The holidays offer plenty of reasons to pop some bubbly, including reuniting with family and friends and toasting the new year. But when you raise a glass, make sure it’s a good one.
“A glass has an influence on a wine,” said Aldo Sohm, a sommelier and the wine director at Le Bernardin and Aldo Sohm Wine Bar in New York, and a brand ambassador for the upscale glassware company Zalto. “It’s a bit like music, when you have one song and listen from two different speaker systems — it makes that huge difference.”
Champagne glasses come in a range of shapes, from flutes to coupes, and some have colors and decorations. Fortunately, there are no wrong choices. Fun, inexpensive glasses may be ideal for casual get-togethers with midrange wines. A special bottle, however, may be best appreciated with special glassware.
“You can drink out of a paper cup, which costs five cents, or you can drink out of a Zalto champagne glass, which costs $60. The question is: What are you looking for?” Mr. Sohm said.
At the end of the day, he added, “The best glass is the one you want to drink out of.”
Is a flute the best shape for drinking champagne? Compared with a coupe, a flute preserves more bubbles, Mr. Sohm said, but it’s also like “putting the champagne in a corset.” When he is drinking a vintage champagne from a small producer, he said, he often prefers a wider universal wine glass.
Are stemless glasses acceptable? They’re good for casual events like picnics, Mr. Sohm said, but they do have a downside: “You warm up the champagne very quickly, and champagne is super sensitive when it comes to temperature.”
Should champagne glasses be clear or colored? Purists usually prefer clear glass, so they can see the wine, but color can add some fun. As Mr. Sohm noted, “It can be beautiful for someone who thinks it’s beautiful.”
Monticello Stemware Champagne Flute
Engraved champagne flute based on a design owned by Thomas Jefferson
$89 at The Shop Monticello: 800-243-1743 or monticelloshop.org
LSA Theatre Champagne Saucer Glasses
Pair of glasses in smoke gray or pink
$110 at Neiman Marcus: 888-888-4757 or neimanmarcus.com
Neo Champagne Glasses
Pair of champagne flutes with faceted form by Erdem Akan
$67 at Nude: us.nudeglass.com
Schott Zwiesel Pure Champagne Flute
Angular German crystal champagne flute
$15 at Williams Sonoma: 877-812-6235 or williams-sonoma.com
Bodum Oktett Champagne Glasses
Pair of champagne flutes with plastic bases and glass tops
$22 for two at MoMA Design Store: 800-851-4509 or store.moma.org
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