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alternative to champagne flutes?

is there another glass out of which i can serve champagne?

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  1. You can. But it doesn't serve champagne to its best advantage.
    An alternative is a coupe, a shallow, broad-bowled, stemed glass that was fairly commonly used in days past but the bubbles dissipate too quickly in those.
    A good flute should also be crystal rather than glass. Crystal has minute imperfections in the surface which cause more bubbles to rise while glass is smooth.
    In a pinch, use what you have, but start saving up to purchase the proper flutes if you plan on serving champagne regularly.

    1. You can serve it in a tin mug, if you really want to...but as the most important points are to keep it cool, keep it visible, and limit exposure to air, then any tallish, narrow glass would do OK. We have a collection of 6 oz. glasses that originally held mole paste, all clear with heavy bottoms, with several different kinds of patterning in the glass (plain, fluted, diamond) - if we suddenly found ourselves without flutes, I'd choose to use these. We also have a backup supply of plastic flutes, which come in packages with stacked cup portions and separate bases which snap onto the stem ends. But whatever you do, please avoid those shallow saucer-shaped stem glasses - if you have to, just use plain white-wine glasses instead.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        thanks. just curious: why avoid the "shallow saucer-shaped" glasses?

        1. re: wowimadog

          Because the surface area of the part exposed to air is much larger, and so the bubbles vanish that much quicker.

          1. re: frenetica

            Right. That's the *worst* conceivable glass to serve sparkling wine in.

            1. re: Karl S

              Then why do you see it so often? When at weddings, that's what they always hand out the "champagne toast" on. . .and I have a set of four gorgeous ones, red, blue, green and yellow, and I hate not to have a use for them. (Though I have NO use for flat champagne. . .) Would they be OK as regular white wine glasses?

              1. re: Covert Ops

                They were very popular in the Victorian Era in Britain. Reputedly because old Vicky didn't like assertive bubbles and wanted them to disapate!

                1. re: Covert Ops

                  It, like so much else at weddings, is the pure tradition of it. Coupes are a nearly perfect vessel for frozen drinks such as margaritas.

                  1. re: Covert Ops

                    The coupe is very similar to a cocktail or martini glass. Use it for martinis, manhattens, gimlets, etc.

                  2. re: Karl S

                    I know this is an old post, but you're absolutely mistaken about this. The coupe is the best glass to drink champagne out of. Such an aromatic wine deserves to be inhaled; flutes are extremely awkward in this respect - as well as out-dated and stuff. Plus who's taking so long to drink their champagne that it goes flat anyway. Sheer ridiculousness!

                    1. re: katrosa731

                      I find the flute does a much better job of concentrating the delectable aroma, and of keeping it around longer. As for "who takes so long", we do not toss down wine of any kind. When champagne is served in our family it's usually a festive occasion with much besides drinking going on - Christmas morning, for instance - and we expect the wine to be replenished at decent intervals, not every two minutes. It is the coupe, not the flute, that is outdated. And stuff.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        They're both outdated. A few years ago I had a Champagne owner/winemaker in my house for a tasting and I asked her what sort of glass she prefers, and she said a white wine glass - as do I.

                        Flutes are designed to conserve bubbles. I expect a lot more from an expensive bottle of Champagne than just bubbles - I want to appreciate the bouquet as well, and a small bowl has the same problem in that regard as it does with any other kind of wine.

                        Not sure what a coupe is for, other than to encourage you to slosh bubbly onto the floor. It captures neither the bubbles nor the bouquet. I haven't even seen a coupe in at least 10 years.

                      2. re: katrosa731

                        Welcome to Chowhound, katrosa. I realize this is your first post.
                        That being said...


                        Though coupes may be your preference, the science doesn't back up what you say. Here's a smattering of sparkling physics:

                        -- Coupes have dead zones on the outer perimeter of the glass, and bubbles don't reach the top of the liquid *before* bursting. So, fewer bubbles, fewer aromatics, and less flavor overall in Champagne/sparkling wine drunk from a coupe.
                        -- Part of the reason for this is the larger diameter of the coupe and its shallower depth compared to a flute.
                        -- The narrow shape of the flute focuses the aromas. Not so with the coupe.
                        -- Better formation of the bubble "chain" in the flute, because of engraved nucleation sites.
                        -- Coupes spill wine more easily than the flute.

