Wine and Champagne glasses serve similar yet different purposes. While both are designed to help you enjoy an alcoholic beverage, there are different times for using each.
White wine glasses are best used for white wine, and Champagne glasses are best used for Champagne. These glasses are designed to make the beverages they contain delicious by allowing in air or keeping in bubbles. The exception to this is sparkling white wine, which can be served in either glass.
Want to learn more about the different types of Champagne glasses and how they are different from white wine glasses? Let’s look at the specifications of these different glasses and when it is a good idea to use one over the other.
What’s the Difference Between Wine & Champagne Glasses?
Wine and Champagne glasses, while they serve similar purposes, are actually designed to be different in shape for various reasons.
Shape & Size
Champagne glasses are thin, with a small opening, while wine glasses are rounder, with a larger opening.
Champagne glasses tend to have the same radius all the way around the glass, while wine glasses can frequently be larger at the base of the glass than the opening. Sometimes Champagne glasses may have a slightly wider middle than the opening and base, but the glass will still maintain a thin shape.
Champagne glasses can also come in a V-shape with a wide mouth and pointy base. These glasses tend to be top-heavy and can be difficult to balance on a tray. They are also less durable than other types of Champagne glasses.
Wine and Champagne glasses are both made from glass. There are two types of glass used to make these glasses, crystal glass, and standard glass. Standard glass is thicker and more durable than crystal glass. Standard glass can interfere with the flavor of some Champagnes because the thick glass can interfere with the flavor.
For this reason, most Champagne glasses are made of crystal glass, especially those designed for serving expensive Champagne. Wine glasses are more likely to be made of standard glass because wine has a stronger flavor that isn’t as affected by the glass.
It is possible, however, to buy crystal wine glasses, but be aware that these will be very delicate glasses. Many people stick to standard wine glasses since they tend to be used more often than Champagne flutes, and it’s better if they are more durable to withstand frequent use.
Which Is Better to Use?
If possible, you should use a wine glass when serving wine and a Champagne glass when serving Champagne. The shape of the wine glass is designed to help the wine open up so you can better enjoy all its flavors.
Champagne glasses are designed to keep the air in, in order to keep the Champagne bubbles from escaping too quickly. But, if you have a sparkling white wine, it is truly up to your personal preference which type of glass you want to use. While your sparkling white wine will stay bubblier in a wine glass, you might miss out on some of the flavors you would be exposed to by serving it in a wine glass.
Remember that Champagne glasses are more delicate than wine glasses, so take this into account as you make your decision. If you talk with your hands often or struggle with balancing a tray, then serving your Champagne and sparkling white wine in wine glasses may save you the trouble of needing to clean up broken glass.
Types of Wine Glasses and When to Use Them
There are many different types of wine glasses, but generally, they can be divided into two categories.
White Wine Glasses
White wine glasses will have a medium base, typically a bit bigger than a Champagne flute but smaller than a red wine glass. They don’t bow out as much as red wine glasses and are usually strictly vertical from the bow to the rim.
White wine glasses are designed for serving white, non-sparkling wine. They allow enough air in the glass to open the wine but not so much as to diffuse the flavors.
Red Wine Glasses
Red wine glasses have the largest bowl base of any other type of wine glass, and there are some which can be quite large. Red wine glasses may also bow out but then come back in towards the rim, giving these glasses a bowl shape.
Red wine glasses are designed for use with red wine. Red wine needs a lot of air to help open the different flavors of the wine. The older the red wine you are serving, the larger of a bowled wine glass you should look for.
Types of Champagne Glasses and When to Use Them
There are four types of Champagne glasses, and each should be used for a different type of bubbly.
The most common type of Champagne glass is the flute (on Amazon), which has a small bowl at the bottom and then is thin and uniform all the way to the rim. This type of glass is best for use with Crémant and Cava-type Champagnes.
The tulip Champagne glass(on Amazon) is very narrow at the bottom, coming to a v in the bowl. Then the glass proceeds to expand and open up a bit towards the rim. These glasses are best for Proseccos or Rosé.
The wide tulip(on Amazon) is similar to the tulip but with less of a v at the base. It also widens sooner, allowing much more air in the glass than the tulip. The wide tulip is best used for aged sparkling wines that need to open up a bit in order to enjoy them.
A coupe glass(on Amazon) is different from any other type of Champagne glass because it has a large base and a very wide mouth. While it was popular to drink Champagne from these in the 1950s, now they are mostly used for cocktails.
Final Thoughts on Wine vs. Champagne Glasses
Overall, wine and champagne glasses were designed for different purposes and are best used with the beverage found in their name.
While you can serve some sparkling white wines in Champagne flutes, these glasses can be more delicate and difficult to handle. Therefore, you may decide that you want to use white wine glasses for serving champagne at your next party!