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I hate flutes

I hate flutes. How about You?

Have you ever tried to drink Champagne from one of those tall, narrow things called “flute”? Perhaps your nose got stuck; or tossing your head so far back so as to get a taste from that prison you choke as the bubbles rush down your throat? A real joy, the flute. Yes?

NO! Nice for flowers, but horrid to drink from.

I hate flutes. There I have said it. And maybe am shouting it, but thankfully you cannot hear my rant. I know, I know: I have often proselytized restaurants into setting their tables with Champagne glasses, so as to suggest to guests their Champagne-by-the-glass choices. But I never meant for them to set their tables with flutes. They are unsteady, they are ungraceful, they are mean to Champagne’s bubbles and mean to you and me when we try to drink from them. I hate flutes.

How about a real wine glass? Hasn’t it occurred to you when opening that wonderful bottle filled with six atmospheres of pressure, filled with flavors of flowers, of brioche, of toast, of minerals, of lime and other citrus, of cherries and strawberries, that such a wine should be received into something generous and capable of offering all that is captive in that sturdy bottle to you and your guests?

I wonder what sort of person, surely one with the mentality of a jailer, thought up the ever taller and narrower flute? That person must be guilty of hating Champagne, and Champagne’s divine deliverer of its essence, all those bubbles.

I hate flutes.

But give me the tall stemmed kylix.

Give me the return of the Bronze Age kylix, such as what King Nestor enjoyed all his local and imported wines in. (Check out the tall-stemmed, open coupe “kylix”. Love the “ears” for a good grip.) Only make it in crystal, not pottery. A crystal kylix. That’s what I dream of. But close to perfection is the tall, so-called open-tulip that offers sufficient room for a generous whiff of the aromas buoyed on bubbles rising and breaking over the surface. It is deep enough and round enough so a good swirl does achieve what it should, an opening up of flavors and aromas. It is deep enough and round enough so the customer does not expect an overflowing glass; a good pour leaves room for expansion of the wine. But then there’s another favorite, the grandly theatrical Coupe. I have a friend who adores serving Champagne in her Lalique coupes. The bubbles break and break on the larger surface like a starry night. I know; I know: complainers always state how a coupe dissipates the bubbles and makes the champagne flat.

I challenge anyone to stay around looking at the bubbles as they grow flat and the Champagne warm in the coupe. Who would do such a barbaric thing? The coupe is so inviting most people slurp and slurp and soon it is as empty as when new, until it’s filled anew with stars full of flavors. Bon Appetit! And Sante to the coupe, the kylix, the open-tulip: to all generous proportioned elegant glasses from which to enjoy the greatest of drinks, Champagne.

I hate flutes. And CO2 hates flutes too. Bye bye flutes.

Do I hear the sound of millions of flutes being shattered?


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