Wine Glasses vs. Champagne Flutes – What’s better?

It is okay to drink Champagne out of a regular wine glass
I find the ‘should I drink sparkling wine out of a flute glass or wine glass’ discussion very interesting. For many years the professionals have been saying that it’s best to drink bubbles from a normal wine glass, yet their words have definitely not spread, as flutes are still definitely king. Perhaps everyone is nostalgic over the champagne flute or we’re simply unwilling to change our ways. But it’s definitely obvious when I lunch with the girls in Perth that restaurants feel that ‘we must have flutes’ when buying bubbles even though I say wine glasses are fine.

To be honest, I love my flutes. Mr. Spittoon bought me the most gorgeous pair of Swarovski Crystal flutes when we lived in Dubai as a present. These glasses are my babies. They live in their foam padded box and have travelled with us from Dubai to New Zealand and then to Perth. My Riedel flutes come in at a close second and are more accessible/I’m not too worried if I had to replace them due to my tipsy nature after all those bubbles go to my head.

So what’s the deal with sparkling wine being better out of a normal wine glass you ask? Let’s take a look…

Why use a champagne flute?

The glass not only looks sexy and sleek but it makes that super enjoyable bubbly elixir look great too. The tall glass shape stops the bubbles from dissipating so quickly and even though some of us hate to admit it, we do like the aesthetics of a glass of bubbly. Plus, seriously, what women doesn’t feel sexy at a party walking around with a flute of bubbles in her hand, it gives the aura off that you’re sophisticated but like to have fun and let down your hair and bubbly wine simply screams, let’s celebrate!

There’s also that distinctive ‘nose tickle’ that you get with a flute. The bubbles literally tingle your nostrils and add to the whole sensory experience of a champagne, prosecco, cava or whatever tipple is your sparkling wine of choice.
Riedel Sommeliers Vintage Champagne Glass

Why drink sparkling wine from a normal wine glass?

So the bubbles may not last as long, but the wider glass will enhance the aromas of the wine, meaning you can get a more all-round experience. Some of the cheaper bottles of bubbles you may not want to smell, and instead just chug back however with a decent sparkling wine or champagne it is nice to see what your schnoz can get a whiff of.

The extra surface area will allow more oxygen to the wine, giving you a chance to get to know the wine that little bit more however you may end up with a semi-flat wine near the bottom of your glass. That tall slimness of a flute will sustain that bubbly carbonation a lot longer.
Riedel Ouverture White Wine

What I use…

To be honest, I’m easy. I love my flutes for that way they make me and the wine feel. However if a restaurant wants to give us both white wine glasses and flutes because we’ve ordered a bottle of each – well I’ll definitely tell them not to make more dishes and just stick with the white wine glasses. At home, if we’re opening a good bottle of wine, being the wine geek that I am, I will make sure to have a slurp out of both style glasses, just so I can see the difference and write my tasting note.

If we’re indulging in an everyday drinking wine, then I’ll definitely just stick to the flute to prolong the bubbles and keep it colder for longer.

But… what I am really hoping for (hint, hint family and friends reading this who know I have a birthday coming up) I am dying to get my hands on some champagne coupe glasses. These vintage ‘bowl/saucer’ glasses for champagne were supposedly shaped off the left breast of Marie Antoinette and I LOVE THEM (the glasses that is)! I’ve drunk Cava out of them in Barcelona and I don’t even care if the bubbles are gone in seconds, they are the ultimate sexy bubbles glass! You just have to be careful with the coupe that you hold it by its shortish stem and resist the urge to cup it – you don’t want to be drinking warm champagne after all!
Riedel Veritas Coupe GlassGlass images sourced from RiedelGlass.com.au

9 thoughts on “Wine Glasses vs. Champagne Flutes – What’s better?

  1. Exactly Jill! I recently drank a bottle of 2004 Bolli out of regular wine glasses (as that’s all we had on hand) and I definitely think I had a different experience than if I was drinking out of a flute. Definitely love my coupe glasses though, there is something ‘sexy’ about them 🙂

  2. The vintage glasses certainly seem like the best of both worlds. I agree with the beauty of the flute, but for getting “in there” to take in everything about the wine, we need more room. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. Anything with a decent amount of lees ageing or Pinot Noir content goes in a white wine glass at my house; simpler fizz goes in Riedel Overture flutes !

  4. I desperately want some of the half half style glasses – like shorter wider flutes that allow for more aromatics but also the bubble effect.
    Otherwise, if I am drinking anything that has has time on lees I definitely want a glass, not a flute. I have drunk far too many gorgeous, expensive Champagnes that I have not tasted properly from a flute.

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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