Three Things to Consider Before Buying Champagne Flutes

How to pick the best flute for any occasion, from romantic to raucous.

champagne glasses
Buy the type of champagne flute that fits the occasion.Schott Zwiesel

Champagne is typically served in a champagne flute, a tall and narrow vessel that preserves and allows good views of the bubbles. But what should that flute be made of? Here are three choices for three different types of celebrations.

Crystal

Schott Zweisel’s crystal champagne flutes
Schott Zweisel’s crystal champagne flutes have six laser points etched inside of the glass to allow for continuous streams of bubbles.Schott Zwiesel

If you’re going to be awaiting midnight with a loved one in front of a cozy fire or some other snug setting, you don’t want to pour your champagne into water glasses you took from the cabinet above the kitchen sink. Here, go with crystal flutes. Crystal is a lightweight, thin glass that does not get in the way of the champagne when you’re sipping it and allows you to fully savor that sip. Crystal also clinks nicely when you’re making that toast. Crystal flutes that have effervescence points give the carbon dioxide in the champagne a place to form bubbles, which results in very pleasing streams of bubbles from the bottom of the flute to the surface of the champagne.

Polymer

Tossware’s polymer champagne flutes
Tossware’s polymer champagne flutes provide ultra-clear views of bubbles and will stand up to the most indelicate of handling.Tossware

We’re not talking about those el cheapo plastic wine glasses with the pop-in stems, which look used even when new and make a depressing little “tic” sound (which also shouts “Cheapskate!” to the entire room) when you toast someone else who’s holding one. Quality polymer flutes, on the other hand, look good, allow for clear views of the bubbles rising up to the surface, and will easily survive the less-than-delicate handling and toasting by those people at a party who—and we all have at least one friend like this—begin celebrating a little ahead of everyone else.

Patterned Glass

Waterford’s Markham champagne flutes
Waterford’s Markham champagne flutes have diamond patterns on the flute, along with sculpted stems.Marquis By Waterford

If you’ll be hosting a dinner party, you’ll have the combination of an intimate setting along with possibly indelicate handling. A crystal flute may not survive the accidental knockovers by guests along with the necessarily hurried handling that comes with dinner planning and cleanup, but polymer is typically not be appropriate in such settings. For these, consider a sculpted-glass design, which is not only sophisticated but also allows guests to get a firm grip on the vessel. Glass is thicker than crystal, so it will stand up to heavier handling and plenty of use, which makes such flutes a good investment if you’ll be hosting celebratory get-togethers at other times of year.

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