Thanks to Wine Folly, I am pleased to tell you that I now know the difference between glass, crystal, and lead-free crystal. You might know this very well. But I have to say that I’ve had a fuzzy understanding, at best, of stemware composition for many years. Wine Folly shed some much needed light on the subject in their article entitled “7 Basics to Service Wine and Glassware.”
This table summarizes what I learned.
|Stemware Composition||Glass||Glass with lead monoxide||Glass with zinc and magnesium oxide|
|What Makes It Cool
||Affordable||The minerals cause the glass to have light refraction, which gives stemware a sparkle. The inclusion of minerals in glass makes it sturdy enough to be spun very thin. According to The Kitchn, the finer the crystal, the thinner the glass; and the thinner the glass, the better the wine tastes.||Same coolness factors as for crystal|
|What Makes It Not Cool||Glass doesn’t give you the beautiful sparkle you get from crystal. Also, because it’s not sturdy enough to be spun thin, you end up with thicker glasses, which makes for a less pleasing taste.||Lead is not something we want to spend much time with.||The thinness of crystal, whether with lead or without, makes it more susceptible to breakage.|
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I have the privilege of selling a beautiful line of Italian lead-free crystal stems. These stems are brilliant in color, have a beautiful sound, fine rims, a high level of durability and strength, and clarity after thousands of dishwashing cycles. They are sold in sets of four, starting at $59.95.
To place an order, or to learn more, please call me at 650-714-7009 or visit the stemware section of my website.