Monday, November 26, 2018

Champagne and Stemware Etiquette

Table setting etiquette advice from a mid-20th century Canadian table setting book, “Glamour and the Hostess”  

The advice and illustrations above and below are from “Glamour and the Hostess: a guide to Canadian table setting. With general table setting rules, family meal service, details of family service, setting the formal dinner table, formal luncheon service, hostess pointers, special occasion tables, wedding anniversary parties, flatware for every occasion...” by Marie Holmes. This is a great vintage book for etiquette book collectors like myself, and for those who wish to be precise when setting their tables.

Berries and sorbet are served up alfresco, in a champagne coupe-style glass. Holding it by the stem with one hand, while eating from the glass, with an ice cream fork or spoon in the other hand, helps keeps the sorbet cold and the glass from tipping over onto the china plate and table. – Photo and text, the RSVP Institute of Etiquette  

In the 60 or 70 years since this book was written, champagne “flutes” and “tulip shaped” champagne glasses, have become much more popular than the champagne “coupe” glass (shown at the top of the diagram above), which has more or less been relegated to the elegant serving of sorbets, desserts, or even offering up butter “balls,” small amounts of sauces or condiments at the table. 

As the shape of a glass is designed to affect the aromas, flavors and finish, the bowl of a “tulip-shaped” champagne glass is now the preferred style glass for more discerning champagne drinkers. Ultimately, though, the glasses you choose to set on your table, whether they are beloved family heirlooms or a special gift from a friend, are like your choice of plates and flatware, a matter of personal preference and taste. 

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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