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Types of Glassware Everyone Should Have

From shot glasses and champagne glasses to wine glasses, pint glasses and highball glasses, bartenders and hosts have many options for serving and entertaining. In addition to adding variety and visual contrast to the bar area, different types of glassware are specifically designed for different types of drinks. Drink-specific glasses help bartenders serve the right amount to patrons and ensure optimal presentation. Some glasses, like wine and champagne glasses, come in small sets of two or four. Cocktail glasses come in larger sets. Tall and fluted or short and compact, glassware enhances special occasions.

At Pottery Barn, our glassware collection features a variety of stemware for drinks of all kinds. Collections are ideal for starting your home bar, as they often contain assorted sets of the most common and popular types of drinkware. A collection might include a set of two or four wine glasses for red and white wines and smaller snifter or old fashioned glasses. Some collections also cater to the needs of large events and contain durable glassware that does not chip or break easily. Some collections contain high-end glassware while others emphasize quantity and value.

For a basic party style of drinkware, wine glasses are a good choice. Wine glasses have a similar design as champagne glasses with a long stem and wide base. They are wider than champagne glasses, however, and usually not as tall. Wine glasses have a relatively wide opening, which allows for the different scents in the wine to breathe. People sometimes choose wine glasses based on a favorite varietal, such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Merlot, Zinfandel and more. Wine-specific glass is especially adapted to let the bold aromas and flavors of that varietal shine through. However, they are less practical for parties and large gatherings.

Our cocktail and beer glasses collection features drinkware designed for specific uses with mixed drinks and various types of beer. Like wine, beer tastes best when poured into a glass specific to the type. A wheat beer glass, for instance, allows the full flavors and aromas of wheat-based beers to shine through. Cocktail glasses are used for serving mixed drinks, from cosmopolitans to Bloody Mary's. Martini glasses feature a V-shaped design with a narrow base and wide rim. Other varieties of cocktail glasses include heavy stack glasses, double old-fashioneds and highballs.

Sometimes, everyday glasses are the most practical choice of drinkware. This is particularly true if you plan to host a large party like a wedding ceremony. Everyday drinkware is ideal for starting a collection of barware that might require serving a variety of drinks. Sometimes, hosts get a large set of everyday drinkware and add a few high-end specialty glasses or glass sets for a custom finish. Everyday glassware comes in assorted shapes and sizes that range from sleek and modern to curved and romantic. These versatile glasses serve water and juice in addition to alcohol.

For outdoor parties, try acrylic glasses. Acrylic glasses come in the same shapes and styles as other types of traditional drinkware, but they are specially designed to withstand the elements. The last thing you want at an outdoor party is to have guests stepping on broken glass, so acrylic features a durable design that withstands cracking and breaking when it is dropped. Made of clear glass, acrylic glasses look nice and match a variety of decors and table designs. Pair them with a glass pitcher of sangria for a festive outdoor celebration, or use tall acrylic glasses to serve Long Island iced teas.

Lastly, drink accessories complement your growing bar collection. Select a stately glass carafe to serve wine, or get a shaker to make perfect cocktails and mixed drinks. Since a bar is not complete without a wine bottle opener and a beer bottle opener, this is the ideal time to add them to your list too. For a drink and appetizers event, get accompanying finger food napkins for guests to snack on. Look for a nice set of coasters too, which keeps your counters and tabletops from damage.