What do you think of stemless champagne glasses?

Why?: Stemless champagne flutes.
Why?: Stemless champagne flutes. Photo: 123RF

I seldom think of them at all. On rare occasions on which I do clap eyes on a tray of stemless champagne glasses, the thought that comes first to mind is: "Why?"

This is not a question I ask about stemless glasses for still wines. Such glasses are more stable than conventional stemmed wine glasses and they're easy to fit in a dishwasher. The best are finely wrought and have a certain casual chic.

But stemless glasses for sparkling wine? Most are so tall and thin I find it hard to believe they're significantly harder to accidentally knock over than a conventional flute, or that they make for a substantially easier wash-up.

That leaves us with aesthetics. Too many stemless sparkling glasses look like elongated shot glasses, or specimen vases from the early 80s – the kind designed to hold a single pink carnation on an apricot-clothed restaurant table. Despite being super-tall and super-skinny, many of these glasses seem awkwardly proportioned; less reminiscent of couture-clad Milanese catwalk models than of schoolboy basketballers in polyester shorts. There are some – albeit not many – more elegant examples around. The ones I am thinking of are gently curved and tapering but even so they are far from ideal for sparkling wines because you have to hold them by the bowl. Unless you're drinking faster than a Group One thoroughbred, that will make your wine warm more quickly than it otherwise would.

Most sparklings taste best served cold as a debt collector's heart. Although good champagne gets away with being drunk a little warmer, as a rule of thumb, the cheaper your sparkling, the colder you need to drink it. As many a Melbourne Cup-goer will be ready to attest tomorrow morning, warmth does no favours for indifferent sparkling wine or the people who drink too much of it.

I am sorry to have nothing more encouraging to say on this topic so I will leave you with the uplifting thought of Kate Moss's left breast, upon which a new champagne glass launched last month in London has been modelled. The glass in question has a stem and the bowl is a coupe, which, when I think about it, is probably just as well.