Stemware is glass or crystal vessels, used especially for beverages and desserts. This form of glassware is characterized by having rounded bowls mounted on a stem with a broad base. It is usually made from glass, leaded crystal or lead free crystal, but may be made from ceramics or metals.
The stem of a glass is an important feature as it provides a way to hold the glass without warming the wine from body heat. It also prevents fingerprints from smearing the glass, and makes the glass easier to swirl.
A wine glass is a type of crystal stemware which is used of course to drink and taste wine. It is generally composed of three parts: the bowl, stem, and foot. Selection of a particular wine glass for a wine style is important, as the glass shape can influence its perception.
The champagne flute is a piece of crystal stemware with unique characteristics. It has a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top. The shape of the stemware is designed to be held by the stem to help prevent the heat from the hand from warming the champagne. The bowl itself is designed in a manner to help retain the signature carbonation in the beverage.
A martini glass is a narrow drinking glass having a stem and a wide, shallow, inverted cone fixed above it to hold liquid. The base of the stemware is wide enough to maintain balance. The crystal stemware allows the user to hold the glass without permitting the heat from their hand to affect the temperature of the drink. This is particularly desirable for Martinis, which should remain cold whilst consumed.
A brandy snifter is a type of crystal stemware, a short-stemmed glass whose main vessel has a wide bottom but that narrows at the top. The large surface area helps evaporate the brandy into aroma, while the narrow opening helps to trap the aroma of the drink in the glass. The Stemware is usually able to hold between 6-8 oz but one should pour only 2-3 oz at a time.
While these are a few of the most popular forms of Crystal Stemware, there are others which include: Chalices and goblets, cordials, margarita glasses and other types of barware including beer glasses.