Generally, I feel that you can serve spirits and wine from whatever glass you want. However, there are benefits to using the traditional glassware choices for your beverage. A perfect example is the champagne flute.
Bubbles are (of course) part of the essential champagne or sparkling wine experience. The shape of the champagne flute keeps the carbonation going longer, since the smaller surface area exposed to air means the effervescence dissipates more slowly and the aromas are delivered quickly and directly to your nose.
Most flutes hold about five to six ounces. A variation on the flute is the tulip glass, which is similar in shape but opens a bit wider at the top. The difference in experience is probably barely noticeable to most people. But flutes are said to be ideal for more dry sparkling wines, while a larger opening like a tulip is more suited to sweeter sparkling wines (also called wines with a higher “dosage”).
The original champagne glass, known as a coupe, is short with a very wide opening. This style of stemware has fallen out of fashion for serving sparkling wine, because the greater exposure to air lessens the carbonation faster. Although, you will now see the coupe used in stylish bars for other types of cocktails, particularly those originating in the 1920s and ’30s.
Image courtesy of Titanium22.