What's the Deal with Champagne Flutes?

Posted September 30, 2015

Giovanni Sabree


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To Flute or Not to Flute?

The debated question that I have an answer to.

As tradition may have it:

The most proper and celebratory way to enjoy Champagne is through the use of the flute shaped glasses. Not only was it the most innovative structure during the rise of the bubbles, but like Champagne – it inherently became associated with elegance and charm.


The flute consistently renders a beautiful sight for the observer; structurally, it extends the half life of those gorgeous bubbles that gracefully travel its elongated frame. Even though we all hold a warm and fuzzy place for tradition and the rarity of having a flute in hand...what else does it offer? Really... nothing.

The ‘Modern’ approach:

As of some years ago, many connoisseurs’ have suggested that the flute actually takes away from the olfactory experience. Having personally experimented with glassware, I have to say they are correct. The narrow opening of the flute just does not expose enough of the wine to the surrounding air, which would allow the aromas to flow freely ­ leaving its nose stipend and dull. At its core, Champagne is a wine like those of a still being and its aromas should be desired as such; in fact, its production is much more meticulous in nature – yet we examine and savor it far less. (Another topic for a different day, but I wonder why that is?) While the average red or white wine glass may pronounce the aromas – it just does not hold those bubbles as long as the glorious flute.


What to do? To flute or not to flute?

Dear friend: the answer truly depends on the occasion and what it is calling for. More often than not you will flute, simply because breaking people out of tradition is a hard feat within itself; save yourself the headache and leave it to the professionals. In other words, for the traditional goers, ‘if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it’. For the enthusiast and connoisseurs: be hip, modern and cool in your own right and experiment with glassware ­ find the best fit for your senses , but whatever you do make sure not to use those shallow saucers, we sometimes get a weddings. That could end tragically ;­).



Giovanni is a passionate and upbeat wine buyer on the endless journey of value wines. After her ventures in bartending, Giovanni started her wine career at Wine Library 5 years ago. When she is not tasting and studying wine she is cutting out patterns and sewing fabric. Follow her on Twitter @Winelib_G