Does the glass you use change the way a champagne tastes?


Can the form of a glass actually change the style and flavour of a champagne? Does the weight, feel and look of a glass affect the way your mind perceives the flavours of a wine?

That was the query posed to friends at the current Mumm Taste Encounters occasion by champagne home G.H. Mumm just lately.

Now, I’ve already attended tastings of whiskies, spirits, and even beers which have used glasses of various styles and sizes, each influencing the style and generally noses and palates of the liquid itself. But I’ve by no means actually tasted champagne in something aside from a common champagne flute or a wine goblet.

Here’s a enjoyable truth although – in the previous, individuals used to drink champagne out of a coupe glass. Yes, these quick glasses with a curved, shallow bowl that’s extra generally used for cocktails today.

According to an article by Difford’s Guide, the coupe (pronounced “koo-pay”) was designed in England in 1663 as a champagne glass, and was truly nonetheless popularly used for champagne up until the Nineteen Sixties.

People quickly discovered that the broader floor space of the coupe tends to make the champagne bubbles go flat relatively rapidly, so it was steadily changed with the flute.

The coupe continues to be getting used for champagne generally although, particularly throughout weddings the place it’s used to type the “fountain” that the completely satisfied couple pours champagne over.

The coupe is still being used for champagne fountains at weddings. – Photo: 123rfThe coupe continues to be getting used for champagne fountains at weddings. – Photo: 123rf

As talked about, the lengthy, tall flutes assist to retain the carbonation of champagne higher, by decreasing the floor space of the wine, thus leaving much less room for the bubbles to flee. And since the bubbles are basically why champagne is named “bubbly”, it’s a no-brainer that the flute is the glass of alternative most of the time.

However, there are additionally arguments that champagne glasses should not precisely the finest way to style a champagne. British physicist Helen Czerski wrote in her 2018 ebook Bubbles: A Ladybird Expert Book that whereas the bubbles in a flute rise in a short time and people in a coupe rise slowly, they each are likely to lose the flavours of the champagne into the air pretty rapidly.

The flute is the most common champagne glass.The flute is the most typical champagne glass.According to her, a goblet-shaped glass, like these used for brandy, might be the finest one to drink champagne from, as these bubbles that comprise flavour rise slowly, after which linger on inside the slim prime of the glass, therefore giving you all these complicated aromas when you nostril it.

So as you can see, the form of the glass you use can actually change the way a champagne tastes. But what about the way the glass seems or the way it feels?

That’s the place the Mumm Taste Encounters expertise is available in.

The science of bubbly

Mumm Taste Encounters is the brainchild of Laurent Fresnet, who joined Mumm as Cellar Master in January 2020, and instantly began searching for a way to complement the expertise of tasting Mumm wines by revealing the full spectrum of their aromas.

To achieve this, Fresnet sought the assist of Gabriel Lepousez, a neuroscientist who has devoted 15 years to the research of how wine is tasted and perceived; and the designer Octave de Gaulle, who resolved the technical feat of Mumm’s Grand Cordon Stellar bottle— the first champagne that may be savoured in area.

The result’s Mumm Taste Encounters, a ground-breaking tasting expertise that has journeyed from France to Hong Kong, Australia, Japan, the United States, South Africa, Britain, and now Malaysia.

When developing with this expertise, Lepousez drew on his personal analysis, making use of neuroscience to the appreciation of wine.

In the course of a tasting, the mind receives a multitude of indicators triggered by the senses, the most vital of that are sight and contact. These indicators have an effect on our sense of style and as a consequence, our appreciation of a wine.

As Fresnet himself says in a press launch: “This innovative experiment helps reveal the wealth of nuances that are hidden in Mumm’s wines, as well as the remarkable, kaleidoscopic nature of our own, marvellously human responses to champagne.”

The tasting was led by Mumm brand ambassador in Malaysia, Bastienan Michaud. – Photo: HandoutThe tasting was led by Mumm model ambassador in Malaysia, Bastienan Michaud. – Photo: Handout

Here in Malaysia, the Mumm Taste Experience was held over 4 nights at Temu House in Petaling Jaya starting Oct 31, an occasion that additionally featured an unique pairing menu by French chef William Ragonneau.

During the occasion, Mumm model ambassador in Malaysia, Bastienan Michaud, led us on a tasting that concerned tasting two totally different champagnes from three totally different vessels. While one in every of these vessels was an peculiar wine goblet, the different two had been specifically designed by de Gaulle for this experiment.

Guests at the Mumm Taste Experience tasted champagnes from three different vessels, two of which were specially designed for the experience. – Photo: THE STAR/Michael CheangGuests at the Mumm Taste Experience tasted champagnes from three totally different vessels, two of which had been specifically designed for the expertise. – Photo: THE STAR/Michael CheangEach of those two glasses has sight- and touch-based cues that put a highlight on the totally different latent qualities recognized by Fresnet in every wine.

The first glass is frosted on the outdoors, which provides it an icy look, and likewise a grainy sensation on the lips as you sip the wine. The high-quality stem has sharp edges, and the aluminum base has a barely roughened floor and considerably narrower than that of a basic Mumm champagne glass. The glass can be a lot lighter than a commonplace champagne glass.

The second glass has a clean, shiny bowl, and is tinted with an nearly black, deep, saturated purple color. The most important side of this glass, nonetheless, is its weight – the glass has fairly a little bit of heft to it, with a thick, weighted stem and a clean, huge, polished stainless-steel base.

First up, we tasted the Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé in each the common wine glass and the darkish tinted one. In the common glass, the Rosé was contemporary and fruity on the nostril and preliminary palate, with a lot of fruity berry aromas of strawberry and currants on the palate and a pretty and lengthy shiny berry end.

In the a lot, a lot heavier glass, nonetheless, I used to be shocked to search out that the champagne additionally tasted a little heavier in texture, with a deeper richness to the wine that jogged my memory extra of cooked berries and cherries relatively than contemporary ones, and even some good toasty pastry notes.

Guest got to try three champagnes by Mumm, including the Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé. – Photo: HandoutGuest acquired to attempt three champagnes by Mumm, together with the Mumm Grand Cordon Rosé. – Photo: Handout

Next up was the Mumm Brut Millésimé 2013, which is a surprisingly mild and contemporary classic with a lot of luxurious peachy, white fruit notes and a pretty floral and nutty palate and barely toasty nutty end.

In the lighter frosted glass, nonetheless, there was a sure sharp readability to the fruitier notes, which Michaud says is really feel of stem’s sharper edges taking part in methods on our minds. The lightness of the glass additionally performs a half in making you assume that is a lighter, extra effervescent wine, with a extra delicate freshness at the forefront.

All in all, this was an attention-grabbing experiment that basically goes to point out how a glass can truly change the flavours, or relatively, change your notion of the flavours in the wine. So, the subsequent time you have a glass of champagne, keep in mind – there might be extra to find in that glass than you would possibly assume.

Michael Cheang wonders what champagne would style like from a espresso cup. Follow him on Facebook ( and Instagram (@mytipsyturvy).

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