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.