Champagne is the most northerly wine-growing region of France. Its chalky soil and unique climate both contribute to the naturally effervescent white wines for which it is so famous. It was not until the 19th century that the technique of secondary fermentation in the bottle was finally perfected. The traditional coupe glass was actually developed for the particular style of sweet, bubbly dessert champagne popular at this period, obtained by adding an extra measure of 'dosage' (a mixture of wine and syrup), although fluted glasses were also used to avoid spillage when champagne was served at standing receptions. It was only around 1930 that the now familiar dry style of champagne became established. Riedel recommends serving dry champagne in flutes, since these best bring out the fine aromas of the high-quality base wines from which it is made. Many wine-lovers unfortunately are quite unaware of this superb bouquet, since champagne is all too often served either in coupes or in glasses that are too small (and thus filled to the brim) - neither of which can convey any aromas at all. This flute, filled with four ounces of champagne, concentrates the unique, yeasty bouquet of great champagnes, while emphasising their creamy texture on the palate. The bubbles are not allowed to dominate, but are part of the overall pleasure.
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