Here’s the Reason You Shouldn’t Drink Champagne from a Flute

Opening up a bottle of bubbly and wondering whether you should break out the coupes or dust off the flutes? Think again! The best glass for drinking champagne may come as a surprise.

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You’ve cleaned the house, set up a spread laden with our best party appetizers, and picked up all the bubbly you’ll need so everyone’s glasses stay full all evening. The only problem: What do you serve it in? Naturally, when you’ve splurged on a bottle of champagne, you want to serve it the best way possible.

Your stemware options may seem a little overwhelming, but choosing the best glass for drinking champagne is easier than you think.

Shelve Your Coupes

While a coupe like this has a sophisticated aesthetic that hearkens back to the Jazz Age, it’s terrible for drinking champagne! When poured into a coupe glass, champagne loses its fizz faster than you can say, “Sure, I’ll take a top off.” Save your coupes for vintage cocktails, like a sidecar or Manhattan.

The Ups and Downs of Flutes

The classic champagne flute has its merits. The narrow flute is perfect for preserving the bubbles in your bubbly and the long stem stops you from warming the champagne with your hand. If you’re serving up bubbly to a large group, opting for flutes is also a better use of tray space.

But let’s say you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary and you’ve splurged on an expensive bottle of champagne. You may want to think twice before reaching for a set of flutes. Because of their shape, flutes fall short in their ability to capture the finer nuances of complex champagnes. This is particularly true of vintage or aged varieties.

Here’s the bottom line. Sure, if you’re celebrating and want to emphasize fizz over flavor, by all means, break out the flutes. Those festive strings of bubbles streaming in the glass are, after all, undeniably attractive. If you’re drinking something a little fruitier like prosecco, the tulip glass (a cousin to the flute), will do the trick. But if you’re opening up a special bottle of vintage champagne, keep the flutes on the shelf.

By the way, here’s how to open a bottle of champagne.

This Is the Best Glass for Champagne

Without a doubt, the best glass for champagne is one with a wider bowl that tapers towards the top, like your standard white wine glass. The combination of a wider bowl and a narrow top captures subtleties in the wine and whisks them towards you, allowing you to fully experience the different layers of aroma present in the wine. You can buy specific glassware, but a riesling or sauvignon blanc glass like this will double up as the ideal glass for your high-end bubbly. While you pick out your bottle of bubbly, check out our round-up for the best cheap champagnes if you’re on a budget.

Next: Here’s how to host a knockout wine tasting.

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Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.