Champagne is a symbol of elegance and refined taste. There are three types of champagne glasses that best complement celebrations, such as the champagne coupe, flute, and tulip.
Knowing the right way to consume champagne is one thing, but understanding the origins of its glassware is everything. This article will walk you through a culmination of history, development, and trends that brought rise to the best champagne glasses we all know and love today.
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The Humble Beginnings
As far as general knowledge goes, champagne originated from the Northeastern province of France, Champagne. The development of each glassware, whether it’s the flute, coupe, or the tulip plays a big role in the mass consumption. Believe it or not, European history was also shaped by the love for champagne and expensive alcohol.
1. Champagne Coupe
By historical definition, the coupe glass was the first official champagne glass that was popularized and coined in England during the late 1830s. The coupe glass is shallow, broad-rimmed, and was stemmed in design. It’s one of the oldest variations of champagne glassware used to hold the pristine carbonated white wine.
Champagne coupes are also known as saucers and have been long tied to the popular myth that they were modeled after French princess, Marie Antoinette’s breasts.
Despite this myth being proven false, the champagne coupe is often associated with vintage elements from the “olde-worlde” which is commonly used in a quirky feature in fancy restaurants and high-end establishments like luxury hotels.
In terms of supporting the elemental flavors of champagne, this vintage champagne glass is quite subpar. When it comes to enabling aromatics and activating carbonation for an easy escape, the coupe glass make the process quite difficult.
If you like watching champagne bubbles bounce off of each other and see the liquid dance, then this champagne glass is better suited for the theatrics.
The Radical Shift
With the surge of sparkling wines becoming more accessible to those outside of the rich aristocrats and upper classes in the 1920s, the coupe glass eventually became obsolete. Since more options like Sparkling Wine as well as Prosecco & Cava were introduced in the market, the gradual transition to champagne flutes commenced.
2. Champagne Flute
Since the effervescence of sparkling wine became a struggle to preserve, the champagne flute became more favorable since it was tall, narrow, and was able to properly preserve carbonation.
Wine glassmakers have even created a central identity for the champagne flute which was a point at the bottom of the glass where carbonated bubbles congregate to rise smoothly to the top of the slender champagne glass.
Apart from its fundamental role in improving flavor and aroma, champagne flutes also symbolize class and present a certain aesthetic in their stylish shape. It has also become a canvas for imperial glassworks, particularly in 19th century Russia. Champagne flutes were designed with neo-Gothic and national Russian style also known as Art Nouveau.
Despite flutes constantly used in weddings, elegant birthday parties, restaurant gatherings, and celebrations, the glassware continues to evolve. Champagne flutes have been claimed by modern artisans with variations that have been corkscrewed, squared off, hand-painted, or even inverted, simply to become a statement piece.
3. Champagne Tulips
The champagne tulip is unique in its own right for its shape alone. With a narrow top, a wider bowl, and a sharp curved edge that leads down to the stem, this champagne glass helps trap the aroma inside the bowl and even prevents spillage out into the open air.
Tulip glasses are known for giving a better overall champagne drinking experience because it allows more room to hold the glass, without smudges on the bowl.
Champagne glasses like the tulip resemble the flute glasses but stand out for their inward curved rim. A few wine connoisseurs tend to recommend the champagne tulip for those who like to consume finer French champagnes since it brings out the fruity flavors. The tulip glass also gives off an elegant look with more room for the bubbles to aerate and aromatics to flow through.
As champagne and sparkling wine continues to be accessible, the champagne tulip glass has been marketed as a solid investment towards sparkling wine lovers. Apart from carrying all the promising qualities of both the coupe and flute glasses, it’s also inspired wine glass makers like the Riedel brand to introduce a new collection.
The teardrop-shaped champagne tulip glasses were created to give drinkers more bowl space that still narrows towards the top rim for a full champagne experience.
Does the Type of Champagne Glass Matter?
With more champagne sophisticates becoming particular with the way they enjoy sparkling wine or champagne, the glassware plays a big role in achieving an optimal champagne experience.
Though the coupe glass is a traditionalist’s preference and born from a series of myths related to the female breast, the shape of the coupe is the most generous in terms of quantity. But compared to the tulip and the flute, the coupe glass is not ideal if you wish to enjoy the fizz and aeration.
The vintage coupe glasses are less about the theatrics and more for fast consumption of champagne, which some people prefer to this day.
The champagne flute glass has remained timeless and more of an aesthetically pleasing glass for white wine drinkers. Its tall and thin bowl allows the bubble to capture the unique qualities and aroma of the champagne. Thanks to the rough bead at the base, this type of champagne glass dominates when it comes to delivering a lot of flavors.
Champagne Tulip Vs. Champagne Flute
If we were to compare the champagne flute and the champagne tulip, there’s a lot of similarities to them.
In terms of design and shape, the champagne tulip rivals the flute with its unique curve towards its stem. This provides better functionality and more room for drinkers to hold the glass without leaving finger marks on the bowl. The curve also creates more bowl space for the wine to develop its flavors thoroughly without rushing the aromatics of the champagne.
The tulip and the flute both boast the rough bead at the base to further support the aeration of bubbles and provide a certain fizz to every sip.
When it comes to overall design, functionality, and delivery, the champagne tulip glass is the way to go. It holds all the best qualities of the other two champagne glasses, while still presenting a tasteful aesthetic to the glass. Most of all, the tulip glass allows the full champagne experience to be enjoyed by the drinker.
Where Can I Purchase a Champagne Glass?
Not only are champagne coupes vintage keep-sake, but they’re also available online thanks to pop culture references like Mad Men and the Great Gatsby movie that it became a variation to consider purchasing in the modern era.
Check this out: Godinger Coupe Glass
Champagne lovers who are quite finicky about the aesthetic and aromatics that a champagne flute brings, you should consider the Elixir champagne flute as it comes in a set of four.
Check this out: Elixr Classy Champagne Flute
For those who like to enjoy champagne while still finding a tasteful touch and sheer convenience in it, the stemless flute is one variant to consider especially for those who are clumsy and always on their feet at home.
Check this out: Eparé Stemless Champagne Flute
Now, if you want the full experience of enjoying champagne but prefer a little pizazz to its shape. Then the champagne tulip glass might be the best option for you. Not only does it provide quality and functionality, but it maintains a certain style in delivering its full flavors.
Check this out: Riedel Performance Champagne Tulip
The Glass’s Shape Make a Difference
The champagne glass has a long evolution and plays a rich role in history. From the mid-1800s to the modern centuries, a spotlight was put on the representations the coup glass brought to the upper classes.
Today, the likes of flute and tulip glasses may still be attached to the reputations of class and luxury, but their design and shape make a world of difference when it comes to functionality and delivery of the full champagne experience.
If you’re one to dabble into the champagne world, then comment down below which champagne glass best works for you and your sparkling needs.
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