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The Best Crystal Glassware to Add to Your Bar in 2022

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If there’s one thing that makes you think, “huh, so this is what adulthood feels like?” it’s taking a sip from a crystal glass. Not to mention that the right glass can offer a main character moment—from martini glasses that make you channel Carrie Bradshaw to tumblers that give Don Draper energy. Yet, given its lofty price tag, you kind of want to know which crystal glassware is worth the investment (and which is worth leaving off the registry). So, if you have no idea where to start, we’ve gotcha covered. Here, find 12 crystal glassware options—from budget-friendly red wine sets to stunning Baccarat variety sets—plus expert advice on what to look for while you’re shopping. 

7 Types of Wine Glasses Every Wino Should Know About


HOW TO LOOK FOR CRYSTAL GLASSWARE

While regular glasses are made from liquified sand, crystal glassware is constructed with flint glass, which is a highly refractive material that offers its shine and clarity. And lucky for you, experts at Scully and Scully have created a five-point checklist to help you differentiate between the two: 

  1. Give the glass a few delicate dings: Glass will make a clunking noise, while crystal will sound like a light reverberated ringing.
  2. Run a wet finger in a circular motion around the rim: If it’s crystal, you will be able to hear a subtle tone emanating from it. 
  3. Inspect the sharpness or smoothness of the cut: The smoother it is, the more likely it’s crystalware. It’s also worth mentioning that crystal glasses tend to have narrower rims than regular glasses.
  4. Hold it up to natural light: Hold the glass up to a window or outside under the sun. Crystal refraction divides light on the spectrum much like a prisma (and if you’re seeing little rainbows, you’re good to go). 
  5. Account for its weight: Crystal will feel heavier in weight when contrasted against the weight of a glass around the same size.

Then, once you know the quality’s there, you want to think about your drink preferences. What do you usually crave after a long day at work? For some, it’s a chilled martini with blue cheese olives. For others, it’s a full-bodied Zinfandel. But if you’re a wine drinker, you want to choose a glass that’ll enhance the experience of that first sip. 

“The size and shape of a wine glass can impact how the aromatic vapors are captured and dispersed throughout your palette—and [that’s] a big factor in how good your wine tastes,” writes Alyssa Longobucco for Food52. “As a general rule of thumb, red wine glasses should always have a wider, roomier bowl (aka the bottom of the glass just above the stem) than white wine glasses. This exposes more oxygen to the surface of the wine in your glass, allowing the full-bodied flavors to ‘open up.’” (Click here for everything you need to know about choosing a wine glass.) 

THE BEST CRYSTAL GLASSWARE, AT A GLANCE 

  • Pros: Includes six glass set options, fused with zirconium and titanium for added strength and clarity, scratch-resistant, dishwasher safe 
  • Cons: Doesn’t offer a variety set 

If you’re looking for something affordable without sacrificing quality, most sommeliers will point you to Schott Zwiesel. Not only does the brand feature scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe sets, but each glass is reinforced at the bowl and base, so you know they’ll last for years. Plus, in terms of quality, the glasses are fused with zirconium and titanium for added brilliance, strength and sparkling clarity. It’s also relatively affordable, where you can choose between six glass sets—including red and white essentials (set of eight), red wine (set of six), white wine (set of six), burgundy (set of six), stemless (set of 6) or flute (set of six)—with prices that run from $72 to $120. 

crystal glassware 2
Amazon
  • Pros: Set of four is under $30, simple sleek design, shatter- and chip-resistant, dishwasher safe
  • Cons: Less durable than other options 

Here, a simple stemless set that’s perfect for everyday use (and won’t cost you an arm and a leg). It includes four dishwasher-safe glasses that can be used for both wine and cocktails—and the brand is known for its lead-free crystal that can sparkle in the sun. “Beautiful glasses [with] a lovely crisp, clear shine. The top is quite narrow, and the glass is very fine…[also] a nice size, not too big and not too small,” writes one reviewer. However, it’s worth mentioning that these guys are delicate, and while they might be dishwasher-safe, you might want to consider gently handwashing them so they don’t break. 

crystal glassware 3
Bergdorf Goodman
  • Pros: D developed with a renowned wine expert, glasses are intended to bring out the flavors of each drink, durable and long-lasting 
  • Cons: Expensive, handwash only 

Alright, you probably saw this one coming: Baccarat. It’s basically the pinnacle of luxury (at least in terms of crystal), and if you’re looking to invest in your glassware, this is the set to do it with. It features four glasses—including a champagne flute, tumbler and two wine glasses—and was developed in collaboration with Bruno Quenioux, a renowned wine expert, to enhance the tasting experience of each glass. And, while the Baccarat label ensures the quality of the crystal, this set is particularly unique because of the careful, rounded curves of each glass that are intended to preserve the smells and condensation of each drink. Just be sure to handwash these guys because, as you can probably guess, they’re ultra-delicate (and deserve to be treated as such). 

crystal glassware 4
Macy's
  • Pros: Tumblers are shaped for specific whiskeys; handcrafted, durable and long-lasting
  • Cons: Expensive, handwash only

