Champagne bubbles – it’s all in the glass

The traditional champagne flute and flat coupe glass are fine for young wines – but for complex older champagnes, only a wide glass that curves back in towards the top and is filled only a little way will present the bubbles correctly.

Champagne glasses

Champagne is liquid decadence, a golden drink for the most special occasions. The satisfying pop of the cork announces the release of aromas and flavors that have been years in the making. But how do you make the most of the potential in the bottle? Take your bubbles seriously.

New Year’s Eve is champagne’s big moment, and it would be terrible to waste it.

Bubbles are not just pretty novelties dancing in your glass. They play a vitally important role in your perception of the drink. But to get them to play that role, you need to provide the right working environment: the glass. And this is where a bit of science can help the sommelier.

Just before you uncork the bottle, the pressure inside is five to six times as great as the pressure in the room. That’s why champagne bottles have to be so thick – each one is a prison fortress, keeping the pressurized fluid confined. As soon as the cork is gone, the huge amount of gas dissolved in the liquid can start to escape.

But bubbles won’t form unless they’ve got a starting point. Any slightly rough surface will do, so you’d better have polished the glass or the bubbles will tell tales on you. If there are any specks of dust or fibre inside the glass, you’ll see a stream of bubbles coming from that point. The only acceptable place for bubbles to start is the centre of the bottom of the glass, and the manufacturers of posh glasses will etch the surface there to roughen it and make sure the bubbles start where they’re supposed to.

A clean glass will have a narrow plume of bubbles, and the bubbles get larger and faster as they rise. This is the engine of the drink, because they drag liquid with them up to the top, and then that liquid has to travel back down the sides. It’s like an underwater fountain, and the taller the glass, the more vigorous it is. More than that, aromatic molecules stick to the bubbles and so are delivered directly to the surface. And then when the bubbles pop, they spit tiny droplets upwards, putting aroma molecules into the air space at the top of the glass, and also up your nose. Smell is a huge component of taste, so bubbles are giving you flavor even before you sip.

Once you know all of that, you can start to fit the glass to the task. The traditional flat coupe glass has a very slow bubble engine because bubbles don’t get to rise very far. Flavor is delivered to the air gradually, but escapes from the space above the glass very quickly. The tall thin flute has a very powerful bubble engine, delivering lots of flavor very quickly, and spitting lots of fizz upwards. But there’s so little air space at the top of the glass that this flavor is mostly lost to the surroundings. This is fine for young wines, but doesn’t allow complexity to develop. So the recent solution dreamt up by Philippe Jamesse (head sommelier at Les Crayères in Rheims), and backed up by Gerard Liger-Belair (a champagne bubble physicist) is very simple. For these complex older champagnes, use a wide glass that curves back in towards the top, but only fill it a little way. The shallow liquid means that small slow bubbles can deliver aromas slowly, allowing complexity to develop, and the large space at the top of the glass traps it for you to enjoy.

This is similar advice to that given by Richard Geoffroy, the Chef de Cave at Dom Pérignon. He recommends serving older champagne in white wine glasses because flutes “stifle the flavor”. Jamesse has taken it a step further; he has designed glasses for different types of champagne based on this principle. The older the champagne, the wider the glass.

So to make the most of your bubbly and its bubbles as you welcome in 2018, have a think about the glass you’re putting it in. And a happy bubbly new year to you all!

8 Things Every Boss Lady Has in Her Wardrobe

Slide 1 of 8: <p>A clean-cut black blazer blends into the background, but a true boss knows she needs to stand out from the crowd. Look for noteworthy features like a velvet lapel, exaggerated buttons, a colorful collar or well-placed zippers. And of course make sure that baby is tailored to perfection.</p>

A TAILORED JACKET WITH INTERESTING DETAILS
A clean-cut black blazer blends into the background, but a true boss knows she needs to stand out from the crowd. Look for noteworthy features like a velvet lapel, exaggerated buttons, a colorful collar or well-placed zippers. And of course make sure that baby is tailored to perfection.

Slide 2 of 8: <p>Sometimes a great accessory is all you need to take an outfit from standard to superb. The most successful women we know invest in well-made classics that only get better with age. Think: A Chanel shoulder bag or a sleek backpack from The Row. The brand doesn’t particularly matter, as long as the silhouette is timeless and you stay away from overly trendy colors and shapes.</p>

A STRUCTURED HANDBAG
Sometimes a great accessory is all you need to take an outfit from standard to superb. The most successful women we know invest in well-made classics that only get better with age. Think: A Chanel shoulder bag or a sleek backpack from The Row. The brand doesn’t particularly matter, as long as the silhouette is timeless and you stay away from overly trendy colors and shapes.