                        Read the science, katrosa, if you're interested. Now that more is known about bubble formation, aromas and nucleation sites, new glasses will be designed that best showcase champagne's bubbles, aromas and flavors.

                        In fact, there's a great article this month on the physics of champagne, which includes scientific analyses of bubble formation and dissipation, bubble chains, fluid vortices, and how the shape of the glass makes a difference in the sensory enjoyment of champagne. Lots of great illustrations of both the flute and the coupe, and very clear descriptions.

                        It's in the July/August 2009 of American Scientist:

                        Happy drinking and posting.

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          Though an archaic dinosaur, I will give the flute the big nod (traditionalist), and then either a Chardonnay stem, or actually a Sauternes' stem. Still, I've done too many Champagne (and sparkler) tastings in different stemware to buy into the coupe. Not sure how Hollywood glomed onto that design, but it worked through the 30's and 40's, but only for the masses. Awkward, and ill-suited for the job, these glasses are suited for flat pink sparklers an nothing more - IMHO. I happen to have a few dozen, but they are for desserts only and not for Champagne.

                          Sorry, but I am with ML on this one, though my choices and preferences are based more on my personal tastings, than on her pure science. This is not meant to diminish science, as that often explains what one experiences. It gives us the "why."


              2. If you have a set of vintage crystal, perhaps from your mother or grandmother, it may include the coupe glasses which were used for champagne in the 40s or so when it really wasn't that common in America.
                Convert those to dessert dishes or for some kind of appetizers.
                Get some good flutes for champagne. They don't have to be terribly expensive and can often be found at tag sales or thrift shops.

                1. I personally try to stay away of standard flutes, very inconvenient to serve champgne wines.
                  The best, as far as I'm concerned, is white wine stems, of the type usually associated with Loire wines.
                  If it has to be a flute, then I use the ones with a "belly" shape around mid way from the bottom, very convenient to absorb froth while pouring. Best example I know of this type, the one in Baccarat's "Oenology" series.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: RicRios

                    I second the rec for using white wine glasses. That's what it is, after all (well, aside from rose' champagne and you could argue about blanc de noirs).

                  2. I've been very happy with these from the Riedel Vinum series - about $110 for 6 - got two "sets" from different family members for Christmas one year - less than $20 a stem.


                    I started off with ones from the Sommelier series - wedding gift - but they were incredibly delicate and all but one broke - either in washing (and I was careful) or guests gesticulating too actively while holding a glass.

                    But I'll drink champagne out of any glass if that's all there is!

                    1. If you don't have flutes, just use whatever you'd serve any other white wine in.

                      The coupe "Champagne" glasses are an old tradition but one best abandoned.

                      1. "RicRios" above nailed it. The reason narrow flutes aren't ideal is that it doesn't allow the wine to show off it's bouquet (commonly referred to as the nose). The better the champagne the more important that is. In the Champagne area of France you'll see most of the "houses" use a "belly" type (wider) flute.

                        In the same vein, the reason the old style "coupe" glasses don't work well is that there is too much surface area... therefore, the bouquet gets lost.

                        Proper glassware is quite important for the maximum enjoyment of fine wines. Too often this is something restaurants don't take very seriously in an effort to cut costs. Sad.

                        1. Wine Travel and others are right about finding the perfect slightly wider flutes for high quality champagnes and sparkling wines but we shouldn't discourage people from having serviceable flutes for occasional use.
                          Many people buy inexpensive sparkling wines for fun celebrations, brunches or picnics and flutes add to the magic. The nose and bouquet and all that aren't always big factors, especially if they're adding fruit or other things - just the ambiance sometime.

                          Bed, Bath and Beyond has ordinary glass flutes on sale currently for $9.99 for 12 and the circular has a 20% off coupon. That's about 67 cents per glass - almost as cheap as plastic. No, they aren't wonderful but they'll do just fine. They're comparable to those used by many caterers.

                          1. Still a flute, but a little different, are these Finnish crystal glasses from Iittala. These are what I use, and I love them:
                            (I also have the beer and cordial glasses).

                            Also, while searching for a picture of those above, I came across these that look pretty cool:

                            1. For god's sake! Use the Marie Antionette glass just because it's beautiful, historically interesting, classic, different. It gives you a slightly naughty story to tell before the New Year toast. Drink your Champagne quickly, all the better if you buy the good stuff. It's delicious. I have been using a coupe glass for years. A lovely set from the 40's. I think you are going to find that despite the good sense and advise of sommeliers all over; we the coupe drinkers are coming back into style.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: starflowers

                                If you're going to spend the money on the good stuff, why on Earth would you want to drink it quickly? So it doesn't go flat? Savor your wine and forget about the silly coupes.

