Champagne flutes are actually not the ideal stem to use for sparkling wine and Champagne*. They really exist for one of two reasons:
1. Keep the wine cold- Sparkling wine really needs to be chilled down to be properly enjoyed. Other white wines can be enjoyed closer to room temperature, but sparkling needs to be colder. Flutes help keep the wine colder longer from the surface to wine ratio.
2. Put on a Show- Many flutes have a little laser etching at the bottom that helps trap the bubbles. Ever notice how the bubbles seem to come from one particular spot on the bottom of the glass? Watching bubbles is fun and adds to the experience, but really doesn’t do much for the taste or texture of the wine.
At Chéz Bakas we serve sparkling wines in Pinot Noir glasses. We aren’t concerned with watching bubbles float up to the surface, we’re concerned with getting the best taste out of the wine. If you think about it, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are served in a Pinot Noir glass. And most sparkling wines are made with Chardonnay (Blancs de Blanc, Cuvée’s) or Pinot Noir (Blanc de Noir, Cuvée’s). So why not serve the sparkling version of these aromatic, delicate grapes in the same glass?
The colder temperature won’t hold as long because of the surface to wine ratio, but aside from that you’ll find the texture, smell and taste are as good as or better than in the flute.
* Remember: Champagne can only be called Champagne if it comes from that region in France. It can be made in other places in the same style but it can’t be called ‘Champagne’. Usually it’s another name like Cava, Franciacorta or ‘Sparkling Wine’.