How to Select the Best Wine Glass

In the blog 4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Crystal Stemware, we have established that crystal works best with wine.

But did you know that the shape of the glass you use for your wine also affects how it tastes?

In a study that came out in February 2015, a Japanese group of chemists (Yes, there is a science to wine tasting in case you didn’t know.) developed a special camera that captured the images of ethanol vaporization of wine using three different glasses:  a cocktail glass, a straight glass, and a wine glass.  In the study, the wine glass shape performed the best for delivering aroma in a consistent ring around the rim.  Remember that wine glasses are thin at the rim.  The thin rim allows for better circulation of the aroma as well as taste.

And this is why it is very important to pick the right-shaped wine glass to ensure that your wine tastes the best it possibly can.  But with so many glass shapes out there, how do you know which is best for you?  Well, as a rule of thumb, remember the following:

Red Wine

Red wines (full-bodied, light-bodied, rose or spicy) are typically served in larger bowled glasses.  The larger surface area allows the ethanol to evaporate more quickly.  In so doing, it delivers more aroma and you smell less of the ethanol since it is farther from your nose.  In the process, you taste less of the bitter, minty, spicy flavor too.  The wider opening simply makes make the wine taste smoother.

Varga Verona Bordeaux Wine Glass

Varga Verona Bordeaux Wine Glass

White Wine

White wines (fortified sweet, light-bodied, or sparkling) are typically served in smaller bowled glasses.  This is to preserve and deliver more floral aroma and also to maintain cooler temperature.

Varga Imperial Wine Glass

Varga Imperial Wine Glass

And there you have it.  Wine glass shopping simplified.

Select your crystal stemware collection now so you will be prepared to host your own wine tasting.

Then you will experience for yourself the difference glass makes.

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How to Care for Your Crystal

In our blog How to Care for Your China, we discussed the value of china and how proper care is important for its preservation and value appreciation.

Today, we’ll focus on caring for your crystal, which follows the same 3 easy steps:

Step 1.  Wash

Hand Wash

In order to prevent damage, glasses should be washed individually using warm water and a non-abrasive product (i.e. soft sponge).  Tilt glass downwards and rinse under the faucet ending with the base.

Dishwasher

Set the dishwasher to the delicate cycle, with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit. We recommend using gentle care dishwasher tablets.

Separate the glasses so as to avoid them having contact with other items.

Step 2.  Dry

Place the glasses on a towel or on absorbent surface to drain, or wipe delicately, holding the glass by the stem to minimize pressure.  Always use a lint-free fine cotton or linen towel.  Make sure that fingerprints are not transferred onto the sparkling glass.

Step 3.  Store

Always put the glasses back in their boxes or stand them upright, so they do not touch each other.

For decanters, it is best not to leave wine in them.  (They should be rinsed immediately after use.)  They should also always be stored without a cap so as to allow for airing.

Lalique Langeais Decanter with Stopper

Lalique Langeais Decanter with Stopper

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4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in Crystal Stemware

Crystal, known for its clarity, has long been used in the service of wine and other spirits. It is the choice of wine connoisseurs because its clear over all appearance allows the drinker to assess the color and viscosity of the wine or liquor.

Its bright reflective quality also allows fine wine glasses to actually sparkle.  Perfect for your champagne and other bubblies.

Another benefit of crystal is its ability to be spun thin. This is useful specifically for wine glasses at the rim where it can be very thin, but still heavier and more durable.  This allows for a more direct sip.

And let us not forget the other aesthetic qualities of crystal stemware which adds vibrance to your table setting:  its silver, sometimes purple, hue; plus, its refractive quality causing it to cast a rainbow prism effect when held up to the light.

Because wine appreciation is not just simply about the taste but also the enjoyment of the ambiance and aesthetics, crystal stemware can make the experience of the beverage better overall.

Click here to check out our stellar Crystal brands for collections that will give you a better wine tasting experience.

Waterford Castlemaine Champagne Flute

Waterford Castlemaine Champagne Flute

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Crystal Clear

Do you want to add some sparkle to your table setting?  Then aside from china and flatware, you must not be without crystal stemware.

After all, what are cocktails without the impeccable glassware that only crystal brings?

Crystal makes any occasion truly special by adding elegance to the table.  It will enable you to entertain with class and enjoy the finer things in life.

Crystal – Because not all that glitters is gold.

Click here to check out our stellar Crystal brands.

Baccarat Massena His & Hers Champagne Flutes

Baccarat Massena His & Hers Champagne Flutes

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4 Reasons Why You Should Invest in China

Are you still undecided in making that first china purchase?

