection of Riedel wine glasses myself, but appreciate something different for special occasions.
If you're looking to buy them a pair that they can add to over time for entertaining, then go for the Riedel.
If you want something just for them to use for celebration, buy a pair like the Baccarat Dom (I got those myself as an engagement gift) or the Tiffany Classic crystal (one of my favorites... and who doesn't like a blue box?... and for only $90 for the pair!). Both styles are wonderful quality, have a good, light touch and are free of any embellishment (very important); plus, it feels pretty special to take them out of their special box when you use them.
Also, might want to consider spending a bit less on flutes (Riedel Vinum) and purchasing an interesting bottle of champagne to go with them!
Get them Riedels (since they already own some) from a store that carries a good assortment of flutes (in case they want to exchange them). And promise not to freak out if they decide they want something other than what you chose. Just make sure it's a store that's not going anywhere, in case they break one down the line and need an identital replacement.
"is it ok to buy something from Waterford, Lenox, Mikasa, etc"
Why wouldn't it be?
Regardless of what wine aficionados (and I am one) will say, most people are not wine aficionados and to them a cut or an etched flute will not interfere with their pleasure. Nor will (gasp) a contrasting color stem.
If your intended recipients already own exclusively Riedel wine stems, they've been suckered already and will want Riedel. If not, buy a good quality flute in whatever style you think they will most appreciate.
On review I read that your friends are already stocking up on Riedel. Riedel owers are often very chauvinistic about their stems. Go Riedel for them.
Too often we seek to impose our own sensibilities or prejudices on those to whom we are giving a gift. Really, there is nothing that demands that the giver should enjoy giving as much as the recipient enjoys receiving.
Use this link to see the most beautiful glass that Riedel makes IMHO.
It is the Sparkling Wine glass 4400/88 in the Sommeliers collection. .
I know that they aren't traditional flutes or tulip-shaped glasses, but they are designed for Cava and other sparkling wines which most people drink more often anyway. Besides, they are so stylish, sexy and rare!
That's a nice looking stem, at least of what I can see. I love it when vendors put a tiny little picture on their site with a link to enlarge it, and the enlarged picture is about 2% bigger than the original but has a huge frame around it. Anyway, it is unusual but also classy looking. Nice choice!
I feel champagne flutes should have the same characteristics of other wine glasses - clear, thin crystal with no markings. The nicest flutes I ever had the pleasure to use were the Dom Perignon model from Baccarat. Very simple and elegant, these were unquestionably very high quality. It was made so that it did not detract from what was poured into the glass.
It is your gift to them and the choice is yours to make. Brand really makes no difference and lovely champange flutes no matter who they are made by are a nice gift. If if were my choice I'd fo for Lalique Ange champanges. OMG are those things gorgeous!
I want to amend my suggestion. I love good champange and prefer a tulip shape to a flute and the Lalique Ange are certainly a tulip shaped. What I do not like is a flute that is hollow all of the way down to the foot. Your hands warm the stem and warm the wine. It looks really pretty to see the bubbles coming up from the foot but it is not functional.
Check out both the Bacccarat Dom Perignon or the Lalique Ange glasses on E-Bay, you may be able to save a bundle on some gorgeous glasses. I really would not turn either down.