There’s no reason to fret over purchasing and serving guests from an ultra-expensive crystal champagne flute. However, there are plenty of reasons not to serve wine, Champagne, or Prosecco in a plastic cup. And the reasons are far more than the obvious aesthetics.
Yes, it’s true. There are scientific reasons not to use styrofoam, or plastic, cups when serving wine or when pouring the bubbly. Here’s a breakdown of what not to use, and why, as well as a few tips for what actually works best.
A Rose is a Rose
We’ve all heard it a thousand times: “A rose by any other name is still a Rose.” And while this metaphor is true for much, it’s simply not accurate when it comes to wine vessels. A glass of wine, in just any vessel, is simply not the same.
First, let’s take a look at the impact of aesthetics on the drinking experience. Similar to food: presentation always matters. There’s no doubt a great meal is appreciated most when served with color, texture, and flair. An entirely beige meal on a plate—while it may be both flavorful amid healthy—will never be appreciated to the fullest.
Experiments have been done by adding simple food coloring to alter the appearance of an otherwise delicious meal. Even though the added coloring is tasteless and odorless, diners will almost always rate the dish in a negative way.
The same is true with a glass of wine, Champagne, or Prosecco. The appeal of a wonderful, chilled Prosecco, for example, served in a red solo cup, will be noticeably lost in the aesthetic translation.
But besides appearances, there’s actually scientific reasons to use glass when enjoying wine. And here are a few reasons why:
The Science Behind the Vessel Material
When it comes to Champagne or Prosecco, styrofoam causes the bubbles to rise too slowly, and this drastically changes the delightful experience of the drink.
Plastic cups, on the other hand, cause the bubbles to cling to the side of the vessel and then merge together—ultimately causing the bubbles to grow in size. This also negatively alters the sipping experience of both Champagne and Prosecco.
A glass champagne flute allows the bubbly to be appreciated at its most optimum. But even with the vessel materials in check, (no plastic, whatsoever) the shape of the glass also matters.
Here are a few perfect Champagne and Prosecco vessel shapes (We promise: No plastic in the mix) each lending itself to personal shape preferences for various performance reasons.
But regardless of the shape, it’s essential the vessel is glass. Disposable champagne flutes are not the answer.
The Coupe or Champagne Saucer
If nostalgia is your thing, or you’re having a roaring twenties party, or a 1960’s retro bash, this might be the perfect Prosecco vessel for you. Both eras served this vessel to toast with ultimate class and pride.
The downside is the shallow bowl does not provide ample opportunity for bubbles to fully develop and will, therefore, limit the pleasure of the drinking experience. You’ll also have to sip quickly because the wide bowl in this vessel tends to cause the fizz to quickly turn flat. And we all know: Bubbles are where it’s at with sparkling wine.
The Champagne Flute
With a slender bowl and a generally long stem, these champagne glasses shout sophistication.
On a practical note: Compared to the coupe, the crystal champagne flute shape provides a powerhouse of rapidly rising bubbles and brings the Champagne or prosecco experience to a bubbly optimum.
However, the narrow bowl does limit the ability for aromas, and flavor, to fully develop. While it’s a great glass shape for fizz, it does limit the development of the beverage’s complete flavor.
The Champagne Tulip Glass
With its own following of aesthetic choices, the tulip is similar in shape to the flute—offering the user an elegant stemmed vessel.
However, the widening, then narrowing of this vessel, allows the tulip glass to send the bubbles closer to your tongue’s taste buds, rather than your nose. In addition, the wider bowl allows more aeration space and therefore flavor and aromas tend to be more fully developed.
Leave the Plastic Cups for the Water Cooler
Whichever vessel shape you prefer, just remember not to use plastic champagne flutes whatsoever. This will allow you to enjoy your prosecco to the fullest. So pour the bubbly, raise your glass, offer up a toast, and enjoy! Cheers!
Zonin is world-renowned for our fine wines and Prosecco. Hailing from the Veneto region, the Zonin family owns the largest Glera growing vineyard found anywhere in Italy. With an appreciation for old-world traditions and a passion for honoring our customers, we are dedicated to creating only the finest products.