Champagne, Lifestyle

Champagne Flute vs Coupe: Choosing the Perfect Glass for Your Sparkling Wine

You’ve found a perfect bottle of sparkling wine for your special occasion. Now, it’s time to find the perfect glass. Let’s compare the champagne flute vs coupe glass to see what is right for you and your bubbly. 

Both champagne flutes and coupe glasses serve as classic stemware for sparkling wine and champagne, but each glass offers a unique sensory and aesthetic experience. Their shape impacts the way wine looks and tastes and how you feel while you drink it. 

To compare the champagne flute vs coupe glass, we’ll look at how the design of the glasses impacts the: 

    • Effervescence: The escape of gas from the wine that creates a stream of bubbles.
    • Flavor Preservation: How well the flavors in the wine are dispersed or preserved by the shape of the glass.
    • Aroma Concentration: How aromas are directed toward the drinker’s nose to impact olfactory perception.
    • Sipping Experience: How the glass is handled and how it feels while sipping and celebrating a toast.  
    • Aesthetics: How the glass looks, what style it offers, and how it complements an event or occasion. 

Let’s discover which glass is right for you and your bottle of bubbly.


The Champagne Flute

The champagne flute is an icon, and there are many reasons why its sophisticated silhouette is synonymous with class, celebration, and sparkling wine. 

History and Evolution

While drinking champagne has been a pastime since the 17th century, the design of the flute glass we know today was formed around the 1950s. Thanks to advancements in glassmaking, the slender, delicate form of the flute glass began to take shape around this time. Before its development, wine aficionados enjoyed sparkling varieties in coupe glasses with wider, shorter rims. The later development of the flute explains why coupe glasses often carry a classic tone while flute glasses are revered for offering a better overall champagne drinking experience. 

Related: What Is a Flute Glass?

Design and Aesthetics

Champagne flutes have a style that is immediately recognizable. The glassware, most frequently made of glass or crystal, has a long stem that leads up to an elongated, narrow bowl. With a thin rim, the flute’s bowl slightly bellows out toward the top. It is delicate, sophisticated, elegant, and designed to bring out the best in sparkling wine and champagne.      

The Swallow Champagne Flute from the Fran Berger Collection is the perfect reflection of the classic flute design and aesthetic. Handcrafted by heritage glass artisans in the Czech Republic, the Swallow Champagne Flute has a long stem with clean, crisp lines and a beautifully subtle tapered bowl.

Drinking Experience

While the shape of the champagne flute is beautiful, it isn’t designed for aesthetics alone. The form is for function as well. The unique shape of the flute glass is crafted to highlight the best qualities of sparkling wine and champagne. 

  • The elongated shape encourages effervescence and creates a long-lasting, continuous stream of bubbles. 
  • The elongated bowl directs the wine's aromas toward the drinker's nose.
  • The narrow opening of the flute minimizes the surface area exposed to the air, reducing the rate at which the wine's aromas dissipate.
  • The elongated stem allows the drinker to hold the glass without transferring heat from their hands to the wine, keeping the wine cooler longer.  


The Champagne Coupe

While the flute may slightly outshine the coupe when it comes to being an icon for champagne celebrations, the coupe actually has a longer history as champagne stemware.

Historical Significance

With the invention of sparkling wine in the 17th century so came the need for beautiful glassware to feature the elegant new beverage. History and myth merge to tell the story of the invention of the coupe glass. Many say the shapely glass was inspired by the beautiful figures of the most famous and powerful woman of the time. Helen of Troy, Madame de Pompadour, and Marie Antoinette are all cited as possible inspirations for the glass that became the chosen champagne vessel between the 18th and 19th centuries, used by French aristocracy and royal courts.

Design Characteristics

The classic shape of a coupe glass presents a level of retro charm and sophistication. The coupe glass has a sleek stem, typically shorter than a flute glass, that leads to a shallow bowl with a wide, broad rim. The bowl-shaped cup provides more surface area for the drink and adds to the timeless look of the glassware. 

The classic elements of the coupe glass come to life in the Heron Coupe Glass from the Fran Berger Collection. The glass’s well-considered curves offer modern flourishes on the classic coupe and embody the simplicity of sophistication.

