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Holiday Feast: Appetizer Wine Pairing

Did you know that there are different types of glasses to serve sparkling wine and champagne? No? Don't worry, most people don't. It's not as simple as using the common champagne flute that we see in the movies. Here's the thing though, sparkling is an excellent choice of wine to serve with appetizers for the holidays. They pair so well with so many different types of food; seafood, vegetables, and fried foods.

Here is a simple image of the different kinds of glasses that are good for sparkling to set out for your holiday meal.

A flute is an elegant, tall glass with a thin bowl and a medium-to-long stem. If you like maximum fizziness in your sparkling wine, this is the glass shape for you. The depth of the glass helps to retain the carbonation, however the narrowness of the opening hampers the ability to swirl the wine and allow the aromas and flavors to develop with the exposure to oxygen. This glass works well for young sparkling wines, where there isn’t complexity of aromas and flavors like there is in an aged, vintage Champagne. Segura Viudas Reserva is perfect for a flute. The bowl successfully retains the carbonation and captures the flavor.

The tulip glass has a shape like the flute but with a wider bowl that tapers towards the top forming a tulip shape. The depth of this glass, like the flute, helps the sparkling wine retain bubbles, but with the wider bowl, there is room for aeration of the wine, allowing for the more complex aromas and flavors to shine. This glass is perfect for both Prosecco and Champagne.

The bead at base makes bubbles rise, while the wideness allows room for flavor complexities to open up, a narrower top prevents excess carbonation from escaping while directing aromas towards the tongue instead of up the nose.

A white wine glass is broader than a tulip glass, though not as broad as glasses designed for red wines. The sides of the glasses are usually straight, and the bowl is reasonably deep. The additional wideness again allows more air exposure, and this glass shape reigns supreme when tasting a premium Champagne.

Coupe is the sophisticated glass shape that was very popular in the early 20th century and it conjures up images of The Great Gatsby-era parties. The shallow bowl exposes the sparkling wine to more air, so that the bubbles and aromas dissipate more quickly. Not the greatest choice as the sparkling wine or champagne will flatten relatively fast.

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