26 Jan There’s More in a Glass than the Wine
Every morning, I enjoy a reviving long black espresso coffee, in MY mug. This is the mug that always makes coffee taste better, whoever is doing the ‘making.’ I also have a favourite cup for tea, and the water glass beside my bed is washed and replaced every day. For champagne I have a Champagne YSC glass, read on to find out why.
This is in a house where, with a husband and five daughters (and occasional our grandchild), we have dozens of mugs, cups and other drinkware.
It may not be the prettiest, but that ‘favourite’ mug, cup or glass is something that most of us can identify with. It feels good in our hands, we enjoy just the right amount or aroma and it brings comfort and familiarity into an otherwise random day.
I always prefer to drink beer out of a branded glass, in our Cafe Dan Turèll in Copenhagen all our beers are in branded glasses, the beer maker knows just the shape and size for the aroma and sparkle of their brand to last as long as possible. Plus, it is all part of the experience after a long day working in the vineyard.
When it comes to the question of which champagne glasses are the ‘best’ shape, it is one of the most frequently asked questions of a winemaker. So, as a winemaker of champagnes with delicious and complex flavours and sensations that I want the drinker to enjoy to the fullest, it is important to me that the chilled cuvées are sampled in the most appropriate glassware possible which is why I created the Champagne YSC glass.
In theory, the very best shaped glass for champagne is the tulip-shaped glass, or an oval shaped white wine glass – depending on the particular cuvée. Bubble flow and aroma intensity are affected by the depth, surface area and shape of the glass. A tulip, or an oval white wine shape will concentrate and allow for expression of all the lovely complex aromas, so it is a great choice for champagne.
That is not the end of the story though. Champagne is something we enjoy on special occasions, gatherings with friends and family or romantic dinners for two. That sense of occasion has a psychological effect on us, and a large part of the occasion is the visual appeal of the presentation.
If a glass has been specially chosen, we appreciate that choice. When I design a wedding event, the champagne flute always looks most elegant on the trays and is completely fitting to the occasion.
The bowl-shaped coupe champagne glass is entirely appropriate, if you want to build a spectacular champagne tower, or have a sixties themed party.
We are emotional beings, and size and shape matters – beyond just the considerations of aroma intensity and bubble flow. It is about our sense of occasion, which is a wonderful thing. Smart sommeliers add a mention of their glassware selection as a way to excite a guest’s expectations of their champagne.
Winemakers are also well advised to create the perfect branded glass for their cuvées.
I am very proud of my Les Cinq Filles tulip-shaped glasses, decorated with the LCF five butterflies motif. A woman’s work is never done though, so after another coffee in my favourite mug, I’d better get to work, designing for our newest champagne range which will be released next month.