When it’s displayed on your bar cart or in your kitchen, both glass and crystal barware may look the same. While they may share the same sleek design, they’re far more different than you realize. The two types of barware differ in terms of strength, durability, and even in the ways you can clean them, too. And when it comes to what type of drinkware you’ll choose for your home bar, these are all important factors to consider.
We’ll break down the two types of glasses so you can decide which barware might be the right investment for you.
Glass Barware: The Basics
Glass materials have been used to make beautiful barware since ancient times, and its popularity hasn’t slowed down since. Thanks to its high durability, heat, and scratch resistance, glass barware is an excellent choice for those looking for a dishwasher-safe and affordable option for their home barware. You’ll find that it typically appears thicker than its crystal counterpart, and because of this, it lacks the musical quality that you’ll find in crystal glasses. It’s lightweight, too, but because of this, it can be prone to breakage.
Modern glass barware is often made of borosilicate glass to increase its durability and is great for those with kids or pets.
Crystal Barware: The Basics
Crystal barware was created in the seventeenth century when British glass manufacturers began adding lead oxide to glass to create a new material: crystal. When held up to the light, crystal barware creates a beautiful prismatic effect, absorbing and reflecting light to create a rainbow. They’re often thinner, thanks to the precise mechanisms used to create them, and are often the standard for quality restaurants and wine lovers, too.
Crystal barware also has a musical quality to it, thanks to its porous structure. You can make melodic sounds by rubbing a wet finger around the rim of a crystal glass. However, it’s important to note that due to this porous nature, crystal barware is typically meant to be hand washed.
Why It’s Worth Investing in Crystal Barware
There are a few important reasons why crystal barware is considered the standard for many. Its unique chemical makeup, which includes a high proportion of minerals, makes it stronger and clearer, among other advantages, too. Here are some of the reasons why it is worth it to invest in crystal barware, whether you’ll be using it for a delicious aged red or a seasonal mulled wine cocktail.
Crystal Barware is Stronger and Thinner
In glass barware, you’ll find thick bowls and rims on your wine glasses, because glass must be thicker in order not to break. Due to its unique structure, crystal barware can be thin, elegant, and beautiful, too. It also reflects large amounts of light, which can create a desirable effect when you’re drinking your wine.
If you’re worried about the lead content, don’t be. While both lead and lead-free crystal can be used in your barware, it’s not as dangerous as you might think. The wine you’ll be drinking won’t be exposed to the glassware long enough for it to leach. Unless you want to store it in a crystal decanter, you might want to consider a freestanding wine cooler, instead.
Crystal Barware is Clearer
As mentioned before, many prefer crystal barware to glass barware due to its refracting properties, which allow it to diffuse light in the form of beautiful rainbows. You might also notice that crystal wine glasses have a glossier and more transparent finish, which often adds to the drinker’s enjoyment. With crystal glasses, you’ll be able to better appreciate the colors of your wine, whether it’s a beautiful port red, crisp yellow, or stunning pink.
They’re Works of Art
Crystal barware makes great gifts for yourself or others, and with a beautiful, thinly spun shape, it’s easy to see why. The best producers of crystal glassware are made by producers that emulate blown stemware made from old-time artisans. They’ll use incredibly precise machines, creating noble and consistent shapes and identical measures that make a thin room and smooth joins from base to stem. Your crystal barware will be a work of art. You won’t want to hide it in your cabinet!