They are the dream gift of the season — lovely to look at, delightful to hold, heaven to use. In their nearly 300-year history, Champagne glasses have seen the design of choice run from frosted and tinted to colored and decorated — all of which hide Champagne’s bubbles. At various times, the shape of favor was the coupe — the wide V-shaped saucer style said to have been modeled on Marie Antoinette’s breast. Yet, while it may have been a beguiling shape for the lady, it is a terrible shape for Champagne. Its large open surface allows bubbles that took years to develop to disappear in minutes.
For the quintessential Champagne glass, consider the clear, crystal, straight-sided or tulip-shaped flute. Slender, graceful, long-stemmed, these elongated glasses complement the world’s most glamorous wine by concentrating the bubbles in a small area, sending them up in a straight line to the glass’s narrow opening, focusing the bouquet and the bubbles and releasing the full experience of Champagne.
In the holiday spirit, we’ve selected a few of our favorite Champagne glasses as gifts to give — and to receive.
Baccarat’s Massena glass, an exquisite, heavy lead crystal glass with a design cut into the crystal from base to stem to the lower part of the bowl, has an elegant tulip shape and sells for $180.
In contrast, Baccarat’s classic Dom Perignon glass is feather-light. Tall, perfectly balanced and refined, it is a quiet beauty whose excellence is whispered, not shouted. It is available for $125.
A third Baccarat charmer is St. Remy, also light in the hand, also well-balanced, also beautiful; available for $120.
Orrefors-Kosta Boda’s Intermezzo Blue Flute is a strikingly handsome Champagne flute with a long, dark blue teardrop in its graceful stem. It sells for $50.
Nambé has a Champagne tulip with a twist. Called Chill, it is a slender crystal flute on a thick, twisted crystal stem that fits the contours of the hand perfectly. The Chill glasses are sold in pairs, $100 for both.
Among the other moderately priced and notably beautiful glasses are Marquis by Waterford ($49); the silver-rimmed Solitaire by Lenox ($30); Vows by Ralph Lauren ($25); and Mikasa’s platinum-rimmed, swirl-cut Flame D’Amore ($39).
All are worthy of a Champagne toast at any time of year.
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