Wine comes in different forms, from Cabernet Sauvignon's full-bodied red to the sparkling wine of Méthode Classique. It's no wonder that the invention of different wine glasses has come to fruition. But what’s the difference between a wine glass vs. champagne glass?
A champagne glass is considered a wine glass. Both are composed of three different sections: the foot, the bowl, and the stem (except wine tumblers). Standard wine glasses are dishwasher safe and created using regular glass, while champagne glasses are hand washed only since they are made of crystal.
We made a comprehensive comparison between wine glasses vs. champagne glasses, from their shape, material, and maintenance to help you better understand.
Why Use One Glass Over the Other?
For this article, we’ll compare an all-purpose wine glass that features a round bowl with a medium-sized stem and foot to a champagne flute glass with a tall and slender bowl, a long stem and a regular-sized foot.
This comparison does not include the special vintage variations such as the coupe glass and the petite dessert glass like the sherry.
No wine glass is universally made for all kinds of wine. Each has its unique style to suit the wine for maximum experience.
The standard wine glass is fashioned to have a wide round bowl for wines to aerate and release their fragrant scents. They're great for still wines, but not so much for the theatrics of sparkling wine. Since it has a wide bowl, the champagne bubbles will dissipate quickly due to the large surface area.
Champagne glasses are designed to display the bubbly goodness of sparkling wine, giving off that festive feeling. Because of their thin and narrow attributes, crystal glasses are made tall so you can see the bubbles forming from the bottom and making their way up to the surface.
Flute glasses are great for sparkling wines but not so much for still wines since the glass's narrowness prevents the wine from properly oxidizing, so it cannot fully enhance the still wine's flavor.
Durable and inexpensive, the majority of wine glasses are made of regular glass. They're durable and inexpensive. They come in many forms for all different kinds of wine, such as red, white, dessert, and rose.
Regular glass is non-porous, which means they are dishwasher safe and they won't corrode over time. However, most regular glasses have a lip around the rim to prevent it from breaking, and this can soil the wine-tasting experience since the flow is disturbed as you drink.
Meanwhile, champagne glasses are fashioned in crystal. This expensive material can be shaped into the finest and thinnest glass. It’s infused with lead oxide, which creates its luster and strength, but it’s not dangerous since sparkling wine doesn't stay long enough in the crystal glass for lead to leach out.
However, the crystal’s porousness can increase the glass’s chances to corrode from absorbing chemical aromas over time.
Like any glassware, both glasses have to be washed, dried, and stored after use. Maintaining each glass can be disastrous if not done correctly.
All-purpose wine glasses are thicker and dishwasher safe. After a good party, you can put your wine glasses in the dishwasher and clean up the rest of your living space while you wait for it to finish.
Champagne flute glasses, however, are thin and fragile. Using a dishwasher will cause them to either crack or break. Handwashing champagne glasses is the best way to make sure they are clean.
Both glasses need to be dried immediately with a towel to avoid water spots, and they must be stored in a dry area to prevent moisture inside the glass.
Can You Drink Champagne Out of a Wine Glass?
Yes! One of the reasons champagne is better served in a standard wine glass or a champagne tulip glass is the play of the aromas; the bigger surface area allows the champagne to oxidize, releasing the aroma. The wider rim also allows you to get a whiff of the champagne while drinking it, a feat you cannot achieve using a champagne flute.
If you serve champagne in a wine glass, choose the Pinot Noir kind as champagne is usually made with Pinot Noir grapes. Store your champagne in 47-50 degrees Fahrenheit (8-10 degrees Celsius) to lessen the bubbles’ chances of fizzing out while enjoying the aroma and the drink. Serve it in small amounts as fizzed out champagne tends to be flat.
Technically, there is no one way to serve champagne. You can go ahead and serve it in a champagne glass or a wine glass. Tradition and social norms don’t have to get in the way of a good celebration.
Which Glass is Better?
Both glasses have advantages and disadvantages.
The all-purpose wine glasses are cheap, durable, and easier to maintain. But they don’t give off that inviting and stylish look that most party hosts are going for. And if you serve sparkling wine in a wine glass, the bubbles will dissipate within minutes after pouring, thus defeating the purpose of serving bubblies.
On the other hand, champagne flute glasses are sleek and sexy, making them great for celebrations. Some are even designed to enhance the flavors of sparkling wine. However, champagne glasses are not built for still wines. Their slender shape prevents any proper oxidation for the drink, which can ruin the wine's taste. They're also expensive and fragile, so buying them in bulk and storing them properly could be a problem.
A wine glass is better than a champagne glass. It’s not only value for money; its design also helps red wines aerate and enhance sparkling wines’ flavor. The bubbles may not last that long, but the taste is here to stay.
Whether you want to use a standard wine glass or a champagne glass, it entirely depends on which type of wine you often serve. But If you usually drink sparkling wine, then we recommend the champagne flute glass for that festive aura.
The same goes for serving more still wines. Using a standard wine glass is perfect for wine tastings and big affairs. They're reasonably priced and are strong enough, so you don't have to worry too much about breakage in the middle of your gathering.
What’s your go-to glassware to enjoy your wine? Let us know in the comments below.