Q: Which kind of Champagne glass is better: tall flutes or wide, shallow, bowl-shaped glasses? A: Flutes are best for serving any kind of...

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Q: Which kind of Champagne glass is better: tall flutes or wide, shallow, bowl-shaped glasses?

A: Flutes are best for serving any kind of sparkling wine.

The thin, tapered shape allows the bubbles and bouquet to be released more slowly than in the wide-mouthed, saucer-style glasses.

How to serve bubbly

Sparkling wine should always be served chilled, but refrigeration will dull the flavor over time, so place the bottle in the refrigerator just a few hours before serving instead of storing it there.

Or place the bottle in a bucket with ice and water, which is the quickest way to chill wine.

To open the bottle, unwrap the foil seal from around the top.

Then remove the wire that encases the cork; while you do so, keep one hand over the cork in case it pops out unexpectedly (which it shouldn’t). Keeping one hand over the cork, hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pointed away from you, and slowly twist the bottle, not the cork, with your free hand. When the cork begins to lift from the bottle, use your thumb to help it out gently.

Have flutes ready when you open the Champagne bottle, and always hold the glass by its stem as you pour — and as you sip — so your hand doesn’t warm the wine.

Countdown glasses

When you’re waiting for midnight on New Year’s Eve, pass Champagne in glasses marked with numbers representing those final 10 seconds. Self-stick numbers, available in office- and art-supply stores, jazz up flutes for the occasion.

On Jan. 2, you can either peel off the numbers (use a cotton ball and adhesive remover to wipe away residue) or save the flutes for next year.

Questions may be sent to mslletters@marthastewart.com or Ask Martha, care of Letters Department, Martha Stewart Living, 11 W. 42nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10036. Sorry, no personal replies.