Well, here are 4 reasons to convince you:

  1. With proper care, the quality of the china is preserved and its value appreciates.  Take the case of Royal Copenhagen’s Flora Danica Collection, said to be the most expensive china in the world.  A 20-piece service of this collection now costs $29,500!  Should you need money for emergency or whatever purpose, you can actually sell your china collection for much, much more than what you initially paid for it.  Especially here at Classic Replacements where we give you the lowest prices. As mentioned in the last blog – what drives the price is the craftsmanship of the china that dates back to centuries.  In the present world where everything is instant, craftsmanship has become a forgotten skill.
  2. Speaking of craftsmanship, if you are a true art aficionado, you know that china is one of the best representations of visual art. No words are needed for you to appreciate these works of art.  Anna Weatherley’s collection is an example.  Each piece is a masterpiece, delicately handpainted, not lacking in detail.  To display or to use – the choice is entirely up to you.
  3. Using china also gives you a taste of royalty. After all, fine china was originally manufactured only for the emperors or the royal family, you know.  Think of all the meaningful conversations you will have as you gather around the dining table with your family and friends.  And your guests will surely commend your sophisticated taste.
  4. Lastly, china is an heirloom that you can pass from generation to generation. It is a lifetime legacy for your grandchildren and even great grandchildren to remember you by.  What better reason could there be?

Are you convinced already?  Take that first bold step.  Click now.

Anna Weatherley Ivy Garland Flat Cup & Saucer Set

Anna Weatherley Ivy Garland Flat Cup & Saucer Set

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Focus: Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Collection

In our blog How to Care for Your China, we discussed the value of china and how proper care is important for its preservation and value appreciation.

Today, we’ll focus on what is said to be the most expensive china in the world – Royal Copenhagen’s Flora Danica collection.

Want to know the story behind it?  Here goes.

Having taken an interest in botany, King Frederik V of Denmark commissioned the Flora Danica botanical encyclopedia in 1761.  The encyclopedia consisted of more than 3000 of engraved copper plates featuring Danish flowers and plants hand painted by acclaimed artist Johann Christoph Bayer. The encyclopedia was completed only in 1874 (more than a century later).

It was this botanical encyclopedia that was adapted by Royal Copenhagen for its Flora Danica collection in 1790.  It was also Bayer who initially painted the first productions of the collection – until he lost his sight.  You can say that this was his life’s work.

Truly luxurious, the Flora Danica Collection was created as a gift from royalty to royalty and is still used by kings and queens today.

The details of the paintings combined with the quality of the porcelain make each piece an absolute treasure.

What drives the price, you ask?  Craftsmanship that dates back to centuries.  In the present world where everything is instant, craftsmanship has become a forgotten skill.

Turn back time with our Royal Copenhagen collection.

Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Collection

Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica Collection (Source: Pinterest)

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You Cannot Get More Elegant Than This!

Did you know that in Europe, porcelain factories have to work for the title “Royal” to be added as a prefix to their company name?  The permission has to come from no less than the Queen herself.  Not only that, the right to add a “crown” to the company logo or backstamp has to be earned from the royals too.

This is why if you have a Royal China Collection, you can be assured that it has passed the most stringent of standards in terms of excellence in workmanship.

Own a Royal Collection and own something of real value:

Royal Albert

Royal Chelsea

Royal Copenhagen

Royal Crown Derby

Royal Doulton

Royal Ivory

Royal Jackson

Royal Standard

Royal Worcester

Royal Crown Derby Lombardy 5-Piece Place Setting

Royal Crown Derby Lombardy 5-Piece Place Setting

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Focus: the Richard Ginori China Collection

Today, April 11, marks the death anniversary of Marchese Carlo Ginori.

Marchese Carlo Ginori (1702-1757) Source: Wikipedia

Marchese Carlo Ginori (1702-1757)
Source: Wikipedia

It was Carlo Ginori who founded the Doccia Porcelain of Florence in 1735.  He was motivated by his interest in the production of “white gold” which is how porcelain was known during that time.  When he died in 1757, his work was continued by his sons (Bartolomeo, Francesco, Lorenzo, and Niccolò) who introduced a new, whiter body glazed for increased whiteness compared to their father’s original grayish and less glossy works.

The brand became known as Richard Ginori after its merger with Societa Ceramica Richard of Milan in 1896.  Recognized as the “Ferrari” of porcelain, it was acquired by known Italian fashion brand Gucci in April 2013 thus preserving its Italian heritage.  Currently, the original Florence factory is still under operation totaling almost 3 centuries of skillful handiwork, the mark of true Italian craftsmanship.

