Choosing the Right Glass
The first requirement of a modern glass is that one should be able to see through it in order to enjoy the colour of the liquid. This rules out ruby-bowled hock glasses and the heavily decorated variety.
Bertrand Russell, at the close of a stormy life that had included gaol sentences, divorces, and active support for the pacifist cause, said that the only moment of stark terror he could remember was when he was a boy of 17; at the end of dinner the ladies retired, leaving him alone with Mr. Gladstone, the Liberal Prime Minister, who directed the full force of his indignation at poor young
On the other hand, if you and your family are reliable washers-up, and there is plenty of shelf space, then you may like to add more glasses to your collection. These are some to consider: Another set of slightly larger, stemmed wine glasses; these are for red wine. One usually drinks less white wine at a meal, and two elegant glasses standing together at each place look handsome and promising.
Goblet: (12 oz., with or without a short stem): for water, lager and beer. Anjou wine glass: long stem and more square-profiled bowl. Hock glass: with long stem (sometimes green or brown), for German and Alsace wines. The bowls may be lightly cut or engraved so that you can see the beautiful cool, cool colour of the wine, but please — never coloured!
Small brandy glass: for liqueurs and Brandy.
Large brandy glass: balloon-shaped, for gracious or flamboyant living.
Copita: for Sherry — very professional.
Port glass: short stem and straighter sides.
Cocktail glass: in all shapes, preferably not coloured. Martinis look well in a short, wide trumpet on a slim stem.
Champagne glass: the saucer-shaped Champagne glass known to all wedding guests is on the way out, and the sort with a hollow stem to show off the bubbles is rare. The current fashion is the tulip glass with a longish stem. This shares an irritating drawback with the balloon Brandy glass in that long noses (like your author’s) rest on the rim opposite to the mouth, inhibiting a good angle of tilt and demanding a neck-breaking toss of the head in order to swallow from either rim. Liqueur glasses: any glass with a smallish bowl will do, from very modern solid glass tubes, to flights of old-fashioned fantasy, with air-twist stems, engraving — the lot. But, once again, keep in mind the gem-like colours of liqueurs, and aim for an uncoloured bowl.