Going over some of our popular Waterford crystal patterns such as Waterford Powerscourt, Waterford Ashling, and Waterford Kildare got me thinking about the different shapes crystal stems come in and why that is. China pieces are made in different shapes for obvious reasons i.e. bigger pieces, soup etc. But crystal serves the same thing always, beverages. So why should there be a need for different sizes and shapes (other than to give us an excuse to sell you more stuff? :))
Turns out there's quite a reasonable explanation. Each glass is designed to hold different types of beverages and provide different levels of enjoyment of the liquid inside. Let's go through a few of them.
The Champagne Flute – Long and narrow (because champagne is carbonated as we all know, that's why it's called “bubbly”) in order to keep the carbonation from escaping for as long as possible, a long, tall glass was designed that minimizes the surface room and keeps the “bubbly” packed in for maximum enjoyment and celebration.
The Sherry Glass – Designed to be held by the stem so that the beverage stays chilled, the sherry glass is wide and tapers inward toward the top to direct the smell straight to your senses.
The Wine Glass – Red wines taste best when they interact with air. That's why they are drunk in goblets with wide bowls and openings to allow for that process to occur. White wines, which tend to fare better on their own, have smaller openings to reduce the amount of wine coming in contact with air.
As you can see from the small sample above, pretty much every different type of glassware has it's purpose. So choose the right glass to maximize the taste and delicacy of your beverage of choice.