More commonly referred to as glassware, drinking glasses are the salt and pepper of table arrangements; they create a mood and allow one to feel comfortable when sipping a favorite beverage. The diversity of the drinking glasses is clearly the indication not that people are drinking more, but that we are a lot keener on shape, size and color. We now want to enjoy a drink, but a lot of the pleasure of the ritual is reduced when we don't have the right type of drinking glasses. It would be like drinking Madeira wine from a plastic cup. This would explain the huge offer of pony and pint glasses for beer (to mention only two), Martini glasses, ice tea glasses, shot glasses, brandy glasses and the list could go on and on.
A criterion for classifying drinking glasses is by dividing them in tumblers and stemware; whereas the former are very casual glassware, the latter are meant to impress by elegance, refinement and style. Stemmed glasses are used for cocktails, formal or informal dinners, and on any other suitable occasion. What most people don't actually know is that the use of such drinking glasses requires that they be held by the stem, so that the temperature of the beverage may not be affected; furthermore, holding the bowl will also leave finger marks on the glass, and thus diminish the aesthetic effect.
If beer drinking glasses need to be made of thicker materials so as to preserve freshness and the icy temperature, not the same thing can be said about wine glasses. The design and the shape of the bowls requires a very thin glass surface to achieve the elegant look required by this type of drinking glasses. Moreover, the shape of the bowl is also responsible for preserving the flavor of the drink; hence, don't be surprised that the same wine served from two different glasses may have a slightly different taste or flavor.
Drinking glasses can be etched in order to be offered as a gift for a dear person, or they can be purchased already engraved with some subtle design. Moreover, if you consider buying some special glassware, such as champagne flutes, you may have to consider the shape, the size and the price of the items too. Knowing when to use a certain type of glassware has always been considered a sign of good breeding, nevertheless, sometimes it is almost impossible to tell which glassware to use for a certain drink. This is why it is important to have some general-use drinking glasses around the house that can be used for a variety of occasions.