Thursday, December 07, 2006

Get Saucy With Champagne Saucers

Marketing companies must love me. I buy what I see. In other words, I remember champagne being served to me only in 'flutes' since I was old enough to order it in public. So, when I got married last year, I made sure to register for a whole slew of beautiful champagne flutes at Crate and Barrel. Saucer shaped glasses didn't even enter my head. In fact, I'm not sure I even remember seeing any of them in the store. Besides, the round champagne glasses are very easy to spill (especially after a few glasses). Something I am prone to do.

I do see full sets of dusty champagne saucers in thrift stores (which I scour for my cocktail shaker collection, and array of antique blue and green glass bottles.) I've always passed the cobwebbed glasses by, imagining them newly arrived from the estate of a little, old granny. If even the relatives didn't want them, why would I? I sip bubbly from my gorgeous wedding flutes.

Well, once again, I have learned something worthy of sharing with the Sipster Community...

Flutes are actually meant for inexpensive, less complex sparkling wine. They are also ideal for champagne cocktails and mimosas, both of which call for 'the cheaper stuff.' (Never bother to use expensive champagne for the above - it would be a waste to "pollute" fine champange with anything.) There is absolutely nothing wrong with flutes. Tuliped champagne flutes are more versatile than the long, skinny ones. I'm not suggesting not to use flutes. However, here is something to keep in mind...

Saucers are designed for expensive, fine champagne. Just as many aged and complex red wines are decanted or served in big, sexy, grapefruit-shaped wine glasses, a high-end champagne needs to 'open up.' It needs to breathe. Give the good stuff some space for goodness sake!

And, one more thing. Avoid the hollow stemmed flutes at all costs! The body heat from your hand makes the bubbles go flat. Besides, like beer, warm champagne is just not the same. The same goes for "stemless" champagne glasses. Just like stemless white wine glasses, it is simply a bad idea. Stemless glasses are fine for reds, though, as they become more flavorful when going from a cool wine cellar to room (or body) temperature.

So, whether you are registering for a wedding, spoiling yourself with new stemware or want to indulge your friends in a bit of cocktail trivia... your champagne saucers could be part of a new (retro) trend!

8 comments:

val said...

You learn something new every day! I always thought of the wider glass as somehow less classy than the flutes, maybe because when a glass has a special name, like "flute" I think "damn, that must be fancy." I think that I will still use them because they are so much easier to drink from. I am a major spiller and order my gimlets in a tall glass for this very reason, but I digress.
Question for you: what would one use to serve Prosecco?

Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Hi Val,
Thanks for visiting The Liquid Muse. Yes, I still have the classy flute thing in my mind, too... and I'll still use them. But, I am sooo looking forward to gittin' me some saucers!

Prosecco (Italian sparkling wine) like Cava (a Spanish sparler) or other less expensive champange-esque beverage are totally appropriate in flutes.

But no one is stopping you from pouring it into a saucer, if you so desire...

Deb said...

Natalie, have you ever been to Morry's of Naples? Check it out. They just opened Morry's Back Room (in the back room...) where they have a great bar and limited food. I loved it! Great wine in the store as well!

Aunt Shelly said...

I heard the opposite. I was told that if you pour chamgagne into a saucer the bubbles disipate faster and the champagne will go flat by the time you drink it.

Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Hi Aunt Shelly,
That is interesting... Hmmm...

Well, I think I am going to do an experiment and find out for myself! I'll put expensive champagne in flutes, and cheap in saucers, then the opposite and see what happens... And, I'll keep an eye on the bubbles.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I think I just make up an excuse to drink a whole lot of champagne... ;-)

DC Celine said...

I've also heard that the "really good stuff" should go in a good white wine glass - for the same reasons you cite on the saucers. Needs the same respect as other good wines.

And Val - mmmm...prosecco...

BabsieD said...

But what about my $1.99 saucers from IKEA?? Did you ever think of that??

(Just kidding--those are for Clara Bartinis, the BabsieD house drink!).

Miss you!!!!
xoxo

Natalie@theliquidmuse.com said...

Madame BabsieD,
What about sharing your Clara Bartinis with us? Would loooove to see what they're all about!

PS - Miss you, too! Come out West and do the champagne experiment with me! ;-)