When sparkling wine was discovered by vineyard-tending monks in the mid 17th century, it was served in standard wine glasses. Although that style of wide-rimmed stemware is still used to create the fountains of bubbly often serving as centerpieces at receptions, elegant wedding champagne flutes have become the celebratory drinking glass of choice.
A century passed before these special glasses were designed to enhance the entire experienced of drinking effervescent wines. More traditionally shaped cups allow the pressurized gases in the wine to disperse into the surrounding air much more rapidly, diluting the trademark fragrance common to any properly aged wine.
Like the musical instrument, this stemware is both narrow and long. Millions of escaping carbon dioxide bubbles are forced to concentrate at the small glass opening, rather than exiting all at once. This creates a more pleasurable and sensual drinking experience, and makes already noteworthy production years taste and smell their best.
One problem with this style of glassware is an unfortunate tendency to break more readily. Longer stemware created from crystal or glass is more fragile, and may not be economically practical to serve during social situations involving hundreds of guests. Some glasses will inevitably be shattered, and replacements of comparable value can prove quite costly.
Even though dedicated oenophiles may find the practice unappealing, imitation wine glassware made of sturdy plastic has proven to be both popular and practical. While plastic admittedly does little to enhance the wine experience, it is not easily broken. It is recyclable, and there is little danger of guests being injured by broken containers.
Wine-tasting still demands traditional glassware, but popularity of wedding champagne flutes shows no signs of decreasing. They are perfect for making congratulatory toasts to the couple, and giving personalized glass stemware symbolizes the close bonds linking the couple, family and special guests at these happy occasions.