What’s the Right Glass for Champagne?

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’.

  7 comments for “What’s the Right Glass for Champagne?

  1. October 11, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Rick, this is an intriguing post and I see the logic. The next sparkler I open, I’m going to try a Pinot Noir glass!

    • October 11, 2012 at 7:35 PM

      Let me know how it turns out.

  2. October 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    Very good points. Interesting. And the Pinot glasses also hold so much more. ;:>) Thanks.

  3. Sam
    October 22, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    Interesting. Unfortunately I long ago broke all my Pinot Noir glasses and have resisted buying any more. Given my small kitchen, two shelves of stemware is the most I can handle.

    So, given the choice between 20+ ounce Cabernet glasses and a nice Champagne flute, which do you prefer?

    • October 23, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      try it out and see which one you like better. I’d probably guess the bigger glass that has more surface area.

  4. Chris
    November 7, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Very intriguing since I love my bubbly! I’ll give it a try.

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