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Must Champagne be served in a flute glass? My wife thinks so but I disagree

Champagne being poured into flutes at a beach bar during the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.


The question

Must Champagne be served in a flute glass? My wife thinks so but I disagree.

The answer

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I'd hate to drive a wedge into your marriage, a union seemingly so happy that your "problems" consist of such things as fretting about correct ways to celebrate with Champagne.

I believe there is no correct answer, though drinking it straight from the bottle is something I would leave to Formula One victors. Much as I enjoy Champagne out of a tall flute – so festive and all – my sympathies lie with you. More and more wine professionals would in fact back you up, I think. There's a fashion of late to serve sparkling wine in regular white-wine glasses – with wider bowls than flutes. The broad middle creates more surface area to release aromas, while the tapered bend toward the rim focuses aromas for the benefit of your happy nose.

There's another, more unconventional option. Maximilian Riedel, chief executive officer of Riedel Worldwide, the wine-glass company, has told me on a couple of occasions that he likes Champagne out of a pinot noir glass. That would be the fat, balloon-like bowl that's approximately the size and shape of a large grapefruit. His reasoning: Many Champagnes (and other fine sparkling wines today) contain a substantial amount of pinot noir. Also, the glass is great for amplifying subtle flavours.

My only reservation with the pinot noir glass is that it permits the wine to release its bubbles more quickly. But if you drink Champagne quickly, as I'm guessing you might, I suppose there's no problem.

Follow me on Twitter: @Beppi_Crosariol

The Flavour Principle, by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol, was named best Canadian Food & Drinks Book in the 2014 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Published by HarperCollins.

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear in the Wine & Spirits newsletter and on The Globe and Mail website.

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