champagne flute

A Champagne in Any Other Glass…

A Champagne in Any Other Glass…

Post by Chuck Hayward | December 7th, 2011

JJ Buckley’s 2011 Champagne Report is out! The new edition expands on last year’s report with new articles, more wine reviews and overviews of additional domaines.

 To download a pdf file click here. The post below is an article from the report about a controversial new trend in drinking champagne.

Champagne has long been on the receiving end of rules—ones about how it is made, how it is labeled, and how it should be drunk. Over the years, we have come to accept those regulations and perhaps even find it comforting that they don’t fluctuate often. But today, champagne is witnessing revisions to concepts that were before considered sacrosanct, and they have nothing to do with grapes or labels. The change has to do with glass vessels.

Chuck pondering glassware, champagne in hand

If there is one rule that has been generally accepted across the board, it is that sparkling wine is best served in a flute, preferably scored at the base to promote effervescence then rinsed with water and dried with a towel. Along that same line of thinking is that the coupe, also referred to as the Marie Antoinette glass, fails to preserve bubbles since the broader surface allows what is in the glass to go flat more quickly. Recently, though, many in the industry are rethinking this.

Most significantly, a slow movement is afoot to replace the traditional flute with a classic wine glass. A number of winemakers and writers claim that in order to maximize the wine’s flavors and enhance aromas, pouring champagne in a burgundy styled glass is preferable to a flute. At the least, they claim, a wider and broader shape to the bowl of the flute is the minimum recommendation.