We all spend a great deal of time selecting the right wine, but how about the glass we drink it in?
It is an absolute and undeniable truth that the glass choice affects the characteristics of a wine, both in a positive and a negative way.
Although a good wine will always be a good wine (even if drunk from a plastic cup) the insights below will help you to enhance your sparkling experience!
The flute is probably the most popular shape in which sparkling wine is drank from.
But technically speaking it's not the best.
The tall narrow shape has the distinctive advantage of enhancing fizz, producing a steady and long lasting stream of bubbles.
Although visually captivating and perfect if you love to feel the effervescence on your tongue, the narrow opening "traps" the aromas.
Without aeration, both on the nose and on the palate the wine will not be able to express its full flavours.
The flute can still be fun and perfect when drinking simpler sparklings, as it actually can mask some of the wine faults.
But not for more complex and sophisticated wines like our traditional methods!
There is something undeniably iconic about the coupe....
The shape resonates with history and charming imagery of Gatzby-like parties!!
It's worth noting that the Champagnes popular in the early 20th century were very different from today's cuvees, being simpler and sweeter.
The coupe is unfortunately a big NO NO to appreciate today's most complex sparklings.
The wide shallow bowl means both the bubbles and the aromas will dissipate way too quickly.
Your wine will rapidly turn flat and the flavours that make it so unique will literally fly away!
Gaining momentum with sparkling wine lovers, the tulip has been specifically designed to make the most of your fizz!
The wider bowl middle section allows perfect wine aeration, so the flavours of the wine can develop and air properly.
The narrow bottom allows a steady stream of bubbles, without too much dispersion.
The top opening is wider than a flute but narrower than a standard wine glass, therefore letting the nose take in all the aromas, distributing the fizz more evenly on your tongue with every sip, and minimising the loss of carbon dioxide.
Standard wine glass
The simplest and smartest choice if you do not want to invest in new glasses!
Many of the world best sommeliers and connoisseurs will only drink their bubbles in a standard wine glass.
Sound strange, but when tasting a quality bubbly wine, it allows the FULL complexity of aromas and delicacies to really reach their potential.
Very easy theory to test too.... as most of us own standard wine glasses and flutes!
CARE AND HANDLING AND TIPS
Your glasses should be soap free, lint free and treated with care.
The dishwasher is a no go, as the detergents used are to strong and risk making the glass too smooth!
The inside surface of the glass needs to remain as untouched as possible, if over treated it becomes to smooth and the bubbles will have nowhere to stick to.
So the basic recommendations are:
Handwash with as little detergent as possible.
Rinse well, you don't want any soap residue to interfere with the wine!
Dry with a clean lint free cloth.
Do not store the glasses upside down as the trapped air can create subtle smell residues.
Although your bottle should be lovely and chilled your glass should be always at room temperature.
This will facilitate the release of the wine aromas, after all we not drinking sparkling water!
Holding the glass
Needless to say.... hold the glass by the stem only!
Not only it looks more appropriate but keeping your hands away form the actual glass will prevent any extra unwanted heating.
Glass makers trick!
Did you know most of the manufacturers indent some small scratches inside the bottom on the glass bowl?
Their are almost invisible to the naked eye but they help the bubbles to rise in a fine straight line!