On his way home from work the other night, my husband called me from the wine store. He wanted to know if I wanted a bottle of wine for dinner. Bless him. It had been one of those weeks that are just kind of blech: The weight of the world seems to be on your shoulders, it’s hard to be in a good mood…you feel me, right? I thought for a moment. I was making lemon spaghetti and I knew my favorite Chardonnay wouldn’t disappoint, however, I said something else completely, “You know what I want? A bottle of champagne.” I just knew a glass or two would make me feel so much better. It’s sort-of fancy, it’s out of the ordinary, it’s…well…sparkly. People don’t drink nearly enough bubbly wine. It’s still, I think, one of those wines that’s reserved for special occasions – and there’s nothing wrong with that – but it truly tastes so good all of the time. It’s easy to sip alone or pair with food (lovely with lemon spaghetti, by the way).
As the mister uncorked the bottle I went to grab a glass. Reaching for a champagne flute, I noticed my vintage coupes sitting there, looking lovely. Hmm…flute or coupe? I chose the flute (mostly because it holds more than my coupes) but I couldn’t help but wonder if one glass was really better than the other. I’d heard that champagne bubbles dissipate quicker in a coupe and that’s why they were all but replaced by flutes. And I know from experience that it’s easier to spill your champagne in a coupe (the horror!). But those coupes are so darn glamorous. Naturally, I googled my curiosity.
I found that Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator did a little experiment with champagne glasses to see where sparkling wine tasted best. He tasted the same amount of wine in three different glasses: an impitoyable glass, a champagne flute and a white wine glass. He wrote that champagne coupes did, indeed, flatten sparkling wine bubbles and are “too easy to slosh.”
Left to right: impitoyable glass (popular with professional wine tasters), a champagne flute, and a standard white wine glass
Just for fun – a champagne coupe
As Steiman explains, “I preferred the tasting glass [impitoyable], but the white wine glass was almost as good, the flute a close third.”
Surprised? I was. No fancy glassware needed for sparkling wine, folks, just use your standard white wine glasses. True, the wine might not seem as festive in your everyday glassware, but rest assured it tastes just about as good as it can. As for me, I’m not about to get rid of my coupes. My trick, you see, is to drink the wine quickly, before the bubbles have a chance to flatten. Ta-da!
Pick up a sparkling wine for your next special occasion or regular old Tuesday at Ponte Winery or here in our online store. We have sparkling Moscato and our very special red sparkling wine, Vernaccia Nera.
–What say you? Does the glass matter?