In most locations around the world the mere mention of Waterford brings to mind quality crystal. Waterford means “heirloom” to just about everyone, whether the item is stemware, flatware or china. This is certainly true of Waterford wine glasses, one of the beautiful and functional products from this centuries-old company.
As the company Web site states, “In recent years, Waterford has built upon its reputation as a leading source of prestigious tabletop and gift products by expanding into several new businesses. Significant expansions into tabletop and gifts have occurred with the launch of the Marquis by Waterford, the addition of Waterford Fine China, Waterford Fine Flatware, and Waterford Holiday Heirlooms. Each of those initiatives reflects the company's commitment to creating prestigious products -- for gift giving, entertaining, and home decorating -- whose classic designs transcend time.”
A Piece of History
Waterford was founded in 1783 in the Irish town of the same name. According to information from the company, brothers William and George Penrose set out to “create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home.” That ambitious beginning has grown into a world-class company that now employs more than 3,000 people.
Among the most prized items from Waterford are exquisite wine glasses. Some wine lovers insist that great wine tastes even better when a quality glass of the right shape is used.
It may be that wine reaches yet another level when you drink it from a lead crystal glass by Waterford. Two important features of great crystal are cut and clarity. Wine glasses from this legendary company definitely achieve the highest marks in these categories.
However, lead crystal is not a particularly strong material. Those who invest in stemware from Waterford should take great care when storing, using and cleaning these glasses. Lead crystal handles ambient light in a way that separates it from other glassware.
The best crystal glasses have a distinctly bright appearance. They may also feel a bit softer to the touch than other types of glass. These additional features add to the experience by enhancing the wine’s color and softening the glass in hand.
Many wine lovers find that wine glasses of above-average quality are fine for most of their wine experiences. The majority of aficionados use less-expensive wine glasses on a daily basis. If they do own a lead crystal wine glass they probably use it only on special occasions.
The reason, of course, is cost. Much of the lead crystal from Waterford is hand cut. Hand-cut designs ensure that no two glasses are exactly the same. Of course, not all lead crystal is hand cut or given intricate facets. Modern crystal glasses may be more uniform from one piece to the next.
Whether items are hand-cut and unique or a bit more uniform due to modern production techniques, Waterford wine glasses are a bit more expensive than your average piece of stemware.
For example, online merchants and other stores are offering a signature collection for Robert Mondavi that features smooth Waterford glasses. Prices for a pair are in the $40 to $50 price range. Glass shapes are slightly different for the Sauvignon, Burgundy and Pinot Noir lines.
Waterford Wine Glasses: Exquisite Choices
Some of the most-respected crystal merchants in the world offer Waterford crystal wine glasses in a range of faceted styles as well. These carefully crafted glasses range in price from $69 each to $135 for select pairs. Some of the best examples are:
In addition to these treasured drinking vessels, the Waterford name is found on wine glass sets available at a number of retail outlets and online merchants around the world. For example, the lead crystal Brookside wine glass is etched, provides the weight in hand you desire and holds up to eight ounces of your best wine. A set of four of these dishwasher-safe glasses is available for $40 from most suppliers.
Choose Waterford and you give your wine one of the best glasses available.