Which type of champagne glass is right for you?

Here at The Fizz Company we’ve carried out quite a lot of research to bring this blog to you! Several bottles and glasses later…

which champagne glass is best

We know which champagne glass we think is best for the arduous task of sipping the world’s most famous sparkling wine, however each glass does have its own pros and cons.

In this article we’ll look at the champagne flute, the champagne coupe and the tulip glass to help you choose the champagne glass that’s perfect for you! But first… a little bit of biology!

The human nose can detect around 2,000 different scents whereas the tongue, although covered in 10,000 taste buds is only able to detect sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami. It’s actually the aromas travelling up your nasal passages when you take a sip that allow you to discern lots of different flavours, for example, apples from lemons and strawberries from blackcurrants!

Different glasses allow aromas to escape in different ways, so yes, shape does indeed matter!

The most famous glass for sipping champagne is the flute. Initially, there was no particular glass designed specifically for the purpose of drinking champagne; instead, glasses for beer and cider were used. They had simple, short stems and round, funnel-shaped bowls. There are examples of glasses from the mid 1700s which resemble the flutes we know today. Plain glass was replaced with glass mixed with lead which made the glass easier to manipulate.

Champagne Flute

Champagnes flutes are thought to have been used since the mid 1700s. They’re made of glass or crystal.

They are designed to trap the bubbles in the glass which is a big bonus if you like watching the bubbles rise in the glass while you sip!

Pros…They are good for marvelling at the sight of your champagne and for sipping simple champagnes and sparkling wines. They also make the champagne taste more bubbly and mask the simplicity of an everyday champagne.

Cons…They don’t allow the aromas to fully come to the top of the glass, so flutes are not great if you want to savour a special bottle of fizz. The shape of the glass doesn’t allow the flavours to really show themselves fully. Also, if the champagne is very bubbly and the flute very narrow it can force the carbon dioxide to concentrate at the top of the glass which can cause a painful tingling sensation in your nose if you take a sniff.

Using and cleaning a champagne flute

Some flutes can be quite tall and narrow – this can demand quite a lot of height on a shelf and use lots of storage space. They can be pretty unstable too depending on the size of the base and therefore they’re easier to knock over. They can also be tricky to clean right to the bottom of the glass and to stack in the dishwasher! (Never put crystal glasses in the dishwasher.)

Top tip – Post party, pop some hot water and a little washing up liquid in the flute and leave overnight before washing them the next day. Make sure you rinse very well after washing to get rid of any residue from detergent. Remains of washing up liquid can impact on how bubbles form in the glass.

The Champagne Coupe

champagne coupe for article which champagne glass is best

It seems that the legend that this glass was modelled on the breast of Marie Antoinette is not to be believed! The Coupe Glass has been around almost as long as champagne itself, there is evidence of its use in baroque paintings from the early 1700s. It most probably developed from early drinking cups rather than being designed specifically for champagne.

Coupe’s are made from glass or crystal with some beautiful designs available.

Pros…If you don’t like bubbles going up your nose, and you love the shape of the coupe, (admittedly they have a great vintage look) this glass is for you.

Cons…The bubbles disappear very swiftly in this glass, taking a lot of the aromas and flavours with them so the champagne can be a little lack lustre if left in this glass any length of time before drinking. It seems a shame to quickly lose bubbles which have taken years to make!

Using and cleaning a champagne coupe

The coupe is easy to store and less precarious than a tall flute, so slightly more stable at a party! When it comes to cleaning, this champagne glass is a breeze to deal with because the bottom of the glass is so accessible.

The Tulip Glass

This is a very recent development in the history of the champagne glass. In the last 5–10 years in fact. It started with tasters in the wine world sampling champagne in white wine glasses and discovering that they could smell and taste lots more then from a flute.

Pros… This glass shape allows for the maximum appreciation of champagne. As explained earlier, tasting is as much about the nose as the palate.

Cons… If you love watching the bubbles rise up the flute, the tulip glass won’t deliver quite as much pleasure.

Using and cleaning a tulip glass

In terms of storing, using and cleaning your glassware the tulip is a halfway house between the flute and the coupe. It’s easier to clean and store than the flute and a bit more stable. It’s maybe not the choice of glass to use at a big party as it’s not quite as joyous as the flute or the coupe. In fact, it’s quite serious. If your tulip glass, is made from glass it can be stacked relatively easily in the dishwasher. Otherwise wash in hot soapy water and rinse well.

The verdict- which champagne glass is best?

If you drink affordable champagne, prosecco and cava a flute is fine.

If you are a serious wine drinker and enjoy full bodied or vintage champagne then the tulip glass will definitely allow you to fully appreciate everything the champagne has to offer.

We use tulip glasses here at The Fizz Company as they leave champagne nowhere to hide and can expose flaws as well as delights!

Champagne glasses – more top tips

  • If you drink a lot of champagne and sparkling wine, it’s probably worth investing in crystal glasses. Crystal glasses are thinner than glass and therefore you don’t feel them as much on your mouth, making way for more enjoyment of the champagne. It’s a bit like a mug compared to a china teacup!
  • Fill your chosen glass only two thirds full so that’s some space for you to smell the aromas.
  • Take a sniff! However, after you’ve filled your flute, count to ten first because the first few seconds of bubbles can really prickle your nasal passages!
  • Serve the champagne cold as it soon warms up.
  • Read our blog about how to hold a champagne glass HERE

Most of all? Enjoy! Browse our favourites below.