                              2. Methinks too many people forget that Champagne is wine. A coupe is too flat and flute is too narrow and there are a whole bunch of other silly shapes. The best way to really taste and appreciate Champagne is in a normal wine glass. The typical Bordeaux / Sauvignon Blanc shape is probably best.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jock

                                  That is my #2 design, along with the Riedel Sommelier Sauternes stem. Do not recall why I put those into the mix, but they were 50-50 with the group's choice, tied with the Riedel Vinum Champagne flute. The SB Vinum was a distant 3rd, in two tastings.


                                  Happy Bastiille Day. BTW, which stem will you be serving?

                                2. Just adding to the repertoire of relatively inexpensive champagne glasses....
                                  4 Riedel Vivant Flutes: 4 @ $39.99 per set....at Target of all places!

                                  We have 10 Waterford cut crystal flutes of various designs which I love to use....especially since none match. However, I can see the logic of using the white wine glasses. Makes such sense.

                                  1. the best I have found are some antique mouthblown Venitian twisted wider footed flutes that close very slightly at the lip. the only problem is that we only have 2, so everyone else has to drink out of the riedels

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chazzerking

                                      "we only have 2, so everyone else has to drink out of the riedels." Nah, that is what the styrofoam cups are for! [Grin]


                                    2. there are two kinds of wine drinkers out there. the ones who do things they way they're supposed to be done, and the wine drinkers with imagination. sure there are rules, but in defense of the coupe there are some things that just cant touch it. like building a chmpagne tower, or being one ofthe most glamourous glasses ever. the bubbles may not show up, but the carbonation is always there. the whole going flat thing simply isnt true. white wine glasses are they best thing to drink bubbles from if you need the aroma, but when the waiter pulls the bottle out from the bucket you aint gonna smell shit cos the wine's too cold. the coupe is all about a certain look, a way of being- decadent. if you're savoring a bottle of krug '90 then it means that you don't drink good stuff all the time or probably cant afford it. champagne, contrary to popular belief is the one drink that has so many different approaches to its consumption that are all equally correct. there is no proper way to drink and the coupe was adopted as a freewheeling expression of the wilder more glamorous bacchanalian side of champagne. i just wanna party sometimes when i drink the stuff and not show off how much of a "connosieur" i am

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: aglioeolio

                                        Welcome to Chowhound. Lots of fun and good discussion here.

                                        Sorry, you're misinformed about the coupe -- it kills both bubbles and flavor.
                                        Read up on the science (above) so you know the facts.

                                        But if the coupe is more fun for you, more wild, more bacchanalian -- even though
                                        the champagne you drink in it has less flavor and fewer bubbles -- use it. Even
                                        though I know quite a few bubbly drinkers who use flutes who could give you
                                        a good run for your money on the wild, bacchanalian, imaginative thing.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          Relax, maria.
                                          Next month in Perugia.
                                          Any suggestions?

                                          1. re: RicRios

                                            I'm quite relaxed after drinking a good amount of '96 bubbly out of a Bordeaux glass!

                                            Will think about Perugia. Write me off-board and remind me.

                                      2. Since it doesn't seem to be mentioned anywhere else in the thread: if I have more people than flutes, my second choice is arab/turkish tea glasses.

                                        1. No. I'm not usually too picky about glassware, but if you are not serving out of flutes or narrow-diameter glasses, then serve something else.

                                          1. I prefer the coupe. It's a matter of personal preference, of course. I don't like the excessive level of carbon dioxide concentrated in the top of a flute because it tends to irritate my nose. I don't doubt that glass-shape does have an effect on how long the bubbles will last, but using a coupe, I will tend to drink the champagne, cava, prosecco, or sparkling wine much more quickly simply because I find the act of drinking from a coupe much more enjoyable. I would use a white wine glass too, but I usually steer clear of flutes when possible because of the stinging-nose sensation I get from them.

                                            I also prefer the coupe as a cocktail glass, it's great for serving a martini, manhattan, etc. I find the argument that the coupe is easier to spill from a silly one, most of us are adults here and we don't need to carry our drinks around in sippy-cups, but it does have a slight advantage over the martini glass in this respect.

