Entertaining Basics: Glassware

When it comes to glassware, there are several types of people:

1) The people who use plastic disposable cups. 

2) The people who use mismatched pint glasses and bachelorette party wine glasses  

3) The people who use uniform glassware 

If you’ve been reading with us a while, you might make a wild guess to know that we’re all about option #3. Not a big surprise I know :D

As far as why we don’t recommend plastic disposable cups, it’s about treating our guests well and making them feel pampered in our home - you can read more about why we choose not to use plastic and paper plates and silverware.

Mismatched glasses remind me of my college days - when you had this eclectic collection of glassware of all shapes, sizes, colors and styles that were mixed in. It works great when you’re just starting out and you’re living with roommates whose glassware also gets mixed in - but when you’re starting to establish your home and you’re a grown up, grown ups have a nice set of basic, but uniform glassware.

Here’s the thing: I’m not saying you have to go out and purchase Riedel glassware. Just the basic line of glassware will do just fine.

We choose clear, straight glassware without any ornamentation or decoration - just like with our dishware, it allows for the glasses to integrate easily with everything else, and we have no fear of the glasses clashing with the dishware or tablescape.

WHAT GLASSWARE TO INVEST IN?

We basically have four types of glasses that we invest in. These are based on what we use and what our guests have used over the years.

  1. Water glasses

  2. Red wine glasses

  3. White wine glasses

  4. Champagne coups

Water glasses of course are a staple to have on hand - they can take water of course, but are also useful for iced tea, sangria, and other beverages as well.

If you don’t have a lot of people who drink wine on a regular basis, you can maybe go lighter on that glassware - perhaps you have beer drinkers instead and would rather invest in pint glasses.

Champagne coups are for special occasions like New Years and other celebrations, but we have used them for serving mixed drinks at parties as well. Much less weird than if you served someone a drink out of a flute.

HOW MANY TO INVEST IN?

We like to have larger parties, so we have a full dozen of each. That’s enough to ensure everyone has a glass without running out.

If you have smaller parties, you could possibly get away with six each. If we were to start having even larger events, I would recommend bumping it up to eighteen each.

WHAT LINE SHOULD I LOOK AT?

Honestly, the standard line of glassware from any home and goods store will work just fine. We really like the water glasses and wine glasses from Target (and who doesn’t love Target?) but you could also look at Bed Bath and Beyond or at a department store for their basic glassware line.

The important thing too is that if you break a glass or two - which inevitably happens - you’ll be able to replace them quickly and easily and without costing an arm and a leg (which is why we don’t recommend buying Reidel glasses that will cost a small fortune to replace!)

HAVE EASY ACCESS TO GLASSWARE

When you have guests at a party, it’s very important to ensure that they have easy access to the glassware. I had to root around for a wine glass one time, and I swear opened sixteen different cabinets trying to find one - not pleasant, and super awkward for everyone involved.

You have two options

  1. Be the best host ever - pour them a drink, even if it’s water or club soda an set the glass in front of them personally. Works great with small crowds and parties.

  2. Set the glasses out where they can be easily seen and accessed - out on the counter next to the wine for instance. This is much better for large parties when you’ll be busy.

Of course there is a third option - if your guests are good friends or have been to your house before many times, they may just be able to help themselves to a glass since they’ll know where your glassware is stored.

Regardless, this will prevent anyone from feeling awkward in asking for a drink or a glass. That’s important.

CHARMED I’M SURE

When you have a larger party, it’s important to ensure that you let everyone have a wine charm or nametag for their glass (unless you have enough glassware to supply a large party without running out, in which case I take off my hat to you!)

We had a large holiday party, and I swear I washed our entire dozen-glass set of wine glasses two or three times over the course of the evening. Not good when you’re also trying to keep the cheeseboard fresh and restock the dessert bar.

Better to ensure that everyone has their glass marked so they can track their beverage.


OTHER POSTS IN THE ENTERTAINING BASICS SERIES

Entertaining Basics: Ditch the Paper and Plastic

Entertaining Basics: Ambiance

Entertaining Basics: The Bathroom (And Other Unspoken Amenities For Your Guests)