We often associate celebratory moments with popping corks and sipping glorious Champagne and Sparkling wine with good times. Still, one question regularly asked regarding Champagne Glasses is, ‘What is the difference between a Champagne Flute and a Champagne Tulip?’.
- Traditional looking
- Streamlined design
- Smaller/limited surface area
A Champagne Flute with its straight sides gives a more streamlined look and offers a smaller surface area for the Champagne than a tulip glass. It’s very intricate as most would fill a champagne glass too full for the drinker to appreciate a Champagne’s aroma.
- Modern looking
- Wider surface area
The style of Champagne Tulip is suddenly becoming a more preferred choice of stemware. They look more modern and are prevalent in new, trendy restaurants and bars. However, there is still a temptation to pour too much liquid into the glass. The tulip allows the aroma to build in the bowl with its far rounder shape and wider surface area. Therefore, it’s key to try and fill to the widest point of the glass.
Regarding the aroma, one thing that happens is that we tend to smell the Champagne the moment it’s poured before it’s had the time to settle. This is because the mousse or bubbles are still sparkling, and we are only smelling carbon dioxide. It’s best to let the Champagne settle for a little while and then ‘nose’ it. The aromas and complexities will be far more rewarding than the earlier nose, which would be full of gas. It would be best to fill the glass so it’s half full, as you will appreciate this far better than a full glass.
I prefer the rounder Champagne Tulip as the aromas offer much more. Additionally, some experts in the Champagne world are beginning to work their way from these types of glasses to a more ‘normal’ wine glass. The bowls are much larger, and the aroma gets much more complex and expresses much more. The adverse point is that an everyday wine glass will not have an effervescent point notched in the bottom of the bowl, as most champagne glasses do, to promote a seemingly never-ending flow of bubbles. The ‘champagne show’ won’t happen, so it’s a weigh-up of what you prefer.
The easiest way to answer the question ‘What’s the difference between a Champagne Flute and a Champagne Tulip’ is to try your Champagne in both and take your pick as it’s all a matter of opinion.
But remember, when you’re next raising a glass to a celebratory moment, you can impress your friends with a piece of simple knowledge when you notice them nosing the Champagne as soon as it’s poured!