Seth Box, of Moët Hennessy USA, On Champagne Glasses


As director of education for Moët Hennessy USA, Seth Box is responsible for spreading the word about his company’s spirits, wines and Champagnes — including Dom Pérignon, Krug, Veuve Clicquot, Moët et Chandon and Ruinart — to as many people as possible. Simply put: he regularly takes people out for drinks.

Champagne, he says, shouldn’t be saved for a special occasion. “It’s embarrassing that we, as a country, drink as little Champagne as we do,” Mr. Box said. “Because it’s so much fun, tastes delicious and makes people happy.”

Like most Champagne aficionados, he has definite opinions about the glass in which it should be served. “If you’re someone who appreciates the nuances and finer aspects of Champagnes, the glass is really important,” he said.

He said that while flutes are “great for presentation and showcase bubbles beautifully, from the tasting standpoint, the shape isn’t ideal.” He prefers a shape that is a combination of a white-wine glass and a Champagne glass — one with a bulbous bottom and a narrower top. “You want something with a wineglass on the bottom, to capture the aromas,” he said, which “then tapers up a bit so you focus those aromas on the nose.”

With the holiday entertaining season in high gear, Mr. Box spent a recent morning searching for Champagne-worthy glassware. At Baccarat, on Madison Avenue, he found the Remy stems “boring, but perfect: the bowl will capture the aromas and then focus around the back, and you can hold it without mucking up the glass.” The Vega Flutissimo would probably not be a top pick for sommeliers, but he liked it “because it reminds us that Champagne is also about an aesthetic,” he said. “And the blue crystal adds a touch which is reminiscent of more classic times.”

Nearby, at Lalique, he picked the Facet Champagne flute. “If you’re going to do classic, do this,” he said. “It’s a gorgeous flute.”

Online, he found one of his favorites, the Spiegelau Hybrid. “The deep bowl and larger size allow the Champagne to aerate while still maintaining a sleek look,” he said.

He also liked Govino’s stemless shatterproof design, pointing out that its shape works for many wines and Champagnes, and its price ($12 for four) won’t break the bank.

Ultimately, though, the glass is secondary, he said: “Drink Champagne in anything. If it makes you happy to drink it out of a water cup or a cool little Italian country glass, go for it. Just drink, and be happy.”

New York Times

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~ by Liz Palmer on December 23, 2010.

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