Use White Wine Glasses for Your Bubbly

Use White Wine Glasses for Your Bubbly

It’s all about the bubbly this time of year!

And whether its Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or a effervescent Rosé, pour what makes you happy.

But there’s often a question of which glass to serve it in. And while it’s probably best served in a white wine glass, the evolution of how we got there is great cocktail conversation.

Especially because it all started with a woman’s breast.


The Battle of the Breast

Champagne coupes, the glasses that are like saucers with a wide rim and a short stem, were modeled after a woman’s breast.

Now most people believe it was Marie Antoinette’s left one, mainly because she was such a narcissist. The story claims she had Champagne glasses cast from her breast so her courtiers could drink to her health from them.

Can’t really make that up.

Although Madame du Pompadour, Louis XV’s mistress, would beg to differ because she would like her boobs to get credit for the shape of the coupe. (We will give her credit for creating the Champagne glass tower though, says Belinda Chang, James Beard award-winning sommelier and wine director and partner at Maple & Ash in Chicago.)

And there were other women who’d like their breasts to get credit, so we’re not really sure of the exact origin. What we do know is that the men of the 1700s thought drinking from their lover’s breasts was really cool. (Not that it’s any different today. Seems that no matter what changes, men’s fascination with breasts never does.)

And while modern-day versions were created based on supermodels Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer, the appeal of the coupe wore off.

To start, all those fancy women realized that the bubbles hit their beautifully made-up faces when they took a sip. And on the science side, the Champagne’s carbon dioxide escaped quicker and the bubbles disappeared faster too.

Flutes that Look Like...

Enter the Champagne flutes — no longer modeled after a woman’s body part, but named, quite unexcitedly, after the instrument. They got very popular because not only did they showcase all those fabulous tiny bubbles, the flute became a status symbol of money and success.

And watching the bubbles move up that thin glass was just cool. Not to mention, those top-heavy coupes were ripe for spillage.  So the flute was in.

But that didn’t make the Champagne producers happy. Mainly because it’s hard to get your nose in a flute and really smell the aromas of the wine.

“They use white wine glasses,” says David White, author of  But First, Champagne: A Modern Guide to the World's Favorite Wine.

And so “today’s geekist wine enthusiasts have cleared their cupboards of flutes. These days, they’re drinking Champagne out of regular white wine glasses,” says White, in his book.

And it makes sense if you really want to get the full experience of the wine. So even elite wine glass makers like Riedel would like to make the flute obsolete.

But please, use a coupe if you want to recreate a scene from the Great Gatsby or pull out your flutes in honor of Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina.

Otherwise grab a white wine glass, pour your favorite bubbly and raise it high, as we toast you, for your all your support and dedication this year.

Have a safe Happy New Year!

Here’s to a wonderful 2017!

Tracy Byrnes, former FOX Business Network anchor and host of “Wine with Me” for, is editor-in-chief and chief contributor of The Sip.

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