Buy Glasses of Champagne – The New York Times

The holidays offer plenty of reasons to get bubbly, including reuniting with family and friends and toasting the New Year. But when you raise a glass, make sure it’s good.

“A glass has an influence on a wine”, said Aldo Sohm, sommelier and wine director of Le Bernardin and Aldo Sohm wine bar in New York, and ambassador of the high-end glassware brand Zalto. “It’s kind of like music, when you have a song and you’re listening from two different speaker systems, it makes a huge difference.”

Champagne glasses come in different shapes, from flutes to coupes, and some have colors and decorations. Fortunately, there are no wrong choices. Fun, inexpensive glasses can be ideal for casual encounters with mid-range wines. A special bottle, however, can be best enjoyed with special glassware.

“You can drink from a paper cup, which is five cents, or you can drink from a Zalto champagne glass, which is $60. The question is: what are you looking for? said Mr. Sohm.

At the end of the day, he added, “The best glass is the one you want to drink from.”

  • Is the flute the best form for drinking champagne? Compared to a coupé, a flute preserves more bubbles, Mr Sohm said, but it’s also like “putting the champagne in a corset”. When drinking a vintage champagne from a smaller producer, he says, he often prefers a wider universal wine glass.

  • Are stemless glasses acceptable? They’re good for casual events like picnics, Mr. Sohm said, but they have a downside: “You heat up champagne very quickly, and champagne is very temperature sensitive.”

  • Should champagne glasses be clear or colored? Purists generally prefer clear glass, so they can see the wine, but the color can add some fun. As Mr. Sohm noted, “it can be beautiful to someone who thinks it is beautiful.”

Engraved champagne flute based on a drawing owned by Thomas Jefferson

$89 at The Shop Monticello: 800-243-1743 or

Pair of glasses in smoky gray or pink

$110 at Neiman Marcus: 888-888-4757 or

Pair of faceted champagne flutes by Erdem Akan

$67 at Nude:

Angular German Crystal Champagne Flute

$15 at Williams Sonoma: 877-812-6235 or

Pair of champagne flutes with plastic bases and glass tops

$22 for two at the MoMA Design Store: 800-851-4509 or

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Sarah C. Figueiredo