Champagne Glasses – Flute or Saucer?

Champagne glasses
Champagne Flutes

Preparing for a wedding requires paying attention to a lot of details.  Besides the big issues, like searching for dresses for weddings and picking out your bridesmaids, little details can get by you.  Such as choosing the correct glasses for the traditional champagne toast to the new bride and groom.

The sparkling appeal of champagne has captivated the attention of aristocrats and celebratory drinkers since Dom Perignon accidentally created it. This finest of effervescent wines has always been associated with its own champagne glassware and it is only at the turn of this century that champagne connoisseurs have begun to question the prevalent use of champagne coupes and flutes and started to voice their preference for drinking champagne from wine glasses.

The champagne flute and the champagne coupe have always vied for attention with each standing out for their distinctive attributes. The flute precedes the coupe in its invention and has always been preferred as the vessel that retains the bubbles for longer. It is a tall narrow glass with a longer stem than a coupe and many feature a roughened bead at the base of the glass where the bubbles gather. In contrast the coupe is a shallow saucer like glass with a shorter stem, more prone to easy spillage.

Champagne glasses
Champagne Coupe or Saucers

The flute has earlier origins than the coupe and many stunning examples were created in the sixteenth century by the glassmakers of Murano and featured stained glass.

The champagne saucer was designed by Venetian glassmakers in England in 1663 and quickly became popular among the English aristocracy. It has retained its appeal during certain eras though wine experts have always maintained the superiority of the flute as the ideal vessel for this liquid nectar.

The flute is considered superior as it allows the aroma to concentrate and the bubbles to rise. The bubbles more quickly dissipate in the coupe and the wine loses its chill. The flute has an aesthetic appeal as it showcases the visual aspect of the bubbles rising and helps the fizz to retain its fizz for longer.

Champagne Glasses
Tulip Flute Champagne Glass

In the early part of the twentieth century the tulip shaped champagne flute with a wider lip originated and has become standard. The coupe has stood the test of time as the champagne glass most associated with extravagant celebrations and is the must have glass at celebrations that feature champagne towers.

As champagne makers experiment with ever bolder flavors wine experts have expressed their opinions that neither the coupe nor the flute does full justice to the aroma and flavors of champagne. While these two styles of glassware are still suited to less expensive effervescent wines, tasters and connoisseurs are increasingly choosing to drink their champagne from tulip wine glasses as this more modern option enhances the champagne taste experience. Even while champagne experts turn to wine glasses as their preferred vessel it is unlikely that the popularity of the coupe and flute will lose their appeal as they are so closely associated with the history of toasts and celebration.

If your party is a once in a lifetime event, consider renting your champagne glasses.