Most people don't have the space for the full scope of glassware, but depending on your drink of choice, there's a glass or two that fits your needs. Here's a brief guide to 10 styles and a few places to buy them. There are, of course, other options, and you can read more about the various styles in the "related resources" links below.
These are everyday glasses that can be used to serve water, milk, juice, or chilled drinks. They're usually tall and round and may have flat or footed bases.
These are similar to tumblers, but smaller. They're used to serve juice in smaller portions, and they may have flat or footed bases.
A goblet usually has a bowl-shaped top with a stem and a footed base. Water goblets are larger than wine glasses, and they can be tall or short.
They generally fall into the category of stemware, and the bowl may be oval-shaped, elongated, or balloon-shaped. (Stemless wine glasses have also become popular in recent years.) Look for a rounded bowl that's well suited to swirling and sniffing and a thin lip, which pours the wine into your mouth so you don't have to slurp.
These glasses have shallow bowls on top of a stem, and they can be used to serve champagne, ice cream, cocktails, or desserts.
This is a tall, thin glass that's designed to show off the bubbles in a sparkling wine.
This type of glass has a triangular bowl on top of a stem, and it's used to serve straight-up cocktails such as Martinis, Cosmopolitans, and Manhattans.
Highball and Old-Fashioned Glasses
A highball glass usually has a flat base and a slim, round shape. An old-fashioned glass (also called a 'rocks glass') is a short, round glass with straight sides. Both are used to serve mixed drinks on ice.
There are a variety of beer glasses, each designed for a certain type of beer. They commonly hold 16 ounces of beer, have a flat base, and widen at the lip (although traditional beer steins have a handle and taper slightly at the lip).
This short-stemmed glass has a balloon-shaped bowl, designed to capture aromas. It's meant to be cupped in the hand, which warms the liquor, and it's most commonly used for brandy.
• Best Water and Wine Glasses for Summer 2009
• Best Wine Glasses 2009
• Top 10 Glasses
• Guide to Crystal Pieces from Replacements.com
• Wine and Glass Guide from Riedel
Photo: Duralex Picardie Tumblers