It’s year-end and you’re ready to pop the cork on the bubbly. Do you know what is the best glass to use? The answer’s not what you think.
Every year, South Africans spend hundreds of thousands of rand on bubbles. A large portion is spent on MCC (Méthode Cap Classique), which tends to be more expensive than sparkling wine. The reason is that MCC production generally involves longer, natural processes intended to bring out the best particular characteristics of the fruit whereas sparkling wine is simply still wine injected, like a fizzy cold drink, with carbon dioxide.
The shape and thickness of glass you drink from affects the aroma and taste of a wine, as has been demonstrated at two recent Cape functions co-hosted by Austrian glassmaker Riedel. The first involved a tasting of MCC by Graham Beck which demonstrated the effect of different stemware on the same wine.
Then, Riedel was part of a celebration at Villiera Wines near Stellenbosch together with retailer Woolworths. The winery was the first supplier of MCC to Woolworths in years when MCC was in its infancy, and has maintained the relationship for 34 years. In addition to tasting Villiera MCC, the event was used to announce the recent addition of Riedel stemware to Woolworths ranges.
The answer to the question is that while flutes took over from the wider coupe glasses as the fashionable stemware for bubbly, neither are ideal as they serve only to promote the visual appeal of the beverage. If you’re spending a little more on bubbly though, make sure you have the right glass.
To find out which is best for your beverage, start investigating with a home experiment. Sample your wine in different glasses, even an ordinary tumbler.
Photography Clifford Roberts and Anthony Delanoix/Unsplashed