Friday, December 10, 2010

Champagne Coupes: A Very Quick History!


For me, there are few things more festive than champagne! The holiday season is a great excuse to think about opening some bubbly, but I was further encouraged by a weekend trip to Epernay - the French town at the heart of the Champagne region. I loved the dusty, old world charm of the cellars we toured!

While most places chose to serve champagne in the traditional flutes, I would readily forgo them for the vintage style of a champagne coupe. The coupe, a wide saucer like glass, was first designed in England in 1663, expressly for enjoying the newly popular bubbly wines. Legend has it that the shape of the coupe was modeled after the breast of Marie Antoinette, but this is almost certainly false! The coupe came back into fashion in post-Prohibition era America and to me, certainly evokes a kind of Great Gatsby style. The shape of the coupe versus the flute, allows the bubbles to escape more quickly, but this can be countered by drinking from crystal coupes (instead of glass). The crystal has imperfections which glass does not, helping the bubbles to form! Well, enough of the lesson, here are a few especially chic champagne coupes! 
Fete Twirl Saucers in Larabee Dot by Kate Spade, the gold rim is a beautiful touch for the holidays but would work year round.

Feast champagne glasses by Giarimi Designs, I adore the slightly tinted colors these come in - they would be perfect for an outdoor wedding! 

Marc Jacobs Colette champagne saucers for Waterford Crystal.


Another beautiful champagne coupe by Marc Jacobs for Waterford - David champagne saucers. I especially like the modern feel of these! 


A view from the road . . . approaching Epernay! 

If you are in need of a little extra inspiration, here is a great champagne cocktail to try out for the holiday season! 


Le Perroquet
Generous dash of Campari
Dash of gin
2 ounces orange juice
4 ounces chilled champagne
Twist of lemon and orange peel

Pour the Campari, gin, and orange juice into a champagne coupe. Top with champagne. Garnish with a twist of lemon and orange & enjoy! 

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