The Coupe or the Flute?

By Kacey Roy ~
I’m a lover of champagne, most recently, pink champagne. There is something feminine, fun and fancy about indulging in this beautifully bubbly sip; am I right? This week I posted a poll featuring two timeless glasses and asked my clients: which do you prefer to drink your champagne from? The coupe? Or, the flute? I was not so surprised that the flute took the poll, but I was surprised that the flute beat the coupe with stats as follows. 71% of those polled prefer the flute. I myself voted in favor of the coupe so I was surprised that I was in such small company. This inspired me to see how the equally iconic glasses came to be. Let’s start with the coupe, as this may be the first drinking glass recorded in history.

Way before the flute arrived on the scene the coupe was the go to glass for champagne lovers. A petite bowl or saucer-shaped glass has a strange Legend behind it. It is often rumored that Marie Antoinette had these glasses made replicating molds of her breasts so that when the court toasted her health they would do so in glasses shaped like her bosom. What?! Truth is, this is somewhat of a tall tale, as the coupe glass was around long before Marie Antoinette. The coupe was first documented as a glass called the milk bowl (yet again another female anatomy referral) and was used quite commonly in the earliest parts of documented history. Marie Antoinette may have brought this glass up a notch, but it wasn’t until the prohibition in the 1930’s post prohibition era and even more iconically the 1950’s & 1960’s that the coupe became everyday use for those loving sparkling wines.

Somewhere in the mid 1950’s the champagne flute made its way onto the scene. By the 1980’s & 1990’s there was nary a coupe to be seen. Champagne enthusiast claim that this long, tulip shaped glass keeps the bubbles bubblier and also allows the aroma to tantalize the nostrils while sipping. The flute is elegant of was at one time considered a high standard of glass, reserved for the wealthy and those throwing or participating in high society functions. Think pinkies out, and heels. But, now, most have flutes as part of their everyday sets and they can range from simple clear glass, to intricate designs and colors. But they are almost always part of any bar.
How fun to know some of the history of these two beautiful glasses. Truth be told I love champagne and will gladly drink from either, but I have an affection for the coupe. Reminds me of my grandmother and of an era I find so fabulous. Either way, you can get either glass at the shop, and you can always bring friends together when popping a bottle of bubbles.



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