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Sep 21

Mad Men Mondays: the Champagne Coupe

Last night's Mad Men featured Don drinking a Budweiser and later, an office party with champagne. While it's great that Bud was around in 1963, I'm not sure it's changed all that much, so let's focus on the champagne and, in particular, the glasses.

Peggy: "This is good champagne."
Don: "I don't think so."

Maybe Don likes small-grower champagnes (or he's just irritated with management). As far as I can tell (by pausing and peering intently at my television), the British management  of Sterling Cooper brought in a case or so of orange label Veuve Clicquot, which currently retails for around $75-$110.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com

What I really want to talk about isn't the expensive champagne, but the glasses from which they drank it. More often than not, we drink our champagne today out of flutes, but in Mad Men, they're using coupes throughout the doomed office party.

image from farm4.static.flickr.com

The champagne coupe has a wonderful legend associated with it, but unfortunately, it's just a legend. It's said that the shape of the glass was molded on the breast of Marie Antoinette, or occasionally, Madame de Pompadour. While romantic, it remains just a myth.


image from farm3.static.flickr.com

The coupe was designed in 17th century England and came into fashion again in the 1930s. However, it's not a recommended glass for the drink – it simply looks pretty. The broad surface means the bubbles disappear faster. The preferred glass is a champagne flute, a tall skinny glass that is designed to increase the flow of bubbles to the top and that helps concentrate the aromas of the wine.

It really does make a difference. About a year ago, Kevin and I experimented with several types of glassware, including an old champagne coupe. Aside from being hard to handle (the champagne sloshed out of the glass), the champagne went "flat" a lot faster in the coupe than in the flute.

When it comes down to it, I'll drink champagne taking swigs from the bottle, if need be. But I'm often reminded that glassware really is something to consider when tasting wine.

Photos:
Mad Men: photos from my tv screen
Coupe: Taken by Fir0002, flagstaffotos.com.au,
used under the GNU License

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Posted by Michelle at 1:06 pm in Mad Men Monday | Permalink | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Mad Men Mondays: the Champagne Coupe”

  1. braddp23 says:

    I just stumbled across your blog, I’m in the Houston area so a bunch of the information here doesn’t apply but I have had so much fun looking around. Keep up the great work.

  2. We love Mad Men around our house. Fun show to watch but you really have to pay attention to the details. Great info on glasses. I just took a small bottle of the Veuve Clicquot tailgating before the U2 concert last night. I didn’t pack my nice flutes but a small picnic basket wine glass. It tasted good and didn’t last long but I wish I would have packed the right glasses. I’m so glad I met you at Blogher and found out about your blog. It will be a great resource for me and for my readers. Of course with being gluten free we’ll skip the beer and stick to the wine. Thanks!!!

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