Champagne Really Is Better Out of a Flute

By Sam Gibbs on at

Champagne, the posh man’s bubbly of choice, is often said to taste better out of a tall thin glass than it does in a traditional wine glass or coupe. Now scientists have proved it – it’s all to do with the bubbles.

Apparently that tingling sensation that champagne is meant to give you as you imbibe Bond’s sparkling aperitif of choice, is all down to the concentration of carbon dioxide (that’s what gives fizzy drinks their fizz) at the top. A tall thin glass like a champagne flute traps more of the gas released from the bubbly at the top of the glass where you dip your nose into as you drink than a wider, more open glass would.

You average bottle of champers contains about 9g of dissolved carbon dioxide, enough for five-litres of gas at room temperature and pressure. That carbon dioxide irritates the sensory nerves in your nose and gives you the characteristic tingling sensation – something that the French researchers behind the study in PLoS One insist is “essential” to the champagne experience.

So there you have it – science says champagne is better drank from a flute. Then again anything sparkling and alcoholic probably is; be it cava (the poor man’s champagne) or my personal favourite, prosecco. Apart from cider; I would hazard a guess that that might have a bit of nasty nose-nip to it if you trapped all the gas it shot out of it in the top of a glass. I propose a test of all things sparkly and alcoholic just to make sure – who’s with me? [PloS One via PA]

Image credit: Champagne from Shutterstock