Champagne and flute glasses go hand in hand like peas in a pod.
When one thinks of sipping a bubbly from one of France’s renowned wine regions, they usually bring out that long-stemmed, tall glass with a narrow bowl. But one of the biggest names in the wine world is challenging this practice.
‘Kill the Flute’
Renowned Champagne house Krug may soon launch a rosé Champagne glass in collaboration with a wine glass manufacturer. The plans were shared by Krug Cellar Master Eric Lebel to Decanter.com during the Krug World Festival. The proposed new glass is consistent with a growing segment of winemakers who want to skip the flute glass in favour of bespoke glasses.
In 2012, Krug–which is owned by the luxury brand conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE– launched their Le Joseph glass in honour of the house’s founder.
Krug will be joining a growing list of Champagne houses leaning towards bespoke glasses as a part of a larger movement against the flute glass. The flute became the default serving glass for sparkling wines a few decades ago when it took the crown from the coupe.
Lebel told Decanter that Krug is fully supporting the ‘kill the flute’ crusade, saying the ‘outdated’ stemware should be left for the inferior sparkling wines.
Krug CEO Maggie Henríquez said recently that drinking their champagne from a flute “is like listening to opera with earplugs.”
One of the top names floating around that will make the new rosé glass for Krug is glass manufacturer Riedel. The glass company created the Le Joseph glass “to enhance the experience” of Krug’s Grande Cuvée. Its design was described by Lebel as a “perfect collaborative innovation.”
The design of the Le Joseph glass took 18 months of collaboration. They started with 27 glasses for initial testing, until it was trimmed down to three final prototypes. These were then tested by master sommeliers and the winemaking team of Krug. The tests focused on the ability of each design to concentrate the wine’s flavours and aromas and to enhance bubbles, as well as their durability and ease of cleanup.
Lebel added that they are continuing with the innovations in the stemware that goes with their award-winning sparkling wine, with some designs in the pipeline. “We have one excellent glass but we can’t stand on that success only. There might be a better one.”
Out of Tune
Krug isn’t the first Champagne house to skip the flute for a glass that would enhance the drinking experience.
Dom Perignon uses a white wine glass from the Authentis range of wine glass maker Spiegelau. Moët & Chandon followed the footsteps of Krug and partnered with Riedel to make a couture glass– the Moët & Chandon flute.
The general idea behind the wine glasses is to choose a wider one, but preferably not a coupe. With a coupe glass, bubbles dissipate more quickly and there are issues about its centre of gravity after the first glass.
Jean-Baptiste Lécaillon, cellarmaster at the Louis Roederer Champagne House, said tor proper aeration that will fully demonstrate the drink’s potential.
More and more winemakers are following this trend, but restaurant owners have been ahead of the curve for some time now. In California, for example, Jordan Nova of 1313 Main Restaurant & Wine Bar says that they are gradually shifting from using flutes.
“While the majority of guests are used to flutes, we have found that winemakers and savvy guests have begun requesting white wine glasses for Champagne,” Nova was quoted by The Daily Mail as saying..
The next time you pop a cork, enjoy the Champagne as much as the occasion– and preferably, in the proper glass.