‘Tis the season for toasting with bubbly. Glasses of champagne get passed around this month so often that it can be tempting to use casual plastic cups when hosting less formal affairs. But in doing so you’re not only being less environmentally friendly, but you’re not getting the champagne’s full, glorious flavor.

A new study on the popular holiday drink proves that its taste is, in fact, affected by the drinking vessel it’s served in. If you’re thinking that bottle of prosecco you cracked open before the office Christmas party didn’t taste as good out of the water cooler cup as it does at home out of your fancy champagne flutes, you would be correct. Plastic vessels such as Solo cups, water bottles, Tervis glasses, styrofoam or any other type of plasticware you may have on hand, will make the bubbles behave differently.

The reason is that the bubbles stick to the sides of these vessels for longer periods of time, as compared to a glass champagne flute, and get bigger as a result.

“It turns out the bubble formation process on styrofoam is completely different than on glass,” lead study author Kyle S. Spratt from the Applied Research Laboratories at University of Texas at Austin told The Independent.

“So, if you ever have to resort to drinking champagne out of a styrofoam cup, the bubbles will be quite different.”

This effect can make what you’re drinking taste less than premium, too.

Even those plastic champagne flutes you can pick up from the supermarket don’t level the playing field.

“Using plastic glasses, for example, really isn’t so good because the bubbles actually stick quite strongly to the walls of the glass [and so are] bigger before they left off,” said Andrea Sella from the University College London.

So there you have it. Keep your holidays bubbly and bright by sipping exclusively from quality glass flutes.


Also see, why the first glass of champagne from the bottle will get you drunker.  


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.