The ‘bead’ is a reference to the size of the bubbles in a sparkling wine or Champagne. The predominant opinion is that smaller, longer lasting bubbles are present in finer, more desirable wines. The bead has been likened to a string of pearls that glide upwards inside the glass.
A Champagne flute is the choice stemware to best present the beading of the wine. The narrow design of the glass retains the carbonation due to reduced surface area.