Champagne Coupe vs Flute: What’s The Difference?
There’s stemware for every wine style. Wine lovers have discovered that you can bring out the best in any wine when it’s served in the right vessel. For sparkling wine and Champagne specifically, this couldn’t be any truer.
Sparkling wine is effervescent, and its bubbles are part of the drinking experience. Besides, this wine style is complex on the nose and palate, so enjoying it at its fullest is worth it. That’s why using the right wine glass matters. So, which one is best? There are two prominent wine glasses for Champagne: the coupe and the flute. Here’s what you need to know about them.
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What Is a Champagne Coupe?
A Champagne coupe is an old-fashioned wine glass with a 6.1 to 8.1 US fluid ounce capacity. It features a saucer shape, a wide mouth, and a shallow bowl. Introduced in France in the 18th century, the coupe glass became popular worldwide in the mid-20th century. However, it fell out of fashion when pitted against another popular Champagne glass—the flute.
Now you’ll commonly see coupe wine glasses in cocktail bars. Bartenders have adopted them for their most creative libations. For sparkling wine, they’re a rare sight. Why? Because spilling wine is unavoidable when using this shallow wine glass, and the bubbles dissipate quickly. On the plus side, these wine glasses are beautiful.
What Is a Champagne Flute?
The flute can hold from 6.1 to 10.1 US fluid ounces in one glass. It features a tall, conical shape and a narrow opening. The elongated bowl is attached to a long stem, making flutes delicate-looking and elegant.
The flute’s design has a purpose: to prevent carbonation from dissipating, which allows for long bubble streams that make the wine sparkle. The downside? There’s not enough room in flutes to adequately sniff the wine.
When to Use a Champagne Coupe
Champagne coupes are evocative of the golden era of the 1920s, and they still have a place in your stemware collection. These wine glasses are not ideal for holding sparkling wine, as the wine will lose effervescence almost instantly. But they’re perfect for Champagne cocktails.
Coupe wine glasses are a great choice for thematic parties and building Champagne towers. For high-end Champagne, you’re better off with flute wine glasses or something similar to allow those pearly bubbles to shine.
How to Hold a Champagne Coupe
Although the size and shape of coupe glasses invite you to hold them with your palm—as you would do with a Brandy snifter—it isn’t recommended. This will warm your beverage too quickly.
Hold coupe glasses by the stem, using the thumb and middle finger on your other hand to keep things steady. These types of stemware are known for spilling easily, so you want to be careful. Leave your drink on the table when possible, and pick it up each time you want to sip.
When to Use a Champagne Flute
Unlike coupe glasses, Champagne flutes are universal. No celebration is complete without sparkling wine, and flute glasses won’t disappoint. They look and feel good and make sparkling wine show its best.
Use flute glasses for formal dinner parties, casual get-togethers, and pool parties alike. They make any event more memorable. Of course, not all Champagne flutes are created equal. Some are made of sturdy glass while others are mouth-blown and made with thin crystal. A nice set of Champagne flutes always live up to the hype.
How to Hold a Champagne Flute
Champagne flutes are never as heavy as red or white wine glasses, so you can hold them for hours and not get tired. Hold champagne flutes by the stem to avoid smudging the bowl with your fingers, especially if fried finger foods are being served.
Hold the flute from the stem with your thumb and index finger, and keep it close to your chest for extra support. And don’t worry—with this type of glassware, there’s no need for swirling your wine.
Champagne Coupe or Flute: How to Choose the Right One
We love coupe glasses for their historical significance and retro look. However, flutes are most wine lovers’ stemware of choice for anything sparkling. You can still use coupe glasses for cocktails or 1920s dinner parties, but only pour your finest Champagne in these if you’re okay with them losing some of their sparkle.
The quality of the wine glasses you choose is what matters most. That’s why you should always purchase wine glasses online from a reputable retailer to ensure they’re of the highest quality.