Hey lovelies, it’s nearly time for the mother of all Pop Fizz Clinks of the year! Yes, New Year’s Eve is just a wink away, and as many of you are looking forward to attending or hosting a fabulous party to welcome the new year, I thought I’d make my final post for this year a short and sweet Glassware 101 for Champagne and other wines. I could have posted this a bit sooner perhaps, but surely you haven’t ALL resolved to give up alcohol for the new year… Right? So these little tips will certainly come in handy again some time soon.
Believe it or not, the vessels in which we commonly serve wines have not been chosen at random. The idea is that the shape of each glass will enhance the flavour characteristics of the wine type it was designed for. So the next time someone appears dubious about the glass you’ve poured your Malbec in, perhaps they’re not being as snooty and judgemental as you think, but instead just trying to help you enjoy and appreciate your reds more.
GLASSWARE 101 FOR CHAMPAGNE & OTHER WINES
The Champagne Flute: The champagne flute is a stem glass with a tall narrow bowl. The narrow, tapered opening of these glasses helps to concentrate the aromas of the wine and preserve the bubbles for longer, while the depth of the bowl enhances the visual effect of the bubbles as they rise to the top of the glass.
Champagne Coupe or Champagne Saucers: The champagne coupe is a shallow, broad-bowled stem glass, which are traditionally stacked used create a champagne fountain at weddings and other special events. These were rather popular back in the 1930’s through to the 60’s but soon made way for the champagne flute. An excellent move, as the wide surface area of the coupe caused the champagne to loose it’s fizz pretty quickly. They do however have a stunning shape and are perfect for serving eye-catching , girlie cocktails. So yes, those gorgeous coupes/saucers you’ve got on your wishlist are still very much justifiable.
Whether you decide to use an elegant flute or a pretty coupe for your serving of bubbly, here are a few ‘use and care tips’ to consider:
- Using a chilled glass is always a good idea
- Holding your glass by the stem rather than the bowl helps keep you drink cooler. The heat from your hands will not affect the temperature of your drink
- Avoid putting your champagne glasses in the dishwasher as the detergents residue inside the glass can make the bubbles dissipate faster, giving the wine a flat taste and appearance
SIZE MATTERS… AS DOES SHAPE
White Wine Glasses: White wine glass vary in size and shape, but are smaller in size than red wine glasses. The idea is, because they hold less wine, you’ll top up your glass more frequently from a chilled bottle. As with the champagne flute, you’re encouraged to hold your white wine glass by the stem to ensure the chilled temperature of your wine is maintained.
Red Wine Glasses: Red wine glasses have a much larger and rounder bowl than white wine glasses. This allows the wine to breathe and develop and it increases the rate of oxidation. Simply put, the large surface area and that swirling action maximises air contact, allowing the wine to release its complex flavours and aromas resulting in a more pleasurable drinking experience and appreciation of the characteristics of the wine. I’d like a glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape please.
HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY?
Remember not to fill a wine glass completely! Instead, serve the glass half full to allow enough space to swirl and air the wine, allowing it to breath and develop. Of course, this doesn’t apply to champagnes and other sparkling wines where you want to retain the effervescence…but do keep an eye on that mousse! No guest wants to have their host spill champagne all over them. Well…it’s likely not that kinda party if you’ve stopped here for advice.
Okay guys, that’s it from me for this year… this post stopped being short a few paragraphs ago but I’m pretty sure you already know that short posts don’t come so easy around here.
Whatever you do to celebrate, have an amazing time welcoming the new year. Drink responsibly and don’t forget to choose your designated driver wisely.
Happy New Year!
Pop. Fizz. Clink!