                                            16 Replies
                                            1. re: NO SLICE

                                              You are one of the few, out of the folk with whom I have discussed this, but OTOH, wine, whether bubbles, or still, is about personal enjoyment, and you make strong points on your enjoyment. Not my choice, but well stated.

                                              When you stop over, I think that I do have a set of coupe stemware, but have used them for desserts. I will polish them up, for your satisfaction.

                                              Again, well-stated, and I certainly honor your choice,


                                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                Ditto. If for the stinging-nose thing alone.

                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                  I can't be sure if this is reliable, but according to this blog, Dom Perignon (the company) no longer serves champagne in flutes and Maximillian Riedel (of the glassware company) has come out against flutes as well.


                                                  Don't forget that the coupe exists for a reason. The people that created it could have created a drinking vessel of nearly any shape from which to enjoy champagne, but they chose the coupe. The Marie Antoinette story is surely apocryphal. And who knows? The coupe could have been the mad caprice of a diseased mind, or it could have been chosen out of a rational desire to enhance certain aspects of the enjoyment of champagne, I don't claim to know.

                                                  I took a look at that article from American Scientist, and I am wondering exactly how much carbonation is being retained by the shape of the flute. Apparently, the glass makers etch the bottom of the flute to provide nucleation sites for the formation of CO2 bubbles. This would tend to increase the loss of CO2 because once the bubbles hit the surface of the liquid, the CO2 is gone from the champagne. Granted, the total number of CO2 molecules per second diffusing across the surface of the liquid would be higher with the coupe (because it has a larger surface area), but diffusion is a different phenomenon entirely from bubble formation.

                                                  The "dead zone" referred to in the article is interesting but the etched coupe still produces a little cloud containing a higher concentration of aromatics and CO2 directly above the glass, but this little cloud diffuses every which way instead of being trapped within the flute. It should still be possible to experience the aromatic molecules from the champagne in the coupe, albeit at a lower concentration. In this respect, the white wine glass is probably a good compromise.

                                                  An interesting fact concerning the loss of CO2 from beverages is that it cools them! This is not so relevant to this discussion, but it is interesting nonetheless. This is due to a thermodynamic phenomenon called "enthalpy (or heat) of solution." This is one reason why when you open a can of soda at room temperature, it becomes a bit cooler, and when you mix strong acids and bases together, the mixture becomes warm.

                                                  1. re: NO SLICE

                                                    I'm not sure the flute is ideal for bubbly either. It's better than the coupe (at least for me). Bubbly looks much more attractive in the flute -- with the beautiful tiny line of bubbles ascending -- than it does in a white wine glass (which is also fine).

                                                    The nucleation sites don't form bubbles -- they just give the bubbles a place to start forming. The Riedel Vitus Champagne glass looks very much like a flute, but wide in the middle of the glass and then narrowing at the lip. I'll continue to follow the science.

                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                      All it says is that the bubbles don't burst *in the dead zone*. They burst somewhere on the surface of the liquid, in the area circumscribed by the dead zone. The text I'm referring to is in the caption for Figure 7 on page 300. Figure 7 shows the bubbles on the surface migrating outwards in the direction of the dead zone (isotropic radial migration) but bursting before they arrive there.

                                                      1. re: NO SLICE

                                                        The article said only half the diameter of the top of the glass -- the inner circle -- will have bubbles. The entire outer ring of the glass will not. This is the dead zone, an area of “no motion and bubbles do not reach this area before bursting.” Additionally, below the surface of the liquid, extending down and all around the sides of the glass, is an area of minimal motion and bubbles, the pseudo-dead zone. I take this to mean that much of the dissolved CO2 in the wine never has a chance to form a bubble and thus deliver flavor. Fewer bubbles = less aroma = less flavor.

                                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                                          Right, there are fewer volatile aroma molecules per unit area released above the surface of the champagne coupe as compared to the flute, at least when t comes to aroma molecules that are released by the phenomenon of bursting bubbles (as opposed to diffusion). I'm just not convinced that it's really significant because there is no actual measurement of the total quantity of aromatics released from the champagne per second or measurements of the perceptions of the taster. What if the quantity per second of aromatics released from champagne in the coupe (because of the greater total surface area) is equal to or higher than the quantity per second released from champagne in the flute? What if the taster's perception is similar or simply qualitatively different using the coupe, rather than better or worse? Both questions would require new experiments to be answered, and these questions are far more important than the ones addressed in the American Scientist article, which mostly addresses the currents that form within the glass of champagne.

