While I think you'll agree that my trashy friends serving champagne in a Styrofoam cup is better than no champagne at all, you're probably aware that serving it in this manner might be considered gauche in some circles - which of course could expose you to gossip and possibly even scandal.
To avoid this potential ostracism you might want to consider having some proper stemware on hand for those occasions when Styrofoam just won't do. But even so, you still may not be able to please everyone. You see, there's three main types of stemware designed to enhance the sensory experience that champagne has to offer - not just taste and aroma but also visual.
The Champagne Coupe, popular back in the 1930's thru the 70's is the traditional style seen in old movies and sometimes modern-day weddings. While many people are fond of this broad-bowl style and wouldn't give it up for anything, the main objection is the wide surface area which allows the carbonation and all the bubbles to dissipate much too quickly. Nowadays you mostly see this type of glass being used for Margaritas and daiquiris.
The Champagne Flute, on the other hand, is tall and thin compared to the coupe. The smaller surface area keeps the bubbles and flavor from escaping too quickly, not to mention the pleasing sight of watching the bubbles rise all the way from the bottom of the glass to the top. By far this style has become the most popular for the past few decades, not just in private homes but in bars and restaurants as well. No doubt the easier storage has something to do with it.
The Champagne Tulip is also fairly popular. Tall like the flute, it too keeps the bubbles from evaporating too quickly, but it's larger at the top than the flutes. Some aficionados prefer this, since it allows more space for the nose to get closer to the aroma. Shaped like a tulip with a bit of a belly, this glass resembles a white wine glass, to the point where some homes and restaurants use them interchangeably - champagne being a white wine in origin, after all.
Once you've decided which style suits you best, or at least which one would bring the least criticism, then Wedgwood, Waterford, Riedel and Baccarat are good places to get started. In this house there's enough Baccarat flutes to serve a decent-size party. At roughly a hundred-and-fifty dollars per glass you don't want to drop a tray of these when getting them out of storage.
But you need not spend a fortune, by the way. My own flutes are from Pottery Barn - a set of six for about twelve dollars per glass. Maybe they're not crystal, but you'll have to admit it's a step up from Styrofoam.
Hope you're having a nice summer, and thanks for stopping by.
Have stemless glasses (for champagne or wine) caught on in the rich world? I tend to prefer stemless flutes these days, while I'm not as much of a fan of stemless wine glasses.ReplyDelete
Hi Ben. This older crowd I work around still favors stemware, but I know the younger rich are a little more hip. You've inspired me to write more about stemless barware, which will be posted this very evening.Delete
Hope all is well down under. You're missing out on a miserably hot summer this year.
Really? All baccarat crystal ware? Peculiar. I'd though most would use Riedel. They have very functional, very thin glasses. But I'm biased because I use these myself :)ReplyDelete
Although I'm more curious as to what your employers drink? Dom Perignon and Krug only?
I should have inquired what kind of crystal was in the house before accepting this job. (ha!) But I'm stuck with Baccarat, which I happen to love, btw. And Krug is the champagne of choice around here, from low-end for big events to high for intimate dinners and small cocktail receptions.
And thank you for bringing up Riedel. I'm aware of the accolades about the Bavarian master-glassmakers in wine connoisseur magazines, but have no exposure to this particular barware myself. Looks like I still have much to learn - which is the most fun part of this job!
Please do keep contributing.
Andrew, maybe if opportunity permits, you should volunteer to help out with booze buying, so you can have something nice yourself ;-)ReplyDelete
When spending someone else's money, I highly recommend Jacques Selosse, when spending own money, Vouette et Sorbee is my own pick. Remember to get it shipped by reefer with quick pickup. For some reason, many spend loads on wining but pay no attention to provenance!
By reefer you mean "refrigerated ship" I assume. I actually wrote a post about wine care some while back. Transportation/provenance is ALWAYS the big question whether you're buying an expensive wine at auction or just something off the shelf - with the threat of "vinegar" ever present.Delete
Honestly ST, with your knowledge you need your own blog. You could call it "I Know Stuff You Don't".
And PS, one of the most fun things about this job is spending someone else's money!
"Honestly ST, with your knowledge you need your own blog. You could call it "I Know Stuff You Don't"." - patently untrue. I learnt a lot from your posts on cleaning techniques and my wife is pleased I finally know something useful.ReplyDelete
Sorry, missed your post on wine care. Yes, provenance is everything.
That pretty much made my day, ST.Delete
Thank you for saying that.