Happy New Year! As we were ringing in the new year with a glass of champagne, I started thinking about the shape of champagne glasses. We were drinking from flutes...which seems like the most common shape these days. I began to wonder why there are different shaped champagne glasses, and why the bowl shaped glasses my parents used to have, and you see a lot of at antique stores, aren't so popular any more.
The flutes are designed with a smaller surface area at the opening, so that the carbonation in the champagne dissipates more slowly.
The bowl shaped glasses or chamagne coupes were designed in England in 1663 and were the most common shape until the 1960s. Apparently the champagne is dryer now, and the flutes, which hold the bubbles longer, work better with the dryer champagne. The champagne flute has essentially replaced the coupe. I think the champagne coupe is the more pleasing shape, especially some of the antique cut glass varieties.