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Forget the flute this New Years

Across the United States, a new generation of sommeliers and restaurant professionals has begun abandoning the flute as the stemware of choice for sparkling wines.

In our parents’ era, it was believed that the flute enhanced the sensorial experience of drinking sparkling wine by concentrating the wine’s fizziness in the glass’ narrow aperture.

But over the last decade, wine lovers have discovered that a wider-aperture glass actually allows the wine to aerate more readily, thus “opening up” its aromas and flavors as the wine evolves in the glass.

And perhaps even more importantly, the broader brim makes it a lot easier to stick our noses deeper into the glass. As silly as that may sound, many wine professionals will tell you what a difference that can make in evaluating the fitness and enjoying the character of the wine.

Last year, famed glassmaker Maximilian Riedel, chief executive of Riedel Crystalin, proclaimed: β€œIt is my goal that the flute will be obsolete by the day that I pass away.”

Granted, Riedel has an interest in encouraging potential clients to replace their flutes with new “stems” (as they are often called in the trade).

But his declaration reflects a growing and arguably prevalent attitude that the flute β€” like its predecessor, the coupe β€” has become obsolete in the world’s new, youthful wine culture.

So this year as you prepare your stemware for your New Year’s celebration, consider a classic white wine glass or even a red wine glass for more tannic expressions of sparkling wine.

After all, the primary grape in some of the most coveted Champagne is Pinot Noir.

Thanks to everyone for following along and being here this year! The Boulder Wine Merchant blog has been very rewarding and super fun experience for me. I’m looking forward to seeing you next year.

Happy 2015 to all!

Jeremy Parzen
@DoBianchi