The coupe glass was all the rage back in the day, synonymous with jazz and flapper style. Its wide, shallow bowl held the essence of 1920s glamor—well until a sleek contender emerged.
After the 1920s, the tall and narrower flute became the ideal vessel for serving champagne and sparkling wine. The slender profile of the flute glasses helps to keep the bubbles alive and retain the aromas of the wine.
However, it didn’t completely mark the end of the bygone era. With its timeless elegance, the coupe was still very much considered a classic, so much so that it compelled even the most sophisticated Hollywood leading ladies to pour champagne into it.
Below, we’ll go into the history of the coupe, the popular champagne glasses in the 1920s, and how flutes became the preferred champagne glass of today.
What Type of Champagne Glasses Were Popular in 1920s?
The 1920s, also called the “Roaring 20s” or the “Jazz Age” was the decade marked by cultural dynamism, a booming economy, and a unique sense of style.
It was also the end of the First World War, and the time when the United States emerged with newfound wealth and the middle and upper classes spent their leisure time discreetly going to the bars. Well, underground bars due to the prohibition of selling and importing alcoholic drinks, which lasted from 1920 to 1933.
That said, the popularity of sparkling wine became accessible to many, not just to the rich aristocrats. Prosecco and Cava were also introduced. However, maintaining the carbonation of sparkling wine within the glass became a challenge. It called for a tall and slimmer switch to champagne flute glasses.
Champagne coupe glasses remained in use. In fact, during the 1920s, they were still the pinnacle of class in the jazz and flapper period. But slowly, the coupe became obsolete.
Flutes are better and more sophisticated than the classic coupe. These glasses feature a narrow design, from the bowl to the rim. The way champagne flutes are designed helps retain the fizz, aromas, and intricacies of champagne.
They are generally smaller in size, but they became the ideal champagne vessel. Flute glasses are dainty and elegant and symbolize class. The glasses even turned into a canvas for imperial glassworks. Champagne flute glasses’ designs drew inspiration from neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau.
But Before the Shift, There’s the Iconic Coupe.
While the origin of its bowl shape was the subject of debates among oenophiles, coupe glasses were popular in Paris for sipping cocktails and sparkling wine in the 1830s and into the 1980s.
So, although flutes dominated the scene after the 1920s, the Hollywood glitterati of the 1950s brought it back to the limelight. It also happened to be the end of World War II.
Remember the iconic picture of Sophia Loren pouring champagne into exquisite coupes in 1963?
It’s because Americans love the Hollywood class, whatever era it is. This may also explain why champagne and sparkling wines are still being served in coupe glasses in many high-end bars and luxury restaurants these days.
Many of the champagne coupe glasses sold on the market today even have that old-world feel. They look like they’ve been taken straight out of a “speakeasy”, reflecting the style and glamor of an era of jazz and prohibition.
Champagne coupe glasses have a classic broad and shallow bowl with a wide rim or opening. They are the oldest style of wine glasses designed to serve effervescent wine.
Back to the debates about its shape, it’s said to be modeled after the breast of the last and ill-fated French queen, Marie Antoinette. It turned out to be a myth, however.
The Great Gatsby 1920s Champagne Glasses
Many people associate the champagne coupe glass with Jay Gatsby, the central character in the 1925 novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gatsby was known for his out-of-this-world parties. Rounded, retro, and glamorous, the coupe glass is reminiscent of The Great Gatsby’s roaring 20s. You’ll find these glasses in different styles, with many coming with gold rims and intricate stems and engravings.
Most Great Gatsby-inspired champagne glasses are coupes. But you’ll also find champagne flute glasses with a vintage Gatsby vibe if that’s what you fancy.
What Are Old Fashioned Champagne Glasses Called?
The champagne coupe glass is the OG. It’s the first champagne glassware to be used for serving white wine and effervescent wine. It was popularized in French and introduced in the 1830s and into the 1980s. While still in use today, coupes are considered one of the oldest styles of Champagne glasses.
What Are the 2 Types of Champagne Glasses?
Champagne glasses are actually available in three different styles: coupe, flute, and tulip glasses. Coupe glasses are the old-fashioned style and are now dominated by flutes and tulips. They have wide and shallow bowls, which are great for cocktails and offer ample space for garnish.
Flutes have a tall, slender profile and conical shape, quite the opposite of champagne coupe glasses. They are designed to preserve the flavor, effervescence, and aroma of the bubbly.
A champagne flute can look like a tulip-shaped glass, though. Except that the latter has a wider point in the middle of the bowl to release more aromas to the nose.
What Is the Best Glass Style for Champagne?
Champagne glasses are designed to highlight the different complexities of wine. To enjoy the trademark bubbles and preserve the aromatics and flavors of champagne, the best glass style would be champagne flutes. But if you love to “nose up” the aromas of wine, go for a tulip champagne glass.
Coupe glasses are great, too. They have a nice surface area for the bubbles to distribute within the glass. However, due to their wide bowls and shallow bowls, the highly coveted effervescence will escape the champagne glass pretty quickly.
The shapes and designs of champagne glasses have quite the tale to tell, evolving from the glamor of the 1920s coupe to the sleek and modern flutes that we love today. Although champagne flutes took over our tablescapes, there is no doubt that champagne coupes will always be a classic—an icon.
We will always love the old-world, speakeasy charm of champagne coupes. But, whatever champagne glass you choose to share a toast in, we hope you enjoy every sip.
If you have more questions about 1920s champagne glasses, let us know and we’d love to hear from you. Cheers!