                                                          I still like the coupe but I'm convinced by now that a tulip glass or other white wine glass is probably ideal for appreciating the aroma of champagne.

                                                          1. re: NO SLICE

                                                            The bubble-flavor deficit is not just on the surface, but *in the entire volume of liquid* in the coupe glass. In a large percentage of all the liquid in the glass, bubbles never form or form at an extremely low rate compared to the flute. Fewer bubbles = less aroma = less flavor

                                                            As to your other complicated questions that ask for actual numbers of flavor molecules in the coupe vs. the flute so that you may be convinced, there is much you can read on the physics of Champagne bubbles. Liger-Belair, Harold McGee, a Scientific American article a few years ago that I recall, and more.

                                                            Quantification may not be necessary, though. Many a food and wine aficionado or professional have compared the flavor of the same Champagne tasted in a variety of glasses, and the wine was markedly less flavorful in the coupe.

                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                              Daniel Zwerdling's 2004 Gourmet article "Shattered Myths" reported on a couple of Riedel-financed studies that found the size and shape of the glass has little effect on how the wine tastes:


                                                              Though from personal experience I beleive that flutes can focus the spray from very fizzy wine to an unpleasant degree. I like flutes because they feel celebratory, but for tasting I prefer a normal wine glass.

                                                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                Well it looks like we have come to an impasse. My conclusion is that both the flute and the coupe are acceptable for 'enjoyment' of champagne. Based on what I have read elsewhere however, the general consensus among experts is that a traditional wine glass shape is superior for true 'appreciation' of the aromas that sparkling wines have to offer.

                                                                I disagree with your interpretation of the American Scientist article. I maintain that bubbles should only affect aroma once they have burst at the boundary of the liquid (either in the glass or in the mouth). I won't attempt to convince you of this because a forum like this doesn't provide the quick back-and-forth necessary for that kind of discussion. We could go on like this for days and that wouldn't be productive.

                                                                I'd just encourage anyone else who is interested to read the American Scientist article and other sources and come to your own conclusions.

                                                                I found the original scientific article that the American Scientist article is based on here:
                                                                This article can't be downloaded without logging in. I'll get a copy by logging in through my university library.

                                                                It's been a pleasure debating this with you, have a happy 4th of July!

                                                                1. re: NO SLICE

                                                                  Good find. Thanks for the link.

                                                                  My understanding (which admittedly is limited, but I have read a good deal about this over the years and am happy to learn more): lots of dissolved CO2 in bubbly is the precursor to bubble formation. Flavor molecules (esters, acids) hitch a ride on the surface of the bubbles.

                                                                  Bubbles can be formed in the glass, or better, in the mouth. The American Scientist article says as much: "Poor nucleation will produce fewer bubbles in the glass, but more bubbles and aromas in the taster's nose and mouth."

                                                                  But If dissolved CO2 is lost before it can ever form bubbles, that means a loss of flavor. The abstract of the LIger-Belair article you linked to confirms the loss of dissolved CO2 in the coupe.

                                                                  The flute is not a perfect vessel for bubbly, either. Its nucleation sites cause the CO2 to aggregate and form bubbles in an attractive design, but that means that fewer bubbles are formed in the taster's mouth. Dust or towel fibers also help form bubbles. So it's better to have a non-etched (non-nucleated) glass and an extremely clean one.

                                                                  What I like is a tulip-shaped glass, which does double-duty as a Sauternes glass in my household. This is a bit wider than the flute, non-etched, quite similar to the Riedel Vinum glass for bubbly and what I've read some of major French houses are using. Mine are tall, about 10" or so. They work well.

                                                                  I agree that the bubbles in a flute can be a bit prickly on the nose. Not so with the tulip.

                                                                  Happy 4th to you as well!

                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                    In photos, Riedel bubbly glass on left, my tulip glasses on right.

                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                      From the abstract:"The progressive loss of dissolved CO2 concentration with time was found to be significantly higher in the coupe than in the flute, which finally constitutes the first analytical proof that the flute prolongs the drink’s chill and helps it to retain its effervescence in contrast with the coupe."

                                                                      I'm intrepreting "dissolved CO2" as pre-bubble CO2 (lost by "invisible diffusion"), and CO2 "outgassing" as bubbles collapsing.

