Champagne, producers “attack” the flute: “Those glasses are not suitable for taste it”

For a long time, now, discussing the perfect glass for champagne. In the collective imagination, the flute is the most suitable one. But from France, the producers “attacking” the very long and narrow glass. “But what a flute? – They say – the perfect glass is that for white wine, perfect to enjoy aroma and taste of champagne”.

In short, the debate is open and Anne Krebiehl, Master of Wine, between the columns of Decanter, says the point of view of some manufacturers. Maximilian Riedel, CEO of Riedel, who produces crystal, has no doubts: “The flute is obsolete.”It is echoed by Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, Louis Roederer winemaker: “Our champagne needs aeration to demonstrate its full potential – says -. That’s why we use special glasses tulip that we made realize 25 years ago”.

tulipano - tulip

tulipano – tulip

Hugh Davies, CEO and winemaker at Schramsberg Vineyards, one of the leading producers of sparkling wine in California, agrees: “In making our sparkling wines we expect a finished product that provides an extraordinary aroma – says -. In flute you will surely have a beautiful display of effervescence, but this glass may inhibit our ability to explore the depth of aroma and flavor of the wine”. The flute, however, are not just thrown away. Some of these glasses have a point of nucleation discreet engraved in their internal base to create a constant vertical flow of bubbles. Retain the effervescence that is dissipated in other glasses.


Philippe Jamesse, head sommelier at Les Crayères in Reims, is blunt: “I have always hated the flute. At home I have ever tasted champagne in wine glasses. I started in the restaurant Champenois in 2000 to serve champagne with flute, among much embarrassment though, because I knew we could do better. Because it is absurd, when you have to accompany dishes of a star chef, not serve champagne to its fullest potential. Then I studied, searched and found the glass I wanted”. His glass, produced by Lehmann, is elongated, rounded in the middle and tapers upwards. At its widest point, it measures 88 millimeters. The increased surface allows more bubbles burst simultaneously while their aromas are captured within the upper tapered. “We introduced the glass in the restaurant in 2008 – he tells -. Initially the diners were a bit ‘shocked, but once you have tasted it, they realized the difference”.

On one thing every vigneron de champagne agree: every their “creation” needs a specific glass. It seems impossible, however, to have dozens and dozens of different glasses. Better the glass of white wine, although the flute are not discontinued, as revealed by Steve McGraw, CEO of Riedel: “We produce more flute because there is a question that we must satisfy, especially in hotels and restaurants – says -. However, we suggest that you always use the glass for white wine”.

Even in Italy the big producers agree, as Matthew Lunelli, president of the Ferrari Winery in Trento: “I do not think that the flute are able to provide the aroma and complexity of a sparkling Trento DOC. I prefer large glasses, tulip, especially for vintage wines or reserves accompanied with food. The flutes are good for the holidays, but try, for example, a Ferrari Perlé in a large tulip glass, immediately changes the experience”.

calice Franciacorta - Franciacorta goblet

calice Franciacorta – Franciacorta goblet


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