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Do Sparkling Wine Glasses Make a Difference?

Gloria’s Flute

During the last couple years I have judged several sparkling wine competitions. For those judging sessions, the judges used white wine glasses. At home I never use a white wine glass with a sparkling wine, preferring a flute glass instead. The white wine glass does allow you to notice the aroma better than the flute. The flute emphasizes the bubbles better than a white wine glass. Some people prefer the nostalgia of coupes.

Gloria Ferrer, co-founder of Gloria Ferrer Winery in Sonoma, California, has been collecting wine glasses for years. Her collection of stemware in Spain numbers 2,000 pieces. In 2016, to help celebrate the winery’s 30th anniversary, Mrs. Gloria Ferrer worked with Sonoma artist, Alex Leader, to design a sparkling wine glass that combined the best features of previous stemware styles. The resulting Gloria’s Flute is available for purchase at the winery and online. The retail price for the flute is $40.00. We received a flute and a bottle of sparkling wine from Gloria Ferrer winery and I was anxious to see how Gloria’s Flute does compared to a traditional coupe, flute and white wine glass.

On the first observation, the stem of Gloria’s Flute is much wider than the other stemware. The flute and white wine glasses measured 5-6 mm for the stem thickness. The coupe measured 8 mm while Gloria’s Flute measured 17 mm. Gloria’s Flute becomes increasingly wider on the stem. This section is hollow to allow the sparkling wine to pour into part of the stem resembling a flute. The second observation was that the Gloria’s Flute was lighter than the other stemware. However, weighing them did not support this perceived observation. All the stemware were near 100 grams in weight. When you are holding the Gloria’s Flute it seems lighter. The thicker stem does not seem to deter from holding the glass. The balance of the Gloria’s Flute seems better than the other glasses. It does not seem unbalanced as if it might easily tip over.

Coupe, flute, Gloria’s Flute and white wine glass

The coupe showcased the bubbles poorly. There were a few streams of bubbles, after a few minutes there was only one stream of bubbles. The mousse on the surface of the coupe was very small. The flute showed several streams of bubbles. The mousse disappeared after a few minutes, even though there were streams of bubbles. The white wine glass showed fewer streams of bubbles than the flute or Gloria’s Flute. There was only a hint of a mousse above each stream. As far as bubbles go, the Gloria’s Flute had the best showing. Several minutes after the sparkling wine was poured, several streams of bubbles were still active. The bubbles formed a mousse in two sections on the surface; after several minutes there was one mousse in the center of the glass.

The aroma was consistent with all glasses; however, it was more intense in the white wine glass. In the coupe, the taste of the wine seemed muted, while in the flute the wine was crisper and more alive. In the white wine glass and Gloria’s Flute the mouthfeel was softer than in the flute.

The salmon colored sparkling wine was made with Pinot Noir grapes. Some skin contact allowed for the festive color. Red berry fruit was noted on the taste. There was a hint of vanilla on the finish.

Do sparkling wine glasses make a difference? In a situation where I was judging the wines, I would prefer the flute.  At dinner or just enjoying a sparkling wine, it is a toss between a flute and a Gloria’s Flute. Gloria’s Flute did the best at showcasing bubble streams and a mouse. It also had the best showing of bubbles for a longer time. A flute showcases the acidity of the wine and its crispness; whereas, the Gloria’s Flute showed the sparkling wine as softer and less acidic. All glasses did a nice job showing the color of the wine. At a cocktail party I would prefer Gloria’s Flute. It is easier to hold and did not seem as though it would fall over when set down. In summary, I plan to get a few more of the Gloria’s Flute glasses. Kathy and I enjoy sparkling wines especially the bubbles.


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