Choosing Crystal Stemware

Whether selecting a knockout gift for a very special occasion, adding a dazzling touch to a tableware collection or treating yourself to a spectacular present, crystal stemware is the natural choice. Stemware comes in several different types of beverage service. Choosing exactly the right pieces is easier once you understand the difference types of glassware.

Types of Drinkware

The finest of crystal stemware is lead crystal. Most of the best pieces are blown glass, individually crafted by experts. Fine crystal stemware can be etched, cut and/ or colored to catch and play with the light just as the fine beverages contained within do. Most people think of wine glasses when crystal stemware is discussed. Wine glasses usually have a rounded bowl to cradle the wine.

A stemmed wine glass should be held by the stem to avoid warming the wine with the heat of the hand. For wines that have a color that should be seen, select clear crystal stemware. Goblets are larger than wine glasses, having bowls that are nine to fourteen ounces. They are usually used to serve water or red wine and can be held by the bowl. Goblets can accompany crystal stemware wine glasses on the table. They may match or contrast in color and style.

Tall and slim, the champagne flute is designed to allow the bubbly wine to hold onto its effervescence by keeping most of the beverage below the surface. Since champagne is often served as a toast or with dessert, the crystal stemware flutes don’t have to match the other glassware. Shorter crystal stemware is used for iced drinks. Smaller bowls can be used for frozen cocktails or salt-rimmed drinks while the larger sizes can serve up iced tea.

Cocktail glasses, designed for the martini can be found to match other types of cocktail stemware as well as tumblers and highball glasses. The smallest type of crystal stemware is reserved for the service of liqueurs. Small bowls can be rounded or tapering according to taste. The stems can also vary from short to very tall. Brandy snifters are specifically made so that the brandy can be swirled and warmed by the hand in spite of its stem.

Whether to collect the various types of crystal stemware to match each other or stand apart from one another is a personal choice. The wide selections of color and design that are available allow you to match the glassware with dishware, serving pieces or linens as you please.

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