                                                                    2. re: maria lorraine

                                                                      In very general terms, I greatly appreciate a yeasty, "bready" Champagne, and any glass that focuses that flavor/aroma profile best, will suit me.

                                                                      Now, I do have a set of the Sommelier Sauternes glasses, but have not tried those - hey, good reason to do bubbles this weekend! Party On!

                                                                      Thanks for the tip,


                                                                    3. re: NO SLICE

                                                                      Personally, I feel that it is up to the recipient, to choose the stemware, which will give them the greatest enjoyment. Now, if there is no choice, they are a bit on their own.

                                                                      I have had many different levels of bubbles in all sorts of stemware. This has been Riedel Sommelier flutes and also their Chardonnay stems, to coupes (not really recently) to my Vinum flutes.

                                                                      Personally, I enjoy flutes better, but that is just me. If Robert likes a larger bowl wine glass, and you a coupe, then I cannot argue - it is your individual tastes. Should you each be my guest, and I am serving bubbles, just ask, i will accommodate each, to the best of my abilities.

                                                                      It gets down to person A loves lighter, spicier Zins, and person B loves big, bold, fruit-bomb Zins. Is one wrong? No, each is an individual, and if they are my guests, I will have some of each to drink.



                                                  2. I am reviving this thread because after searching this post and subsequent replies, I found at least one new glass style to buy, but I thought I would also check to see if people are drinking champagne in any other glasses this weekend.

                                                    After a bunch of holiday parties, I find I have glass washing fatigue. I have purchased additional Riedel gourmet glasses so that I could put those in the dishwasher and not have to handwash as much (I am currently staring at 18 Vinum zinfandel and champagne glasses that still need to be washed).

                                                    I really like the Riedel Vinum gourmet glass and the Ouverture red magnum glass because they are good to drink wine out of, and survive the dishwasher nicely. For champagne, I have tried some small white wine tasting glasses, but I would like something with a more elegant, elongated bowl and a shorter stem.

                                                    Reading through this thread, I am attracted to the Iittala Aarne 6-Ounce Champagne Glass, http://www.momastore.org/museum/moma/...,
                                                    but wonder if folks have any other suggestions.

                                                    I like champagne and other sparkling wines to stay cold while sipping, so I would would actually like a 4-5 ounce glass and refill it more often, rather than the 6+ to 9 ounce Vinum champagne glasses I currently have.

                                                    Another style I've seen on the web but not in person is the Riedel Tyrol champagne glass, but the proportions don't feel quite right to me-- too short a stem and too big a bowl.

                                                    Suggestions? Thank you in advance, -sou

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: souvenir

                                                      Love the ittalas. Have owned and broken many.

                                                      1. re: maria lorraine

                                                        Thanks. I was wondering about how easily they might be broken.

                                                        1. re: souvenir

                                                          My ittala glasses were broken because of human error -- the same way other wine glasses get broken. The ittalas don't break more easily (probably less, actually) -- I just hate to lose one, that's all. They're still my favorite for bubbles.

                                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                                            Ah. Thanks for the clarification. From my web searches, I really like the way they look. I'll probably get a few and see how they work out.

                                                            My SO kindly washed those remaining 18 glasses and indeed there was one human error casualty. Happily it was a broken stem, rather than bowl, and it is now going to be a customized quirky stem zinfandel glass.

                                                            1. re: maria lorraine

                                                              If you like that glass, take a look at the 'brunch glass' in current Gump's listings. Bought mine without the pitcher as 'Italian sparkling wine glasses' eons ago and they are still wonderful and perfect.

                                                      2. My favorite Champagne maker, Regis Camus of Charles Heidsieck and Piper Heidsieck actually prefers to serve his wines in white wine glasses!

                                                        Although he acknowledges the bubbles dissipate faster in the larger bowl, he asserts the beautiful nose comes through much louder and clearer with the wider rim, thereby providing even more enjoyment.

                                                        Since trying it with him, we really enjoy especially vintage Champagnes in the white wine glasses.

                                                        and in any case, I really prefer tulips to flutes. The bowed sides seem somehow to enhance the flavor, while not messing with the bubbles. ;)

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                          Several folk espouse the same choice of glasses. Usually, the comments are along the line of "hey, it's just wine."

                                                          I've sampled Champagne in several different stems, and actually prefer the Riedel flutes, but that is just me, and I am not a Champagne producer. What I do not like is the coupe, but again, just me.


