What’s the ideal sekt glass?

There’s one question we can count on receiving at almost every tasting: which sekt glass do we recommend? Is there in fact an ideal sekt glass?

Our unanimous opinion: high-quality sparkling wine does not belong in either a champagne flute or a champagne saucer. Even if these glasses have a certain cachet to them, they do little to enhance the joys of the sparkling wine within.

In short:

No matter which glass maker or brand you ultimately choose, the perfect sekt glass for high-quality, traditionally crafted sparkling wines will tend to have a diagonal floor with an effervescence point (small, roughed point to release the carbon dioxide), allowing the fine bubbles to rise slowly. The glass should then broaden significantly to allow the nuanced aromas to present in full. From there to the rim, however, it should once again narrow, guiding the aromas in concentrated form to the nose. As such, the perfect sekt shape is the so-called tulip glass. It ensures that the aromas of a high-quality sekt can be perceived precisely, with less prominence for the carbon dioxide and fruit.

But note: a tulip-shaped glass is only the “perfect” glass if you’re working with high-quality sparkling wine. It can quickly cast a harsh glare on the flaws of inferior products.

If no tulip glass is available, then we recommend a white wine glass that narrows somewhat towards the rim, such as a Chardonnay glass. Whichever glass you chose, don’t fill past the halfway line. And if, at a restaurant, you are presented with sekt flutes, don’t be afraid to quietly ask for a different glass!

The Raumland tulip glass:

Tulpenglas Raumland

A tulip-shaped glass. Photos: Oliver Rüther

The champagne saucerFor many years, the height of sophistication was drinking from “champagne saucers” or “coupes.” The glass is wide and flat, like a saucer. It makes for a nice photo, perhaps. But in terms of the sekt itself, if harbors two major disadvantages:   1. The fine bubbles, the carbon dioxide, immediately escape. 2. The aromas dissipate quickly. 3. Champagne saucers often have a very short stem, meaning the hand ends up directly against the saucer. This immediately warms the sekt.   Champagne saucers are quite rare nowadays. Should you find a set at home, however, then consider an alternative usage: lemon ice cream or sorbet are a safer bet to present delightfully in these glasses.
The champagne fluteAfter discovering that the champagne saucer had flaws, glass makers soon invented the champagne flute. This is a thin, goblet-shaped glass.   The benefits of the champagne flute: 1. The somewhat longer stem prevents the hand from touching the bowl and thus warming the sekt. 2. The escape rate for the carbon dioxide is reduced, since the glass is less wide at the top. 3. The champagne flute typically has an integrated effervescence point, liberating the carbon dioxide in fine bubbles that then form a lovely bead in the glass.   They nevertheless have one major disadvantage: The opening of the champagne flute is so narrow that one’s nose doesn’t fit inside. How can you possibly smell the sekt that way? One is ultimately left with a sense of fruit and none of the other aromatics inherent to the sekt.
The sekt tulipA tulip-shaped glass is, for us, an excellent choice. It has a conic shape toward the base. It is wider at the belly, yet narrows at its top to prevent the carbon dioxide from escaping too quickly. Both the bead and the aromas of the sekt are presented in full.
Overview of the most popular sekt glasses

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