Friday, March 9, 2012

What Will My Table Wear, Part II- Choosing Drinkware

It's probably not normal that I have three full sets of glassware. Four if you count my set of glass mugs. And then there are my ceramic mugs. 12 in each set. Maybe some of you are thinking, That's nothing! If that's you, you're probably quite the beverage connoisseur. Since I don't drink alcohol, coffee, and have yet to delve into the world of mocktails, it automatically eliminates the draw toward a lot of specialty glassware such as margarita glasses, martini glasses, beer steins, and espresso cups. Even if you do drink coffee and alcohol, though, you may not have the space or the budget for all these types of drinkware. So, I'm just going to focus on 4 types which I think will take care of your hosting needs more than aptly.

Before we do that, though, I do want to briefly mention that I use the same criteria for choosing glassware as I do for the rest of my collection- classic style, beautiful lines, and versatility. For details on each of those check out my previous post on building a collection of dining and entertaining pieces.

  • Everyday glassware- Simply called a "glass" or a "tumbler," this is what you use for your average breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home, and what you'll most likely use for serving things like lemonade, iced tea, and even juice to friends. (Though, juice technically should go in a slightly shorter glass..) For this, you just have to go with something that speaks to you. If you want glassware that has a tint of color, I think that's fine, (-I do have a weak spot for seaglass green-) but I would personally steer away from that brownish tone you still see here and there. It looks outdated and reminds me of coffee-stained teeth. (Sorry.) Some everyday glassware options have a decorative embossment of sorts, like the ones in the second photo below from Pottery Barn. If you go for a tinted glass or embossment, just try to make sure it's not something you'll get sick of, unless, of course, you can afford to replace them at will for something you like more. As for us, we went with these ones from Crate & Barrel. 
Impressions Glasses

Cow Milk Glass from Pottery Barn. Not as versatile as some everyday options, but I love the color and the embossment gives them such a fun little personality.
  • Wine Glasses- I use these not just for formal dinner parties, but anytime I want to lend a little elegance to a regular dinner or a special lunch. I even use them sometimes to showcase a dessert, like these lemon curd parfaits. These glasses were one of my absolute favorite items to register for before our wedding. While there are few everyday glassware options that call out to me, there are so many truly beautiful wine glass shapes and styles. I could go into all the things you could consider when making your selection (ounces, height, base, made for white, made for red, etc.) but when it comes down to it there are only a few things that I think are worth considering. 1) Stem or stemless, 2) is the rim wide enough to comfortably sip from without hitting your nose in a weird way, and 3) is it beautiful to you? Oh, and I will also say that I don't think it's necessary at all to get crystal. Spend the extra money on napkin rings. Or food. Ours are the medium ones pictured directly below. 
Nora Wine Glasses from Crate & Barrel
 I also love some of these less traditional shapes:
Brim Balloon 28oz Wine Glass from Crate & Barrel

Pierre 15 oz Wine Glass from Crate & Barrel

Rimini Wine Glasses from Crate & Barrel

  • Water Goblets- It wasn't until I started throwing fancier dinner gatherings that it occurred to me that water goblets might be a worthwhile addition to my collection. It certainly wasn't the end of the world, but my everyday glassware just looked a bit frumpy next to my wine glasses. So I started to hunt for an affordable water goblet collection. Not only are they the obvious choice for water, but they're great for so many other cold drinks when you want something a bit nicer than your everyday glassware but not as fancy as a wine glass. I opted for the ones below from Pottery Barn and am so, so happy with them! They are AWESOME! Shawn loves them too. But I also really love the ones below those from C&B. 
Only $24 for a set of 6 Classic Water Goblets from Pottery Barn

Just a bit more expensive, these are $1 more per glass at C&B
  • Mugs- Mugs kind of give me warm-fuzzies because they make me think of blustery Winter days with hot chocolate.... which, I've actually been known to drink throughout the whole year, but that's beside the point. I also use mine for hot or cold cider, and sometimes for desserts. If you ever have company for breakfast or brunch, you'll find these helpful for hosting. If you purchased a set of dishes, they very well may have come with mugs, like ours did. On top of the ones that came with our set of dishes (that you can find in this post,) we also have a set of the large mugs pictured below from, you guessed it, Crate & Barrel. My choice was very classic, but, because they're such a casual item, I think there's room to play with the color and style of mugs, even mixing and matching. So, by all means, have fun with your selection and make no apologies.
16oz Cafe Mug from C&B
Striped Mugs from West Elm

With a Twist Teacups from Anthropologie

Loule Mugs from Anthropologie

Old Havana Mug from Anthropologie

Pie Crust Mug from Anthropologie


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