Carlo Ginori was only 55 years old when he died yet his legacy of Italian craftsmanship has lived on for more than 280 years now.

Truly, nothing says class like Italian dinnerware and the Richard Ginori China Collection is proof of this.  Go ahead and take a look.

 

Richard Ginori Ercolano Black Flat Cup & Saucer Set

Richard Ginori Ercolano Black Flat Cup & Saucer Set

Richard Ginori Pompei Gold Cup & Saucer Set

Richard Ginori Pompei Gold Cup & Saucer Set

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How to Care for Your China

But first, some trivia.  Did you know that there was this single porcelain bowl that sold for $9.5M at a Sotheby’s auction?

red-Chinese-bowl

Source: www.therichest.com

This is the Blood Red Porcelain bowl decorated with two lotus flowers, a most sought-after collector’s item. It was rare, bright red despite being under-glazed which made it very popular. The ruby-colored bowl dates from the Kangxi period (1662-1722) during the Qing Dynasty, and was eventually purchased by a Hong Kong private collector.

Such is the value given to china so it is important that you know how to properly care for your own china collection. 

Let us take you through 3 easy steps: 

Step 1.  Wash

To wash by hand or use the dishwasher?  That is the question frequently asked by china owners.  Let us help you decide.

Hand Wash

As a rule of thumb, any china above 20 years old should be washed by hand. Plates with gold or platinum edging must not be placed in the dishwasher.  (Not even in the microwave oven, for that matter.)  If a pattern has been discontinued or is no longer in production, it is difficult to replace so best to handle it with utmost care.  (This is the reason why we at Classic Replacements guide you on the manufacturing / production status of all our product lines.)

How to Wash China by Hand:

First, line the bottom of the sink with a soft rubber mat.  This is to avoid chipping.  Turn the water on to warm (not hot).  Use a mild liquid dishwashing detergent (no bleach or lemon please!)  Use a delicate sponge (pretty much like what you use for your Teflon pans.) Do not scrub aggressively – just rub gently.  Wash one item at a time.

Dishwasher

If you are the type who likes to have fine dinnerware but dreads handwashing – then go for dinnerware which are deemed dishwasher-safe by the manufacturer.  Check the level of quality and craftsmanship too.  Mottahedeh dinnerware is recognized for this.  Fine porcelain and bone china plates are actually quite durable enough to withstand the occasional run through the dishwasher.

How to Wash China Using the Dishwasher:

First, remove the food particles with a rubber spatula rather than cutlery.  This is to avoid scratches.  Load them in such a way that they will not bump into one another.  Separate the load for the cutlery or flatware.  Water temperature should be below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  Consider the available settings of your dishwasher and select the special china wash or delicate cycle.  The most important thing to remember in using the dishwasher to wash china is to choose the gentlest setting and the shortest wash possible.

Step 2.  Dry

Air dry or towel dry.  Just make sure that the towels you will use are soft and clean.

Step 3.  Store

Store away from extreme temperature.  Do not stack them one on top of the other.  Use a filler or padding. (Cloth napkins, doilies, and even paper towels will work.)  Neither should you stack or hang cups to reduce the chance of breakage.

That’s it.  Wash, Dry, Store.  Easy as 1-2-3!

By doing this, you will be able to maintain the condition of your china for many years.  Definitely an heirloom that you can pass on from generation to generation.

Mottahedeh Strawberry Vine Flat Cup & Saucer Set

Mottahedeh Strawberry Vine Flat Cup & Saucer Set

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Your Choice of Dinnerware Says a Lot about You!

It used to be that fine china was manufactured only for the emperors or the royal family.

There was even a time when porcelain was used only for decoration and not to serve food.  (Think of the dinnerware stored in your parents’ or grandparents’ cupboards.)

However, with the progression of time and influx of factories, we now have a variety of dinnerware themes with increased functionality without sacrificing aesthetics.

Your choice of china says a lot about you and the lifestyle you choose to live.

You can go casual – for a more child-friendly setting.  Most casual dinnerware can be placed in the dishwasher to save you the time of hand washing then towel-drying them.

On the other hand, fine china needs a little more care.  Fine china is usually associated with classic or elegant.

We also have the modern or contemporary for the minimalist and purist in you.  Take it from Villeroy & Boch which has three centuries of craftsmanship and innovation.

There are also some people who go for country or rustic earthenware or stoneware.

Whatever you choose…whatever inspires you…Classic Replacements has a slew of options for you so keep on clicking!

Villeroy & Boch French Garden

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