The Real Reason You Should Never Drink Champagne From a Plastic Cup

couple drinking Champagne in Paris
Fill ’er up! These glasses will do your Champagne right. (Image: anyaberkut/iStock/GettyImages)

Even if you rarely drink Champagne (save for the occasional mimosa at brunch or requisite wedding toast), chances are you’ll be sipping on some bubbly come New Year’s Eve. Which is why we had to bring you this breaking news before you imbibe: Drinking Champagne out of anything other than a glass flute will severely — we repeat, severely — diminish the experience.

That’s according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin on the acoustics of Champagne bubbles (because, apparently, that’s a real thing that people study).

Though the study was originally meant to look at how bubble size and activity affect the quality of Champagne (a lot, as it turns out), the research also indicated that both Styrofoam and plastic vessels leave a lot to be desired when it comes to “vesseling” your Champagne.

So what exactly did they learn from the bubbles? Researchers found that the smaller and more active the bubbles, the fancier the Champagne. But pour your Cristal into a Solo cup (the horror — um, no, really), and all bets are off. That’s because, the bubbles stick to plastic cups, increasing in size before slowly trickling up, Andrea Sella, professor of inorganic chemistry at University College London, explained to The Independent.

The bottom line: Always opt for a traditional Champagne flute. Next best choice is another wine glass or tumbler. And if you’re really in a bind and all you can find is a plastic cup (and taking a swig from the bottle would be considered a social faux pas), just be prepared for your Champagne toast to be a little different in both bubbliness and taste.

Now before you think our interest in Champagne is purely superficial, we want to take a moment to highlight its health benefits, which you can reap regardless of price: A 2009 British study concluded that, like red wine, your glass of bubbly is packed with polyphenols — heart-healthy antioxidants that help lower blood pressure and prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Another British study from 2007 even suggested that it may help protect brain cells, while yet another 2013 study found that one to three glasses of Champagne a week can improve your memory.

We’ll definitely drink to that — from a glass flute, of course!

What Do YOU Think?

Do you splurge or save when you buy Champagne? Are you surprised that it tastes better from a glass? Will the research keep you away from plastic cups? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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