Photo courtesy of Waterford Crystal
Arren Williams celebrates the comeback of the classic champagne coupe glass.
Champagne – that most sparkling of French exports – sparks intrigue. No doubt, the lore around the beloved bubbly is fascinating. Have you heard the story that champagne was actually invented in England? To that we say, Mais non! Or maybe you’ve heard that the voluptuous bowl-shaped champagne coupe was modelled after the breasts of Marie Antoinette? Ooh là là! Risqué origin stories aside, it’s a fact that the coupe, or champagne saucer, was depicted in The Oyster Dinner – a 1735 bacchanalian painting by French court artist Jean-François de Troy – thus cementing it as the de rigueur glassware of the 18th-century upper class.
Since then, innumerable corks have popped, but to get a perfect celebratory clink between glasses, crystal is required. For that, Waterford, appearing on the scene in 1783, not long after de Troy’s painting debuted, is the go-to. Their classic Lismore pattern has been catching the light since the 1950s, when coupe glasses were in their heyday in kicky Hollywood hits starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day. Ever since, Waterford has periodically refreshed their classic for modern tastes. Lismore Essence is the latest: pared back, with just the right amount of cut crystal to make every occasion a little more sparkly.
Yes, we know oenophiles will say that champagne bubbles lose their pop quicker in a coupe, but there’s something more fun about the shape. Crystal or otherwise, the coupe is a modern bar essential, and a fave of mixologists for anything with fizz and for the fanciest of cocktails. Plus, you can’t make a champagne tower out of flute glasses! Speaking of fun, we love Maison Balzac’s playfully pink Pomponette coupes, adorned with tiny amber glass bubbles. More contemporary is Ferm Living’s Danish-designed Ripple – the ribbed smoke grey coupe manages to feel both vintage and modern at the same time. We can only raise our glasses and say “Cheers!” to the coupe!
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