years we have worked very hard to become a premier provider
of decorated wine glasses. As part of this endeavor we have
provided decorated stemware to clients for all manners and
scales of events. Needless to say we get a lot of questions
involving the etiquette and best methods of decorating wine
glasses. This is a short intro on wine glasses and using wine
glasses for events and gifts.
of Decorating Wine Glasses and Decanters:
Traditionally wine glasses have been engraved with monograms,
commemorative date and names, such as weddings and anniversaries
and more recently corporate logos. Wineglass engraving or
'etching' is accomplished by covering the glass with a 'mask'
or 'film pattern', then 'sand is 'blown'" against the
surface. Wherever the glass is not protected by the masked
pattern, it becomes "etched" or engraved where the
sand strikes the surface. This procedure is different than
metal etching techniques where the surface is covered with
wax or resin, a design scratched into it and the material
immersed into acid. The third method of glass etching is actually
a form of engraving. The operator imprints the pattern or
design on glass with a high speed drill and used a fine, steel
bit to engrave the decoration or text. The drill can be used
freehand but is usually done with the aid of a stencil guide,
in order to trace over a pattern or design.
Glasses normally are 'engraved' when the value of the glass
is above $5.00 and in smaller quantities or as special
Wine glasses can also be imprinted with ink and is a less
expensive method of decoration, which is why it is used for
less expensive stemware and when it is necessary to
decorate a large number of glasses with an identical logo
or message. It is important to note that most commercial stemware
decorators have a special color ink that is used for imprinting
stemware to 'look' like it is engraved or 'frosted'. This
method is very popular for decorating stemware for events
and gives the stemware an upscale look. Because the process
is priced per color it also allows the wineglass to be decorated
on both sides at no extra charge, one for the event name and
the other side for a date or sponsor logo or name. This process
is called 'satin imprinting' or 'satin
etch', even though it is not actually etching or engraving
the wine glasses.
Wine glasses made of fused or cut glass can create a rough,
thick lip, from which it is not as pleasurable to drink out
of. Blown glass results in a better wineglass, with a thinner
wall and a 'sheer' lip, and is usually required to impress
non casual wine drinkers. These glasses are usually made of
crystal or lead crystal. Lead crystal glasses' advantages
are primarily aesthetic, having a higher index of refraction,
thus changing the effect of light passing through them. They
are also heavier. Since the advent of California's Proposition
65 rule it is required to label all glasses containing lead
when shipping into the state or California.
The shape of the glass is also important, as it concentrates
the flavor and aroma to emphasize the wine's characteristic.
The shape of the glass directs the wine itself into the best
area of the mouth from the varietal.
wine glasses have stems. A new trend in wine glasses is the
"stemless" wine glass which comes in a variety of
sizes and shapes . The Riedel - O wineglass has made this
style a household item.
casual wine drinkers wine glasses can be divided into three
types: red wine glasses, white wine glasses, and champagne
flutes. Wine tumblers like the Riedel - O (without stems)
are also popular and are made for red, white and champagne.
Glasses for red wine are characterized by their rounder, wider
bowl, which increases the rate of oxidization. Red wine glasses
also have particular styles of their own, such as:
Bordeaux: tall with a broad bowl, and is designed for
full bodied red wines like Cabernet, Zinfandel and Merlot
as it directs wine to the back of the mouth.
Burgundy: broader than the Bordeaux glass, it has a
bigger bowl to accumulate aromas of more delicate red wines
such as Pinot Noir. This style of glass directs wine to the
tip of the tongue.
White wine glasses vary enormously in size and shape, from
the delicately tapered Champagne flute, to the wide and shallow
glasses used to drink Chardonnay. Different shaped glasses
are used to accentuate the unique characteristics of different
styles of wine. Wide mouthed glasses function similarly to
red wine glasses, promoting rapid oxidization which alters
the flavor of the wine. To preserve a crisp, clean flavor,
many white wine glasses will have a smaller mouth, which reduces
surface area and in turn, the rate of oxidization. In the
case of sparkling wine, such as Champagne or Asti Spumante,
an even smaller mouth is used to keep the wine sparkling longer
in the glass.
Champagne stemware or Champagne 'flutes' are characterized
by a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top. The shape
is designed to keep sparkling wine desirable during its consumption.
The glass 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 to help retain the carbonation in the wine.
This is done by reducing the surface area at the opening of
the bowl. The flute design also adds to the appeal of champagne,
allowing the bubbles to travel further due to the narrow design,
giving a far more pleasant visual effect.
One of the more popular styles of wine glasses for events
is called a 'taster' and is used for both red and white wines.
The normal size is a 12 oz.
When giving decorated wine glasses as a gift it is always
important to present them with upscale packaging. On the other
hand when providing decorated wine glasses for a wine tasting
event or a corporate event the wine glasses are normally provided
at the registration table or seating tables.