Whether you’re hosting a holiday do or looking for a sure fire way to impress the guests your entertaining of an evening, champagne is a must.
There are endless guides out there, helping us to decide which wine or champagne to pair with what food and occasion. But once you’ve found the perfect bubbly, you need to pay attention to the best way to serve it. How can you enhance the appearance, aroma and flavour of your choice?
First, you will need to consider the event itself – is it a formal and elegant affair, a vintage Gatsby style soiree, or all about the food and drink? Different styles of champagne glasses offer very different experiences.
Once you have decided on the perfect vessel, you will need to settle on the proper presentation. As well as creating the right impression, how you present your champagne to your guests will need to cater for snacking, service and more.
Let’s start with the glasses though; what is the difference between a flute, a coupe and a tulip, and why should you care?
Champagne flutes are now considered the most classic of champagne glasses. They are tall and narrow, with bowls that are often pointed in shape. This shape helps bubbles congregate at the bottom and fizz upwards, making for an attractive effervescent effect and capturing flavours and aromas on the way up.
The champagne flute is a glass for fizz lovers, but whilst they are the epitome of bubbly, it is worth bearing in mind that they are not always the best for complex flavours.
A classic flute will have a medium to long stem, preventing you from cupping the bowl of the glass. This means your drink won’t warm too quickly, so your bubbly stays cool, crisp and sharp.
Hollow stems like those you will find on many LSA champagne flutes add an interesting shape. Their elegant, almost vase like outline, is sleek and different from the usual flutes. Coloured glass in the LSA range is also a nice twist, to add yet more interest.
Coupes (aka Saucers)
For those who enjoy a vintage style with their vintage tipple, champagne coupes or saucers are a popular choice. Their glamorous design is nostalgic and reminiscent of early to mid-20th century fun. A shallower and wider bowl, with a shorter stem gives a lovely aesthetic, but also makes them sturdy and good for stacking in a champagne tower. However, this shape is not overly useful when it comes to keeping aroma and carbonation contained.
For those wanting fizz – real bubbles in their bubbly – the coupe isn’t the right choice. However, if your aim is to channel the glamour of the Great Gatsby or the smooth sophistication of the Rat Pack era, the champagne coupe is for you. It is a glass for creating ambiance, as opposed to exploiting effervescence and enhancing flavours.
Less publicized than its flute and coupe cousins, the champagne tulip is another choice to consider. Though like flutes in many way, the rim curves inwards and the bowl is wider. The narrowed or tapered, and sometimes curled lip means aromas are preservteed and flavours improved, whilst a bigger bowl means better “aeration”, so bubbles are more intense and hit your taste buds instead of invade your nose.
This style of glass is often recommended for French champagnes which have a lot of flavour. You only want to fill the tulip’s bowl half way though, to the widest point, as this leaves enough room for aromas to aerate, without escaping altogether.
Each of these champagne glass styles offers something different, unique and utterly enjoyable. Your choice will depend on your event and needs, and you may find you opt for different styles on different occasions.
Ultimately, the flute is the firm favourite for good reason. It offers the best of both worlds – classic and elegant in style, but practical when it comes to enjoying the drink and enhancing its flavours.