Guide to Glassware: 10 Styles & Sources

updated May 4, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah Coffey)

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.

Bed Bath & Beyond

The Duralex Picardie line is classic French bistro style, made from tempered glass that’s durable and stackable. You can find the Duralex Picardie Tumblers at B, B & B or other chain stores and small shops. These are priced at $15 for a set of 6.

Juice Glasses

These are similar to tumblers, but smaller. They’re used to serve juice in smaller portions, and they may have flat or footed bases.

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They have pretty, affordable juice glasses made from etched, hobnail, or hand-painted glass. Styles tend to fit the store’s signature French flea market aesthetic. This is the Fleur-De-Lys Juice Glass for $6.


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.

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This department store is a go-to source for wedding registries and everyday or fancy glassware. They carry lines from Martha Stewart, Lenox, Kate Spade, Waterford, and others. The Dansk Imagine Goblet ($15) has a straightforward simplicity that’s attractive.

Wine Glasses

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.

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Different wine glasses are better suited to different wines, and Austrian company Riedel is a market leader in creating stemware for aficionados. Glasses are pricey (these are the Riedel Vinum Crystal Bordeaux Wine Glasses, $50 for 2) but they also have budget lines at Target and other big box stores.

Champagne/Sherbert Glasses

These glasses have shallow bowls on top of a stem, and they can be used to serve champagne, ice cream, cocktails, or desserts.

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Once a popular style, the Champagne/Sherbert glass has fallen out of favor and doesn’t show up a lot in modern glassware lines. Finnish company iitala, however, makes several versions — including similarly shaped Sherry and Cordial glasses. This is the Tapio Champagne/Sherbert Glass, $50 for a set of 2.

Champagne Flutes

This is a tall, thin glass that’s designed to show off the bubbles in a sparkling wine.

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This New York-based store is a good source for all types of affordable but good barware and stemware, as well as bar accessories. This is their Artist Crystal Champagne Flute for $7.95.

Cocktail/Martini Glasses

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.

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They have a good selection of inexpensive bar glasses and stemware. The glass is a little thinner than more expensive brands, but it looks good and it’s cheap enough to buy a bunch in multiples. This is the Bond Martini Glass, $5.95.

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.

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C&B is a good source for affordable lines of good quality. Much of their glassware is handblown — their Direction Glasses are their most popular barware, with a nice heavy base, priced at $10 each.

Beer Glasses

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).

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Bodum is well known for their double-walled glasses, which are designed to help keep drinks either hot or cold. They work well when you want to pre-chill a glass for beer, and their Pavina Double Wall Beer Glass is $20 for a set of 2.


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.

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This online megasite carries most of the major glassware brands and they’re a good place to comparison shop. This is the Schott Zwiesel Tritan Mondial Collection Brandy Snifter, $45 for a set of 6.