                                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                                            Salon/Delamotte also prefer white wine glasses when they do tastings for the public here in the US.

                                                          2. Thank you (I think), recent posters, for exhuming this informative--if somewhat silly-- 4-year-old thread.

                                                            Will we enjoy our little stars as we ring in 2011, or will we worry--and judge--whether our glasses are the wrong, "unscientific" shape? Will we miss the kiss looking for engraved nucleation? Will the Bubble Ester Fans stand on one side sipping through straws, staring daggers at those whose noses can span an unspilled coupe to avoid the dreaded "dead zone"? Must we despair anew that there is no one, NO ONE! who will decide what shape glass is right?

                                                            Happy New Year. I hope we all enjoy Champagne for the gift it is.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: kaleokahu

                                                              we will give up on the glass issue at midnight -and drink straight from the bottle.... ;)

                                                                1. re: sedimental

                                                                  When I try that, the bubbles shoot out my nose. Must be something in the wrist, that I have not mastered yet...


                                                              1. A white wine glass works perfectly, even better for flavor delivery than a Champagne flute.

                                                                Nucleation sites create a beautiful bead of bubbles but consequently cause the wine to lose a bit of flavor. Happy New Year!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                  Well, if you want to watch some of them rather than taste more of them, you can etch your regular stem/coupe/jelly jar with this: http://www.etchworld.com/ecom-catshow... and a Q-tip. Anyone want to venture into the "dead zone"?

                                                                  I've used this to etch some of my large-format glass (I'm sorry, I forgot we're not allowed to discuss winemaking here--my bad!).

                                                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                    Did a tasting or Bollinger RD's some years ago, with a rep. of the house. He poured into Riedel Sommelier flutes for the tasting, and never apologized?


                                                                  2. And sometimes it is just about the "art" of it all!!!
                                                                    I opened this lovely 1975 Cristal last night and enjoyed it from shockingly heavy baccarat crystal champagne flutes. The flutes were taller than the bottle. All in fun, we drank it with pizza. You can't take everything too seriously, life is too short!

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: sedimental

                                                                      Just a general note: on occassion, the quest for "perfection" can cause the enjoyment of the experience to be lost...........................

                                                                      1. re: TonyO

                                                                        I love this thread! I purchased a set of Lennox China from the 30's and the matching stemware 3 years ago. The crystal is equisitely beautiful and musical. Also very high on lead count. Stems are so dainty that I broke three just putting them up in my hutch. This New Years I brought the coupes out for a toast . It was my first time using them and while they do make an impression, they also make a mess. It was the equivalent of drinking milk from a saucer. Mine are retired to dessert duty now. I'll stick to white wine glasses

                                                                        1. re: budnball

                                                                          For me, the coupes send too many bubbles up my nose, like the above "drinking from the bottle," Again, that is just me.

                                                                          If one enjoys a Champagne from a jelly jar, so be it. The enjoyment needs to take the spotlight, and all else is window dressing.


                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            I drank cava from coupe at L20 in Chicago this fall. It was the first sparkler I've ever had not in a flute, unless you count toast glasses of Korbel at a couple of weddings. I thought it was really enjoyable and really added to the festivity of the meal. Of course, just the novelty of it was most of the fun. The glasses were gorgeous...i understand they were special-made by Riedle for the restraurant.

                                                                            I think we got lucky. 2 months later L20 got one of only 2 Michelin 3-star ratings...and shortly after that, Laurant Gras announced he was taking a break from the restaurant.

                                                                    2. We have five (originally six) flutes; so I often end up using a generic Pottery Barn non-lead crystal-lie white wine. I generally like it better. But I have had some expensive but still yucky Champagne from the "right" glass and it was still yucky. Best Champagne experience (so far) was in 1976. Marty's in Dallas shared some Krug '66 for $17.76 per bottle. I had just passed the bar and my folks were down from Annapolis to visit. We killed 3 bottles in 49 cent thick glass short stemmed Italian everyday wine glasses. A close second was a Billecart rose in juice glasses. Imagine how good they both would have been in the "right" glass.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. Enjoying wine is mostly about the nose and then about the palate. Flutes are all about retaining the bubbles in sparkling wine. I enjoy sparkling wine in anyting but flutes. In wider glasses I find you get to appreciate more of the character of the wine. To be honest, wine does not last long enough in my glass for me to worry about the bubbles!