Sensory Experience

For hundreds of years, champagne and sparkling wine were enjoyed in the classic coupe glass. The glass has also proven to be a great choice for presenting mixed cocktails and still wine. 

  • Due to the wide, shallow bowl of a coupe glass, sparkling wine bubbles come to the surface and pop very quickly.
  • The wide bowl allows the liquid to spread out and enhance the oxidation process which allows flavors to develop and evolve.
  • The shallow, broad bowl presents beverages in a visually striking manner, offering more surface area and allowing liquid to catch and reflect light.
  • The wide, rounded rim provides ample space for garnishes, such as fruit slices or herbs, to accentuate the taste and presentation of cocktails. 

Related: How to Taste Champagne: The Taste & Appreciation Experience


Practical Considerations

Now that you know the difference between the two most famous types of champagne glasses, let’s consider which one is right for you. Compare the champagne flute vs coupe glass to see which will work for your aesthetic, style, event, or occasion.

Occasions and Suitability

Champagne flutes and coupe glasses each offer a unique sensory experience for drinking sparkling wine, and they both also influence the energy and aesthetic of a special occasion. Here are a few recommendations for when to choose flutes or coupe glasses depending on your event type. 

For a Celebration — Champagne Flute 

The silhouette of a champagne flute is directly associated with celebrating. For moments of commemoration and achievement, flutes are a great option for infusing a celebratory tone. Use them for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, retirements, and any other moment when raising a glass to success. 

For a Cocktail Party — Coupe Glass

Because coupe glasses lend to drinking sparkling wine as well as mixed drinks, they are an excellent option for cocktail parties. With one glass style, you can meet the needs of guests enjoying a glass of bubbly or a craft cocktail. 

For a Formal Event — Champagne Flute 

It’s difficult to match the level of sophistication that accompanies a champagne flute. For this reason, a champagne flute is often the best option when choosing glassware for a formal event such as a wedding, gala, or ball. The high-end appeal of a flute will elevate the elegance of the event and leave guests feeling chic and stylish. 

For a Vintage-Themed Party — Coupe Glass

With its classic design, coupe glasses are the perfect accent for a vintage-themed or retro-inspired event such as a 1920s soirée or Gatsby party. The historical significance of a coupe glass evokes images of bygone eras and adds a touch of nostalgia to an occasion.

For Your Special Event — Match Your Personal Style 

These are only suggestions for how to style your event or occasion. Remember, hosting and gathering is a reflection of your personal point-of-view and aesthetic. If it suits you, break the rules and choose the glass that is the best representation of who you are and the environment you want to create for your guests. 

Related: Best Champagne Glasses - Reviewed by Fran Berger


Durability and Ease of Use

When thinking about whether you’d like to use a champagne flute or coupe glass, also think about the practical aspects of using and maintaining these glasses. 

  • Material: Champagne flutes and coupe glasses made from delicate glass or crystal are great for elegant, elevated celebrations. 
  • Cleaning: High-quality champagne flutes and coupe glasses should both be hand-washed with warm water and not run through automatic dishwashers. 
  • Storage: Both glasses are recommended to be stored in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and extreme temperature changes. 

As you look for the perfect set of glasses for sparkling wine, consider how you will maintain and care for your finely crafted glassware so it will last many years into the future. 

Related: 5 Best Glasses for Champagne for Every Occasion


Champagne Flute vs Coupe: Which Is Best?

So which is best when comparing the champagne flute vs coupe glass?

  • A champagne flute is usually better if you want a traditional glass of sparkling wine that maintains its bubbles. Flutes are designed to maintain effervescence, keep the glass cool, and offer an elegant and sophisticated style. 
  • A coupe is usually better if you want to offer a high-end, vintage cocktail feel to the drinking experience. If you’re tapping into the trends of retro mixology, consider using a coupe to serve craft and champagne cocktails. 


Find the Perfect Glass for Sparkling Wine

You can’t go wrong whether you enjoy a glass of sparkling wine in an elegant champagne flute or a classic coupe glass. Both offer their unique spin to enhance your celebration or special event. 

See which style inspires and attracts you most by exploring Fran Berger Living’s stemware collection which includes coupe glasses, champagne flutes, and other timeless stemware



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