Plastic Wine Glasses
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Purists in the world of wine may not be so quick to use plastic wine glasses but this less-expensive alternative is gaining popularity among the wider wine-drinking audience. Some choose plastic simply because it is much cheaper. Others use plastic glasses for wine because there is no broken glass to clean up and much less dishwashing to do.
There are several levels of quality among glass and crystal wine glasses and there are some differences in the plastic category too. The material used for many wine glasses may be a polymer resin, styreneacrylonitrile or some form of polycarbonate. The drinking vessel won’t shatter like glass. Glasses made of polycarbonate material are almost impossible to damage in normal use.
Plastic glasses for wine consumption may be made from one piece of plastic or may be a two-piece construction, depending on the manufacturer. As with other wine glasses, plastic items come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Of course, the traditional stemmed glass with an oval bowl is quite popular. These are also offered in a few different sizes, just as glass and crystal options are.
It’s interesting to note that the move to plastic glasses seems to have spurred a trend toward colored glasses as well. This is often presented by suppliers as a way to bring color coordination to your wine event along with the economy of plastic. Not only are plastic glasses being offered in a variety of colors, this type of glass has become quite popular among the creative “crafters” among us. People are more likely to try their hand at decorating their drinking glasses if they are plastic. Making an artistic mistake is not quite so critical on plastic!
One of the negative factors of plastic glasses, according to the purists, is that plastic tends to alter or diminish the taste of wine. Crystal and glass don’t have this negative effect or the change isn’t as noticeable. But more recent materials used for plastic drinking glasses have eliminated much of this problem. Now some plastic products are quite suitable for use in almost any wine-drinking situation.
Unbreakable – this may be the one positive benefit of using plastic glasses. If the wine is to be served in a location other than in the immediate area of the wine room or den, moving glass or crystal may be a difficult process.
If the drinking glasses are plastic they can be moved quickly, with less worry about damage. This makes plastic wine glasses perfect for patio use, garden parties and for event that require transporting wine and glasses to a distant location. Many events that have long carried a reputation for being semi-formal have made the switch to "plastic drinking glasses".
Inexpensive and easily replaced – Plastic wine glasses seem to show up in a lot of retail stores that have never carried glass or crystal varieties in the past. Buying plastic drinking glasses is not only a good financial option for the consumer it is also easier for stores to carry large inventories.
But this doesn’t mean plastic glasses always have to be used once and thrown away. Some of the more durable materials allow you to reuse plastic glasses after a good washing. Many of these glasses can be cleaned in the dishwasher with your other dishes.
Buying Into Plastic
Plastic wine glasses are available at many retail stores and it is common to see them in bulk quantities in wholesale and club stores. If you want to “stock up” on good plastic wine glasses you can order a case of 48 glasses for less than $1 each.
With some suppliers this price includes shipping in the continental United States, for example. The same terms might apply to orders from vendors on the European continent.
Some of the newer designs for plastic wine glasses make these products almost indistinguishable from glass drinking vessels. For example, an 8-ounce wine glass with a heavy stem and thick bowl may sell for $4 to $8 each.
While this may seem a bit steep for plastic, consider that a glass version of the same design has a minimum price of about $9. Crystal wine glasses cost many times this much. The plastic version is reusable and virtually unbreakable.
The next time you want to add wine glasses to your collection, you may want to give plastic some consideration.
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