It’s World Champagne Day today – which always falls on the 4th Friday in October! Whoop. So I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little experiment on what are the best glasses for champagne. On my own of course, in order to fully concentrate.
So how do you like to drink your glass of bubbly? It’s all a matter of personal taste, but according to Mark and Sarah Driver, the owners of Rathfinny Estate, there is certainly some science behind it and bigger is better.
I’ve always loved the coupé style glasses styled around Marie Antoinette’s breasts (allegedly), as they’re so elegant, but I’ve got to be honest, after several glasses, most of the contents get sloshed on the floor (I’m talking about the champagne, not me!). Also, I’ve been told that you lose the fizz too quickly and they don’t hold the aromas.
It wasn’t until last week that I was told by the team at Rathfinny Estate that you should drink Vintage sparkling wine out of glasses with a bigger opening so that you can get your nose in and enjoy the wonderful aromas of an aged wine. I’ve always been of the opinion that you need proper iconic champagne glasses to enjoy the luxury drink and the celebration. The shape of the glass does physically affect the aromas and flavours that reach our nose and mouth and of course personal preference is relevant too.
On a practical level, the greater the depth of liquid in the glass, the more the bubbles accelerate as they rise. In a tall flute glass there is a large depth of liquid, but the narrow shape constrains the surface over which bubbles can spread. The coupé wide, flat depth means the bubble congregate nearer to the centre.
The evening I went to was at the Cadogan Hotel in Chelsea for a wine pairing evening with a delicious array of courses and we drank the Rathfinny sparkling wine throughout the evening.
Having tested three separate champagne glass shapes, I for one am very happy to follow their lead, because without doubt you can smell the aromas more clearly and the bubbles last longer. Even better, you can fit more in the glass! Just got to turn the heating off so that I can afford to buy a few more bottles and not share my new discovery with my children!
So this is the shape of glass that Mark recommended to me as the perfect sparkling wine glass and I promptly went and bought some. Inexpensive and effective!