Do I Use Champagne Flutes or Glasses?

The taste of Champagne is greatly affected by the shape of the glass! So to have the best tasting sparkling wine, here’s a little insight into choosing the right glasses for your Champagne preference.

Just as there are many types of sparkling wine, like Champagne and Prosecco, there are many glasses. Each has its own taste profile.

Of course, you don’t need to have every sparkling wine flute ever made, pick the one that fits your drinking preference.

Guide to Champagne Glasses

Champagne Glasses vs Flutes infographic by Wine Folly

Selecting The Best Glass For You

There are some clear differences in how the shape will affect your perception of different sparkling wine flavor. There are a few other considerations to keep in mind:

Shape
As the illustration suggests, glasses with smaller openings and bowls are less expressive than glassware with a larger bowl shape. So, if you drink more affordable sparkling wine regularly, you may prefer flute-style glass, because it will hide flaws and make the wine taste more spritzy.
Material

Wine Glass Material

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The glass material will either be crystal or standard glass. The major difference between the two materials is thickness. Standard glass requires a greater thickness for durability, whereas crystal can be made thinner. Generally speaking, the less material that interacts with your palate, the less obtrusive it will be to the flavor. Thus, you should expect the finest Champagne glasses to be made of crystal (both lead and lead-free).
There are many outstanding crystal manufacturers to seek out, but be sure to add Riedel, Spiegalau, Schott-Zwiesel and Zalto to your shortlist as some of the most trusted brands with sommeliers.
Durability
The biggest problem with Champagne glasses is that they are top-heavy, which increases their potential to slide off trays or get knocked over and break. If you’re already nervous around stemmed glasses, you’ll be even more uneasy around Champagne flutes. Champagne flutes are essentially the bane of people who talk with their hands. If this sounds like you, you might want to stick to a standard white wine glass.

Cleaning Wine Glass with Microfiber Cloth

Maintaining Your Glassware

One last consideration to make if you’re buying Champagne glasses is your willingness to hand-wash them (who loves dishes?). Standard glass is non-porous and can handle rigorous washing in a dishwasher, whereas fine crystal is more finicky.

It’s like the difference between maintaining a Toyota Camry vs. a Porsche Turbo. The pragmatic solution isn’t always as exciting, but remember, it’s about the wine…


Riedel Superleggero hand blown crystal glasses including CHampagne
We were delighted to see that Riedel’s new high-end glassware collection, Superleggero, includes a Champagne glass that mimics the white wine glass shape.

What We Use

We drink sparkling wine at least 2–3 times a week at the office and we open everything from cheap bottles of Cava to prestige Champagne. What do we use?


Wine Folly Gabriel Glas Universal Wine Glass

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Improve the flavor of all the wines you drink with a better wine glass. This crystal wine glass is the Stand’Art Universal single-piece glass by Gabriel-Glas. Made in Austria. Features a custom-etching for a perfect pour every time.

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About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly