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Everything you've always wanted to know about wine but were afraid to ask.

A glass of champagne? Don't! If there is one detail of importance in the service of Champagne it is the glass. Champagne is best enjoyed in a tulip-shaped glass so that all the aromas can be appreciated.

Some elements on the physics of the bubble

In order to obtain a bubble in the glass, a particle of material is needed. In a perfectly clean glass, there would be no bubbles.

These are the bubbles that release the aromatic molecules of Champagne by putting movement in the glass. It is thus useless to stir it like still wines.

In the glass, in 10 seconds, the Champagne loses almost 40% of the CO2. The fineness of the bubbles depends on the quantity of this CO2 dissolved in the product and not on its quality. The less sugar there is, the less CO2 there is, so the bubbles grow more slowly in the glass. With the age of the Champagne, the bubbles also become more refined. If there is not enough CO2, after 20 years of conservation a Champagne may not have bubbles anymore.

The bubbles also depend on another glass-related parameter: the distance travelled.

Is there an ideal glass for Champagne?

The cup? The cut is too wide and precipitates the diffusion of CO2. It is not high enough either to let the aromas express themselves. In short, it lets out bubbles and aromas, despite its notoriety it is to be banished.

The flute? The flute is too narrow and the concentration of CO2 is too high, favouring a carbonic sting which attacks the mucous membranes and annihilates the aromas.

The wine glass? It is indeed advisable to serve Champagne in a tulip-shaped glass, or even in a standardised Inao style glass, with a sufficient height to leave room for the bubble to form and closing gently to bring out the aromas. The glass should comfortably fit the nose. As for still wines, these oval-shaped glasses are available for rosé Champagnes with a wider shoulder.

An "ideal" glass has even been imagined in Reims by a physicist and a glassmaker. Named Sixty, this shell-shaped glass is tilted at 60° with the foot in the middle. Decreasing the serving height, it offers a maximum of bubbles and a new auditory component to the tasting.


Chloe Queffeulou

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