The one thing we’re all doing wrong when drinking fizz

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Amy Swales
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You might think you’ve got the fizz thing down pat. Chill a bottle of your favourite sparkling wine or champagne, then sip it decadently from a fluted glass: done.

It’s how most bars and restaurants serve it, too. But we’re all getting one major step wrong, according to an expert in all things champagne.

The problem? We’ve been drinking it from the wrong glasses like total chumps.

Willem Pinçon from champagne house Charles Heidsieck tells us that instead of the ubiquitous flutes seen in the image above, we should actually be looking to the more usual wine glasses to get the most from our hard-earned liquid gold.

“Flutes are not a good option since the narrow shape makes it impossible to properly smell champagnes which have complex aromas,” he tells “It’s like going to the opera with earplugs – you can see the bubbles but that’s pretty much it.

“I personally recommend white wine glass, something close to a tulip shape that is wide enough at the base to be able to swirl the champagne (which breaks down the molecules and releases more aroma) and narrower at the top to concentrate these aromas.”

And this is not only for the high-end champagne moments: “It’s the same principle with a great bottle of sparkling wine; it should be served in a wider glass allowing aromas to develop and jump out of glass.

“The tasting experience is just as much about the nose as it is the palette.”

Which we’ll take to also mean that resorting to a mug in lieu of clean wine glasses might not be quite so bad after all. Right? No? OK, fine.

Watch: Why prosecco is good for you

The glass rule is not true of prosecco, however: Pinçon says the sparkling wine tends not to have the same aromas to enjoy (don’t worry though, it does have plenty of health benefits).

He also offers up some more tips on enjoying the perfect glass of champagne or sparkling wine, telling us temperature is key.

“You want it not too warm but not too chilled either, in order to get the best aroma and taste,” he explains. “It should be kept at 10-12 degrees for a non-vintage and 12-14 degrees for a vintage bottle to express the complexity of older champagnes as best as possible.”

If all this talk of champagne has whet your boozy appetite, Charles Heidsieck can be found at Fortnum & Mason, or check out our pick of the best bubbles under £30 here.

Main image: iStock


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Amy Swales

Amy Swales is a freelance writer who likes to eat, drink and talk about her dog. She will continue to plunder her own life and the lives of her loved ones for material in the name of comedy, catharsis and getting pictures of her dog on the internet.