When you register for wedding crystal, you’re not just adding a traditional gift item to your wish list, but selecting an heirloom that may be passed down for generations. To help avoid the pitfalls of selecting items you don’t want or need, follow these tips for registering the right crystal stemware for you.
CHOOSING YOUR CRYSTAL
With seemingly endless options at every price point and in every shape, size, and color, crystal can seem like a daunting item to select. However, just like everything else on your registry, you should choose a style of crystal that pleases both you and your fiancé, and represents your aesthetic as a couple.
Size and style. When selecting the size and style of your crystal, think about both your personal preferences and personalities. Do you like clean lines and classic shapes, or do you tend to opt for modern or eclectic features? Do you prefer tall, elegant stemware for fine dining, or large glassware that serves as statement pieces? You should also consider the amount of cabinet space you have available for storage; you don’t want to add a plethora of glassware to your registry lists and later be stymied over where to keep it. Consider how you will be using the glasses – for romantic dinners alone or hosting parties with friends – and if you are low on space, think about selecting crystal glassware that is stemless or meant to be stacked.
Selecting a shape. If you’ve ever wondered why there are so many different options within a particular line of crystal, it’s because the bouquet, taste, balance, and finish of a wine are all affected by the shape of the glass into which it is poured. Think about which types of wine you drink most frequently, then register for shapes that complement those types. If you’re not sure what your favorite categories of wine are, it may be helpful to know that the four most popular stemware shapes in the world are Bordeaux (Cabernet/Merlot), Burgundy (Pinot Noir), Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Burgundy glasses may also double as Champagne flutes, as Pinot Noir is the grape variety most often used in fine Champagnes.
Color. Clear crystal glasses are ideal, as the most beautiful color is the color of your wine. Colored glasses will distort your perception of the color, clarity, and brilliance of the wine. Furthermore, trendy colors come and go; clear crystal is timeless and eternal, adding to the heirloom value of your investment.
Choosing a price point. Crystal glassware is available in all different price points, but an easy rule to assist your selection is to equate approximately the same amount of money per glass with what you typically spend on your average bottle of wine.
CARING FOR YOUR CRYSTAL
After painstakingly selecting the stemware for your registry, you’ll want to treat it with care so that you can cherish it forever. Here are some expert tips on caring for your crystal.
Using a dishwasher. Most crystal glassware is dishwasher safe, and fine appliances even offer a crystal cycle that allows for safe cleaning and drying of crystal, but keep the following guidelines in mind:
• You should not overcrowd your dishwasher, which can cause glassware to bang against other items. Glasses should not touch one another when loaded.
• Some modern dishwashers come with a stemware rack. If yours does, utilize it.
• Remove glassware after the final rinse cycle. If left in during the dry cycle, residue in the steam will redeposit on the glasses.
Washing by hand. If you don’t have a dishwasher, or prefer to wash by hand, follow these tips to maximize shine and minimize breakage:
• Start by washing the glass under warm water; detergent is not needed.
• Let the glass dry and drain by placing it upside down over linen.
• For extra shine, steam the glass over boiling water. Be careful not to burn yourself.
• Using two microfiber towels, hold the glass by the base to polish. Then using your left hand to cradle the bowl, polish with your right hand.
Remember, select your registry items carefully and thoughtfully, and you’ll have crystal and other wonderful registry items for a lifetime.
MAXIMILIAN J. RIEDEL