Slide 3 of 8: <p>Leave the boring pantsuits behind and try rocking an unexpected two-piece instead. Muted metallics, embellished piping and pops of color all feel special and will help solidify your status as head of the pack.</p>

A STATEMENT SUIT
Leave the boring pantsuits behind and try rocking an unexpected two-piece instead. Muted metallics, embellished piping and pops of color all feel special and will help solidify your status as head of the pack.

Slide 4 of 8: <p>While you can’t go wrong with a crisp, white button-down, the stylish boss ladies we know also rely on softer, more feminine pieces. Zoe loves to pair a ruffly or lacy number with a moto jacket or boxy blazer.</p>

A DELICATE TOP THAT’S STILL WORK APPROPRIATE
While you can’t go wrong with a crisp, white button-down, the stylish boss ladies we know also rely on softer, more feminine pieces. Zoe loves to pair a ruffly or lacy number with a moto jacket or boxy blazer.

Slide 5 of 8: <p>There’s a reason Jackie O, the Olsen twins and Miranda Priestly all rely on these guys: Behind a great pair of shades, no one can tell exactly what you’re thinking or planning. So even if you’re secretly panicking on your way to that presentation, the world is none the wiser.</p>

A PAIR OF OVERSIZE SUNNIES
There’s a reason Jackie O, the Olsen twins and Miranda Priestly all rely on these guys: Behind a great pair of shades, no one can tell exactly what you’re thinking or planning. So even if you’re secretly panicking on your way to that presentation, the world is none the wiser.

Slide 6 of 8: <p>Few clothing items scream confidence more than a fully patterned frock. Pick a print that makes you feel as bold as a lioness, then pair with a solid jacket or long vest to bring it into the boardroom.</p>

A PRINTED MAXI DRESS
Few clothing items scream confidence more than a fully patterned frock. Pick a print that makes you feel as bold as a lioness, then pair with a solid jacket or long vest to bring it into the boardroom.

Slide 7 of 8: <p>Whether they’re metallic brogues, embroidered boots or slick black heels, all power shoes have one thing in common: They make us feel like we can take on the world. Gentle reminder: A boss lady would never head to work with scuffed toes or dirty heels, so be sure to always properly store and care for your footwear.</p>

A PAIR (OR TWO) OF POWER SHOES
Whether they’re metallic brogues, embroidered boots or slick black heels, all power shoes have one thing in common: They make us feel like we can take on the world. Gentle reminder: A boss lady would never head to work with scuffed toes or dirty heels, so be sure to always properly store and care for your footwear.

Slide 8 of 8: <p>Feeling sartorially uninspired? Slap on a bold, bright lip and you’ll feel your confidence rise almost immediately. Promise. </p><p>For more wardrobe inspiration, check out <a href="https://finery.purewow.com/wardrobe/YPjfyaINWkmCrLuMp1494382224625">Rachel Zoe’s favorite closet picks</a> on PureWow's Finery homepage.</p><p><a href="https://www.purewow.com/fashion/best-blazer-for-every-body-type"><strong>RELATED:</strong> The Most Flattering Blazer for Every Body Type</a></p>

THE PERFECT SHADE OF RED LIPSTICK
Feeling sartorially uninspired? Slap on a bold, bright lip and you’ll feel your confidence rise almost immediately. Promise.

Here’s How to Finally Make Your Heels Stop Squeaking

When you’re all dressed up and ready to hit the town, the last thing you need is a squeaky set of high heels. Talk about a wardrobe malfunction! Thankfully, you’re not alone—even experts have fallen victim to this little fashion flaw. (Be sure to avoid these other fashion flaws, too)

‘I have had this happen so many times,’ shoe expert and author Meghan Cleary told RealSimple. According to Cleary, you’ll get squeaky shoes because they don’t fit quite right, especially when you’re wearing them barefoot or haven’t broken them in yet.

Fixing these noisy nuisances couldn’t be simpler, though. ‘The remedy is to wear tights or socks with the heels—if possible—until they are a bit more stretched out,’ Cleary said. ‘Or, if the shoes are leather, the best thing to do is break them in to fit the exact size of your foot.’

To silence leather heels, spritz the inside and outside of the shoes with room temperature water until they become damp. Then, wear them until they dry. This allows the shoes to mold to the shape of your foot and stop the squeak for good. If that doesn’t solve the problem, try these other squeaky shoe fixes.

As for synthetic squeaky shoes? ‘You may be able to spot pad the inside of the shoe if you can identify where the squeak comes from,’ Cleary said. She recommends using products like Foot Petals Strappy Strips or Moleskin foam and placing them on the part of the shoe where the squeak seems to be originating. Your steps will be silent (and peppy!) in no time.

If blisters are the problem, we’ve finally found the best ways to wear heels comfortably, too.