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The Quest for the perfect bubbly glass

01 September 2016
by Manon Colmant

Celebrate the wine as much as the occasion- in the right glass

With continually evolving standards and appreciation for the world of sparkling wines globally, there has been a parallel quest for the perfect glass, in order to taste and enjoy the golden effervescence at its best.

This quest has led some of the glass and bubbly industrys greatest masters to come together to combine their knowledge and expertise surrounding the matter, resulting in some exciting innovations beyond the traditional Champagne flute and historical coupe.

The search for the perfect glass is of course very important to us at Colmant, as we truly value a glass which can perfectly showcase the unique aromatic profiles, beautiful freshness and the fine effervescence of our bubblies. And those who consider themselves bubbly-lovers should value it no less, as you will find out that the type of glass  in which you choose to enjoy your sparkling wines will greatly influence your experience

At the MCC technical seminar in July this year, we had the pleasure of welcoming Lehmann glass, a leading wine glass producer from Reims, France. Lehman presented to us the findings from their extended research around Champagne glasses which they have been conducting for decades, working alongside the visions of great Sommeliers and Cellar masters. Read on to discover some of the exciting insights which were shared with us, and which will no doubt shape our bubbly drinking experiences in South Africa in the future.

What characteristics should the perfect glass hold?

Champagnes and Sparkling wines offer a wide variety of dimensions and characteristics in their aromatic profiles, and of course a unique expression of effervescence. Glasses of varying shapes and sizes will allow the aromas of the wine as well as the bubbles to reveal themselves differently, both contributing to the overall tasting and enjoyment experience of the glass holder.

We therefore need a glass at the service of effervescence, which creates a favourable environment for the development and release of bubbles and aromas at the surface. The bubbles should not escape through the surface too rapidly to preserve fizz and should be celebrated with a glass which allows for a beautiful display of golden effervescence. The glass should also be light and easy to clean.

 

Farewell to the flute?

The classic flute became popular after the coupe for having desirable qualities of offering a beautiful display of the bubble spectacle, preserving the fizz with a slow release, as well as for being much more “party-friendly’ than the coupe, being much harder to spill than its counterpart.

The flute has however been found to inhibit our ability to explore and appreciate the depth of aroma and taste profiles on offer in the wine . The experts found that the flute did not allow for full expression of the wine, and though they remain popular for toasting at parties, they are not advised if a precise and rounded tasting experience is desired.

Though it might not be time to say farewell to the flute entirely yet, it definitely is time to start expanding our horizons when it comes to choosing the right glass for the ultimate sparkling wine experience.

The perfect glass?

Firstly, it must be noted that different styles of bubblies will best perform in different glasses. Personal preference is of course also a factor here. However, there is one glass which has been grabbing significant attention amongst bubbly lovers and experts for its rather astonishing ability to reveal the wine it holds. The shape and characteristics of this glass- elongated, rounded in the middle and tapering towards the top-will allow for a beautiful expression of any sparkling wine and particularly so for those based on elegance, freshness and purity- therefore greatly suited for the Colmant Cap Classique collection. Since our introduction to this new revelation in the world of bubbles, we have become passionate advocates for it and have a feeling you might too…

The glass in question, Jamesse Prestige ‘Grand Champagne’, was designed when Lehman Glass paired with Philippe Jamesse, Chef Sommelier of the Michelin starred restaurant Domaine Les Crayères (Reims-France) in their quest for excellence. Together, they designed the Jamesse Prestige collection, glasses which were created to preserve and perfectly reveal the aromas and energy contained in the wine.

 

The Grand Champagne holds three main characteristics:

•  The pointed base is pronounced to enhance the long and precise effervescence and to offe ran accurate point of departure.

•  Wide and generous roundness in the centre that permits an optimal stretching of the wine, a slower ascent of bubbles to the surface and more time for the development of aromas.

•  Glasses narrow down slowly, giving time for the aromatic elements to free themselves.

The way it works:

Each bubble inside the wine carries aroma to the surface of the glass, progressively developing throughout the ascent. This glass allows for a progressive extension along the curve of the glass which favours first a gradual then a stretched ascent, allowing each bubble to burst at the widest point to free its flavours and express aromatic subtlety. The greater surface allows more bubbles to burst simultaneously while their aromas are captured within the tapering top and their release concentrated in a smaller space, heightening the aromatic experience.

There are other glasses in the market and in the Lehmann range which offer a similar shape and style. This shape is often referred to as the tulip shape. When you come to the Colmant tasting room, you will be served your tastings in a small Lehman tulip shaped glass. if you enjoy the experience, you can even stock up on a few Colmant-branded glasses to take home.

 

 

A white wine glass?

There has been a recent trend with people showing preference to a white wine glass rather than a flute to enjoy the golden sparkle. Perhaps for convenience, even maybe for volume (there is no such thing as too much bubbly). But this could certainly also be due to the fact that the roundness of the glass offers more space and time for the development of aromas and flavours, allowing for a deeper expression of the wine. This choice works well for more intense and powerful wines like aRosé, Blanc de Noir or Vintage, where the slow release of aromas through the tapered top is not necessary.

To conclude Next time you pop a bottle, consider the occasion at hand as well as the style of bubbly you will be drinking, and base your glass choice on the circumstance. If you simply wish to toast a celebration, the classic flute will work. If you are a devoted bubbly lover or wish to enjoy a precise and rounded tasting experience, you might want to choose a white wine or tulip-shaped glass instead (or if available, the Jamesse Prestige Grand Champagne).

 

Colmant Sec Reserve NV
Colmant Brut Plaisir NV
Colmant Brut Reserve NV
Colmant Brut Rosé NV
Colmant Brut Chardonnay NV
Tribaut Brut Origine
Tribaut Blanc de Chardonnay NV
Tribaut Instant Gourmand NV
Tribaut Rosé NV
Tribaut Millesime 2007
Follet-Ramillon Vintage Brut 2008
Tribaut Cuvee Rene NV
Mailly Brut Reserve NV
Mailly Extra Brut NV
Mailly L'Intemporelle 2008
Mailly Les Echansons 2004
Follet-Ramillon Special Brut NV
Champagne Tribaut Brut Origine Half Bottle NV
Champagne Tribaut Brut Origine Magnum NV
Champagne Follet Brut Tradition Magnum NV
Champagne Tribaut Brut Origine Jeroboam NV
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