For anyone who’s looking to give their bar cart some sparkle, this 4-piece set is where it’s at. Not only is it made by Waterford (yet another top crystal brand), but each glass is handcrafted and shaped for a specific whiskey to be enjoyed straight, neat or on the rocks. And if you don’t like whiskey, no worries; it includes a straight-sided tumbler, rounded tumbler, flared sipping tumbler and a footed-tasting tumbler that can be used with any cocktail your heart desires. (Just be sure to handwash only.) 

crystal glassware 5
Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Pros: Glasses designed to bring out the flavor of specific wines; shatter- and scratch-resistant, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: Only includes one glass for each wine type

For those who don’t know, Riedel is what most sommeliers would refer to as la créme de la créme of wine glasses. Each one is thoughtfully designed with a specific wine in mind and this tasting set has all the basics covered, including a cabernet/merlot glass, a sauvignon blanc glass, a pinot noir glass and a chardonnay glass (with a bowl that’s uniquely designed to allow aromas to develop without them becoming over-concentrated and intense). Oh, and did we mention they’re dishwasher-safe?

crystal glassware 6
Amazon
  • Pros: Set of eight is specially crafted for specific red wines, scratch- and shatter-resistant, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: Not handcrafted 

This dishwasher-safe Riedel set includes two of the most popular red options: cabernet and pinot noir. On one hand, there are four cabernet glasses that feature a generous size to emphasize the fruit and balance it against the bitterness of the tannin. Then, it also includes four pinot noir glasses that don a tulip shape with a slightly flared lip to highlight the sweetness of the drink. It’s also worth mentioning that the pinot noir glasses can also be used with Rosé Champagne (so it’s a win, win).

crystal glassware 7
Amazon
  • Pros: Set of eight is specially crafted for specific white wines, scratch- and shatter-resistant, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: Not handcrafted 

And of course, a white wine set (by Riedel, naturally) to go with it. The set comes with four Chardonnay and Viognier glasses, which is designed so the wine’s low acidity is delivered in a way that sets off the alcohol and rich flavors. Then, it also includes four Sauvignon Blanc glasses that are “perfect for all styles of this variety, from the grassy, fruit-forward wines of the Marlborough to the oak-aged, honeyed blends from Bordeaux,” according to the manufacturer. And as with all Riedel products, these guys are totally dishwasher-safe. 

crystal glassware 8
Neiman Marcus
  • Pros: Set of two features a timeless yet design, handcrafted, durable and long-lasting, each glass holds up to 8 ounces
  • Cons: Not dishwasher safe 

Timeless, elegant and oozing with luxury, this set of two Waterford champagne flutes offer a modern take on enduring sophistication. The design incorporates a more slender, modern profile while the intricate detailing on the cut crystal base gives it an old-world feel. Perfect for celebrations that include sparkling wine, mimosas, spumante and of course, champagne.

crystal glassware 9
Soho House
  • Pros: Set of four features an old-Hollywood design, hand-finished and polished for extra clarity 
  • Cons: Not dishwasher safe 

Speaking of an old-world feel… how stunning are these vintage-inspired coupes? The set of four was designed for DUMBO House and pays tribute to John Augustus Roebling, the civil engineer who designed and built Brooklyn Bridge. Not only are we obsessed with its intricate cuts and straight lines (which echo the cables that suspend above this bridge), but it’s hand-finished and polished for extra brilliance. 

crystal glassware 10
Macy's

Best Stemless 

  • Pros: Sleek modern design, set of six, under $60, shatter-resistant, dishwasher-safe
  • Cons: Not handcrafted 

For anyone who’s looking for high-quality yet casual glass, this stemless set of six by Lenox would be our top pick. Its sleek, carved base design offers a modern feel while the smooth composition makes it subtly striking. Not to mention that the set also happens to be break-resistant and dishwasher safe. 

crystal glassware 11
Macy's

Best High Ball

  • Pros: Includes both highball and double old fashioned glasses; relatively affordable price point
  • Cons: Handwash only 

Another cut crystal iteration we’re loving? This old-school set of eight by Godigner. It includes four highball glasses, plus four double old-fashioned glasses (because why not?). And aside from its under $90 price tag, we love how the cut crystal design reminds us of grandpa sipping on a cocktail at childhood Christmas parties. 

crystal glassware 12
Sur La Table
  • Pros: Set of two features a distinctive architectural look; affordable, dishwasher safe, shatter, scratch- and chip-resistant
  • Cons: Design might be too gothic for some

Finally, a set of two Schott Zwiesel martini glasses that are just as durable as they are beautiful. Its design was inspired by the gothic skylines found in Scotland, where the cut crystal construction creates a distinctive architectural look. On top of that, it’s crafted with Tritan Crystal technology that makes it shatter, scratch- and chip-resistant (not to mention ultra-clear). As if that weren’t enough, it also happens to be dishwasher safe. 

Colored Wine Glasses Are Making a Comeback


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