The coupe is a shallow, wide-mouthed stemmed glass commonly referred to a champagne coupe or champagne saucer. Or, if you grew up Southern Baptist, we call it a sherbet glass. :)- Coupe is pronounced "coop," so now this blog post title doesn't sound as clever does it?
The coupe arrived on the scene way back in the 1600's when it was basically a bowl sitting on a stand which had to be picked up with both hands when sipped out of. It became popular in the US during the 1920's as the champagne coupe when Americans were drinking a much sweeter champagne. In fact, a sweet syrup was often added to it. The champagne we drink today is much dryer and Americans especially, love the bubbles in their bubbly. For this reason, the coupe is not the best glass to drink champagne out of because the opening is much too wide and causes the champagne to quickly go flat. It is in fact, the worst glass to drink champagne out of.
Let's take a detour, because I like a good tangent... I'm sure you aren't surprised to hear the flute* is actually the best shape to drink your average champagne from because the long narrow shape prevents the champagne from loosing that festive fizz. The flute is delicate, fun, and creates a memorable experience and that is what champagne is all about... the drink embodies celebration and special memories. *The exception to this would be if you regularly buy champagne over $40-50 a bottle. These champagnes are best enjoyed out of wine glass because the shape will allow the aromatics to open up (just like they do with wine!) If you're like me, my budget prefers a $25 or less bottle and let me tell you...drink that out of a wine glass and you will quickly understand why I travel with my own champagne flutes. Yes. I'm serious. Totally. If you like champagne and you do not own at least 2 proper flutes, I beg you to go buy them right now. You are missing out and it's criminal. That's all I'll say about it.
Thanks to the resurgence of speak easy style clubs and prohibition era cocktails, you can once again find drinks served in a coupe. Instead of champagne, specialty cocktails such as an Aviation or Sidecar are fabulous in a coupe. Coupes are perfect for a signature Bride or Groom's drink or a special cocktail at a shower or dinner party...they are just fun! As a society that often over consumes, I think we forget to savor and appreciate, or make special the little things in life. A well-make cocktail or a fine champagne can only be more appreciated by using that perfect special glassware to enhance the experience.