Wines: Kiss Your Champagne Flutes Goodbye

Adam Arlen

, Happy Hour

Kiss your Champagne flutes goodbye

Yes, I said it.


Looking sexy

Champagne flutes look sexy, especially at a cocktail party. The sparkling wine catches the light and highlights the bubbles.


The scientific argument for using flutes

There is a scientific argument in using the flute. With a smaller surface area, the column of liquid helps the formation of the constant stream of bubbles.


That is where it stops

You can not get your nose in the glass and you lose all the aromatics that sparkling wine is known for. The carbon dioxide bubbles burst when they get to the top and form a barrier preventing oxygen getting in the wine to help it open in the glass. The layers and nuance in the wine disappear inside the flute.



Break out the regular wine glasses for your sparkling wine

Even though it is sparkling, it is still wine in the end. Using a regular wine glass allows you to get your nose deep in the glass to find the soft undertones of the wine. Well-crafted sparkling wine will not lose the effervescence that is so sought in the bubbly fizz. The wider glass allows some of the carbon dioxide to mix with the air and allow some oxygen into the wine. The vehicle of all the aromatics getting to your nose is not the bubbles, but the evaporation of alcohol that carries all the smells to your nose. When the bubbles burst at the surface of the wine, they create an aerosol containing a concentration of wine aromas. The evaporation of the alcohol when the glass is swirled takes those aromas home to your nose and palate.


Homework time!

Take the same bottle of bubbly and pour it in both a flute and a regular wine glass. Starting with the flute, write down everything you smell and taste. Take that sheet and flip it over. Proceed to the regular glass and repeat. Compare your notes!


What I am drinking:


Roederer Estate Brut, Anderson Valley, NV

The Roederer Estate Brut is crisp and elegant with complex pear, spice, and hazelnut flavors. It is fresh and lightly fruity with great finesse and depth of flavor. Delicate and svelte, with apple puff pastry and floral citrus flavors accented by snappy mineral and fresh ginger notes.



Wine images courtesy
Roederer Estate Brut image courtesy




Adam Arlen, Sommelier


Adam Arlen: “I am passionate about wine because it is history in a bottle.” He is the sommelier for The Peninsula Club in Cornelius, NC. Originally from Allentown, PA, he believes you should always branch out and find new things. His goal is to never stop learning and continuing to grow both personally and professionally. A fun fact about him: “I was a nuclear engineer on a submarine in a previous life.”





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