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Champagne Glassware: Coupe vs Flute

There’s a lot of different glassware specifically for Champagne and sparkling wine. It’s a special wine, it should have a special glass, don’t you think? There’s the coupe glass, the flute, and the saucer, or for some, a simple white wine glass will do. So who wins the battle between Champagne coupe vs flute? Below we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type of Champagne glass and a little myth busting (Is the coupe glass shaped after Marie Antoinette’s breast?). Fair warning for any wine snobs, there’s a lot of talk about the champagne glasses in Netflix’s Emily in Paris below because that’s where the inspiration for this article came from. Feel free to skip to the end.

Feel free to skip past all the “Emily in Paris” Champagne Glass talk

“Emily in Paris” Champagne Glass Scene

Go ahead and judge me, but while watching Season 1 Episode 8 of Netflix’s “Emily in Paris” this week, I wanted to share my thoughts about Champagne glassware, specifically Champagne coupe vs flute. Yes, the show is awful….awfully entertaining but bear with me. The scene I’m referring to is set in Château de Lalisse owned by Emily’s friend, Camille’s parents. The chateau is having some issues and need Emily’s marketing genius to sell their surplus of Champagne. Emily spends the day drinking the family’s bubbly and gets quite tipsy.

The Champagne Coupe aka the Marie Antoinette Champagne Glass

Camille’s brother meets Emily by the pool late at night and they talk about the coupe glass the chateau decides to serve the Champagne in. Emily questions why they use a Champagne coupe vs a flute. He explains that the coupe is the sexiest glass to drink Champagne from. He tells her it was shaped after Marie Antoinette’s breast. You can imagine where the scene goes from there. Or don’t. The show is not winning any Emmy’s* but it’s very entertaining. And yes, I binge watched the whole first season. ANYWAY.

*Edit: I wrote this before it was nominated for a Golden Globe. WHAT!?!

The chateau from Ep1S8 of Emily in Paris is not actually in Champagne but you can still visit. Photo from Le Château de Sonnay

Where is Château de Lalisse?

Because I love you guys so much, I tracked down the filming location for the Emily in Paris Champagne episode. Château de Lalisse that Camille’s parents own on the show is fictitious. “Emily in Paris” filmed at Chateau de Sonnay which is not in the Champagne region at all. It’s in Chinon which is an appellation in the Loire Valley famous for Cabernet Franc. Their website is completely in French so good luck with that.

Champagne fountain
Champagne fountain anyone?

What is a Champagne coupe?

The Champagne coupe is making a comeback. It’s reminiscent of the roaring 20’s and with Repeal Day around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get in on the trend. The coupe was also the preferred glass of Old Hollywood. The coupe is a short glass with a wide bulb and open top. It does kind of look like you could stick a boob in it, though the Marie Antoinette story has been debunked, or at the very least unproven. But what is Champagne without the lore? The Champagne coupe glass was used by kings, after all. (Btw, it is pronounced koop not koop-ay).

The Champagne coupe is intended for older vintages of Champagne that need more air to breathe. Honestly, most sparkling can benefit from a wider bulb. Personally, I prefer a coupe because I can’t get my big nose into a flute to smell the wine properly. Will a regular white wine glass do the same thing, yes, but sparkling wine is special and should have its own glass, don’t you think? They make great cocktail glasses, too. If you have a Champagne lover in your life, make sure to check this out.

The long slender glass and small opening traps the bubbles longer.

Benefits of using a Champagne flute

The Champagne flute was created in the 1700s specifically for sparkling wine. A Champagne flute is timeless…and spill proof. Clinking with a coupe can be a bit challenging because of the shallow bowl. The sound of a flute when you cheers is music to the ears. There is something elegant and romantic about holding a flute. It’s reminiscent of weddings, New Year’s Eve, and any other happy event that called for Champagne. The flute’s narrow opening prevents the bubbles from escaping too quickly. This gives you more time to savor your bubbles. A flute is a great choice for events where people will be mingling. Walking around and getting bumped into won’t cause a mess with a flute.

Leonardo DiCaprio in the Great Gatsby holding a Champagne coupe
Does this meme ever get old? The Great Gatsby glass is called a Champagne coupe.

Another benefit of a flute glass is that you can hold it by the stem. Keeping your warm hand away from the bulb will keep the sparkling wine colder longer. A coupe is held by the bulb in a very Great Gatsby kind of way. Champagne should be served very very cold. If you opt for a Champagne coupe vs flute, then pour small amounts at a time and keep the bottle on ice in the meantime. This will keep the bubbles from going flat and keep the Champagne at the correct serving temperature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Prosecco served in a Champagne glass?

Prosecco can be served in a traditional Champagne flute. Prosecco’s bubbles don’t last as long as Champagne’s due to the production method. The wider opening of a coupe glass will make the bubbles disappear faster.

Can you drink Champagne in a wine glass?

A classic white wine glass is just fine for Champagne. My personal belief is the Champagne is special and is usually drank for special occasions. Shouldn’t it then have its own special glass? Glassware adds to the wine tasting experience just as much as the other elements.

Where is the chateau in Emily in Paris?

Season 1 Episode 8 of Emily in Paris takes place at Camille’s parents’ chateau in Champagne. However, the filming location is actually Le Château de Sonnay, a castle in Chinon on the other side of France from Champagne. Chinon is a wine appellation in the Loire Valley. Chinon is known for red wines of Cabernet Franc. Le Château de Sonnay does operate as a winery and is open for visits. Le Château de Sonnay from Emily in Paris

Is Champagne worth the money?

The sommelier in me wants to scream YES, OF COURSE! Champagne is fantastic, truly. However, so much of the price tag is marketing. The supply and demand from the market drives the price. Champagne must come from a particular region of northeast France. The vineyard real estate has gotten increasing more expensive as the demand for Champagne increases. Champagne is also labor intensive. Champagne goes through a second fermentation in the bottle which adds 3 extra steps to the process.

What are good alternatives to Champagne?

Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, and sparkling wine from California have long in competition with Champagne. My advice is to look at unique areas for bubbles. Any cold climates like Northern Greece, Germany, and even Michigan can make excellent sparkling wines. Look for  Méthode Traditionelle on the label. This means the second fermentation has occurred in the bottle and is therefore a superior product from simpler ways of making sparkling wine.

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