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.
Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.
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