Why Are Champagne Glasses Long, Tall & Skinny? (Explained)

When we think of Champagne glasses, we normally think of those thin glasses with narrow bodies and long stems.

Those glasses are called flutes, and they are the most common type of glasses for drinking Champagne.

Champagne glasses are made long, tall, and skinny to retain the bubbles and create a nice visual while you are drinking.

Here Is Why Champagne Glasses Are Shaped The Way They Are:

Champagne is a type of sparkling wine that originated in France. It is commonly served in long, tall, and skinny glasses to retain the bubbles. These bubbles are what make Champagne so aesthetically pleasing. Wider bowls would diminish the bubbles quickly, taking away the magic of the drink.

What Are The 3 Types Of Champagne Glasses?

There are three types of Champagne glasses: flutes, coupes, and tulip glasses.

Flutes are the most common glasses that are used for drinking Champagne. Flutes have a long and narrow bowl that is slightly conical at the bottom and has a long slim stem.

Flutes are great for when you want to retain the bubbles in your Champagne as you are drinking it.

The tall bowl of Champagne flutes creates a visual of bubbles forming at the bottom and making their way into the surface.

Coupes have a distinct look with wide, shallow bowls with short stems. They are considered iconic and fashionable.

While they do not help retain the bubbles in the Champagne, their shape helps enhance the aromas as these glasses let more air in compared to flutes.

Tulip glasses are called such because of their shape. They are shaped like tulips with wide, slightly angular bowls going to the bottom.

The bowl then narrows and tapers up, going to the rim. These glasses retain the bubbles with their long bodies while still letting air enhance the aroma.

Tulip glasses are also more versatile than the other two types, as you can also use them to drink other types of wine.

What Is The History Behind The Champagne Glass Design?

Over the centuries, the shape of Champagne glasses has evolved. Champagne glasses were originally made of metal but have changed to ceramic, and eventually glass.

Back in the early days, there were no Champagne glasses. People mainly used the same vessels to drink beer or cider.

The design of Champagne glasses started in the 1700s when people developed glasses that were specifically for drinking Champagne.

Champagne was eventually made to be tall and slender to retain the bubbles. More bubbles create more texture in the drinker’s mouth. The deep bowl allows for a greater visual effect of bubbles rising to the top.

What Did The Original Champagne Glass Look Like?

When Champagnes first came out, there was no specific type of glass made for their consumption.

People used to drink them in glasses that they also use for beer and cider. Champagne was just another alcoholic bubbly drink.

The glasses used had bowls with a conical shape closely resembling a funnel with short stems. Back then, the bubbles were considered “off-putting” and had to be diminished quickly.

In the 1700s, glasses were designed and made just for the consumption of Champagne when they introduced the tall and slender glass design.

Two decades later, glassmakers and manufacturers added decorative elements to the Champagne glasses. They came with engravings depicting different intricate designs for a touch of elegance.

Does The Shape Of Champagne Glasses Really Matter?

When it comes to the taste of Champagne, the tall and narrow shape of Champagne glasses does nothing to enhance it.

The purpose of tall, narrow bowls is to prevent the bubbles from evaporating quickly. They are more for aesthetics than for the taste.

If you want to enhance the taste of your Champagne, coupes will do the job better.

It would not retain the bubbles, but it would let more air in to develop the flavors and enhance your drinking experience.

Why Did Champagne Glasses Change Shape?

In the early day of drinking Champagne, the bubbles were considered vulgar.

People treated Champagne just like beer, where they poured into cups that diminished the bubbles very quickly. This is why the very first vessels used for drinking Champagne have wide bowls.

Eventually, the idea of Champagne bubbles being vulgar changed. With that, people have made glasses specifically to retain these bubbles, which is why the shape of Champagne glasses changed to flutes, which is commonly used nowadays.

What Are The Old-Fashioned Champagne Glasses Called?

The old-fashioned Champagne glasses are called coupes.

The French introduced the coupes in the 1700s – the same people who introduced us to Champagne. They were fashionable in France from the 1700s until the 1970s and in the US from the 1930s to 1980s.

For people whose purpose of drinking Champagne is more taste-oriented, the coupe is preferable to flutes. The wide bowl of coupes allows more air to interact with the Champagne so that the aromas and the flavors develop over time.

Coupes are also very versatile as they have become popular for drinking cocktails, like martinis. They are also used for serving desserts.

There is no telling which type of Champagne glass is better because each has a purpose. It all depends on the drinker’s preference. Plus, they are all elegant in their way.

Whether it is served in a flute, a coupe, or a tulip glass, you can never really go wrong with drinking Champagne.


From Cup to Coupe: A History of Our Favorite Champagne Glass

Why Glass Shape Affects the Taste of Champagne

The Differences Between Champagne Flutes And Coupe Glasses