Champagne flutes may be the iconic glassware for bubbly, but that doesn't make them the best. Designed to accentuate the bubbles in the glass and make them last longer, flutes definitely make Champagne look beautiful. The narrow shape, however, doesn't allow for the sparkling wine's aroma to open up, which means you might miss one of the most important aspects of your drink.
Wine needs to breathe, and smelling is a critical part of tasting. You can't stick your nose into a narrow flute as you would a regular wineglass.
"All too often, Champagne is put in these tiny, little vessels, and it's really hard to detect the flavor and aroma," David Speer of Ambonnay Champagne bar in Portland, Oregon, says.
Wine critic Antonio Galloni claims you won't find winemakers serving Champagne in flutes. "If you go to Cristal or Krug or Dom Pérignon," he says, a flute "is not used at all."
With that, we hereby give you permission to drink Champagne out of a regular wineglass. You are no longer beholden to the flutes you don't own.
So what's the best glass shape for your Champagne, then? If effervescence is most important to you, stick with the flute. It's indisputably festive, which is a big part of drinking bubbly after all.
If flavor is more important, and you don't care if the bubbles die out a little faster (a.k.a. you drink quickly), look for a tulip-shaped flute, which has a larger bulb in the middle that will let the wine aerate, and a narrow top, which helps concentrate the aromas. Or you can even use a regular red or white wineglass. Yep, a regular, old wineglass.
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