To best enjoy your bubbly, you need to have the right glass
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Every day we are expected to learn something new - a fact that will improve our general knowledge.
It seems we are learning something new every day when it comes to champagne and all sparkling wine.
From the innovations that brands are making with their bubbly, and the pairings and flavour combinations that bring out the best in the beverage, to what has become one of the most important things when it comes to the consumption of champagne - glassware.
For the longest time, we were told that flutes were the best glasses. And then coupés came back into fashion, thanks to those aesthetically appeasing champagne towers. But now both glasses are regarded as bad for champagne - or any sparkling wine, for that matter.
What changed? Well, it’s all about science and the make-up of bubbly. Choosing the right wine glass is essential for the development of the bouquet and the effervescence of bubbly. The shape of your glass – the size of the rim versus the size of the bowl, where and how you hold it, the height from bowl to rim, even how full it is – profoundly affects how you experience the liquid inside.
Researchers at Applied Research Laboratories at the University of Texas at Austin also found that the type of bubbles in a glass of sparkling wine can really affect the taste.
And they discovered that bubbles form differently depending on the type of vessel the fizz is poured into.
If you pour sparkling wine into a plastic cup, for example, the bubbles apparently stick to the walls of the cup, which causes larger bubbles to form. The larger the bubbles, the worse the wine will taste, according to the university researchers.
The problem with coupés is that the bowl of the glass is too shallow to contain the effervescence, which then prohibits the aromas and flavours to develop properly. Flutes, while they are elegant and look pretty, trap the aromas and lead to you missing out on the scents and flavours of the champagne.
To get the full bubbly experience, it’s best that you get yourself some tulip glassware. Bubbly is best enjoyed in a tulip glass because they are tall enough to allow the bubbles and aromas to fully develop, thereby making sure you get the best out of your bubbly.
You can also go with a white wine glass. Experts say the shape of a white wine glass allows for the champagne to breathe and provides a far more pleasurable experience than from a traditional champagne flute, which is very narrow at the rim. So if you want to enjoy champagne as a structured and rich wine, go with a white wine glass. Wine and champagne need space for the flavours to fully be expressed and since champagne is wine, you can enjoy it that way, too.
Oh, and one last tip about drinking champagne - you don't clink champagne glasses, at most you raise them.
MAJOR GLASSWARE TIP
Always rinse champagne glasses with hot water before use, and leave to drain. This will remove any detergent or “rinse aid“ residue that can cause the bubbles to go flat. Many times, a disappointing show of effervescence is the fault of the glass and not the bubbly. - Comite Champagne.