Traditional Champagne Flute
The design is a dramatic shift from the normal general shape of all other wine glasses in that it’s very tall and narrow.
This design accomplishes a few different effects:
It keeps the air to wine ratio very small. This is due to the smaller opening at the top of the glass where the wine will come into direct contact with the air. This will give a smaller surface area for the bubbles to dissipate thereby maintaining more effervescence in the glass! Alas if your major concern is how many bubbles are in this sparkling wine then this is the glass for you!
Also because it is tall and narrow it often only holds 6-8 ounces (depending on the manufacturer) which seems like a good amount because what we would expect in the industry would be a standard 5 ounce pour even for sparkling, but this size pales in comparison to many wine glasses who can often hold 2/3 to a full+ bottle of wine (25.4oz). Why does this matter? Well one part that even professionals often overlook in the heat (pun intended here) of the moment is the ambient temperature of a room and those items within it such as a glass! The temperature of the glass itself will directly impact the wine that you pour into it because, and science is real folks and the earth is round, it will cause a heat exchange until it reaches an equilibrium (it’ll warm up the wine you pour into the glass). The higher the glass to wine ratio the larger the effect will be on the wine. When you have a glass of 6-8oz and you fill it 5oz (almost a 1:.7 ratio) with wine then you minimize the effect of temperature exchange AND voila the wine should stay colder longer, which helps make it more refreshing! The first glass you pour is always the one most affected but like most demands of the world: after glass two it becomes a little less important.
The biggest drawback is that with this glass we have consciously made the decision to trade air contact for more bubbles. This means that our sparkling wine will not have the opportunity to mix with the air and create a reasonable bouquet of aromas. Basically, you can’t really smell much out of a flute.
Pros: The design helps keep it cooler and maximizes the effervescence
Cons: Can’t smell much of a bouquet
Let’s talk about an all-purpose wine glass next since it’s not only the most common glass you’re likely to have in your cupboard but also it’s a direct contrast to the Champagne flute.