Unstuffing tableware, part 1: Stemware

July 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

I’ve begun the herculean task of unstuffing the basement; that’s a long, long story for another day. But, in the course of peering at the boxes in our poorly lit basement, I realized that we’ve never unpacked all of the tableware that we packed up before our kitchen remodel… and people, we remodeled our kitchen in 2006.

Today, I carried four boxes labelled ‘KITCHEN’ up into the light of day. One box contained what’s left of my grandmother’s Fiestaware; the other three were full of carefully bubble-wrapped stemware. I unpacked the boxes, and set the stemware out on the counter, along with the few stems that were already in a cabinet.

Then I clambered up onto the kitchen counter and took a photo. As one does.

Looking at our collection of stemware (ignoring the dust, and not knowing that most of it had been packed away for 5 1/2 years), you might think that we drink a lot of wine/champagne/liqueur and/or throw big parties for our wine/champagne/liqueur-drinking friends. Neither of these is true.

These days, we don’t drink much, and when we do, we tend to drink wine from small stemless glasses that don’t require hand-washing — a habit acquired on a trip to Italy. And we’ve been known to sip port, brandy, etc. from Chinese teacups, which are the right size and shape (and not in a box in the basement).

So, if I were to get rid of everything that we don’t use regularly, every one of these stems would go… but I’m not that much of a minimalist (yet). At this point, I’m willing to give cabinet space to glasses that are beautiful and/or have sentimental value. And I’m hoping that, now that I can see them, we’ll use them more often.

Of the 61 stems we now have, we’re keeping 33:

  • 16 stems Rosenthal Chiara (4 each water goblets, white and red wine glasses, and champagne flutes, pattern selected to go with our wedding china… and, like our china, discontinued shortly after we got married.)
  • 2 Rosenthal Calice toasting glasses (tall flutes, wedding present from my parents)
  • 4 port glasses (gift from my sister)
  • 2 cordial glasses (also from my sister, brought back from Venice)
  • 3 Val St. Lambert cordial glasses (bought in Chicago 20+ years ago, while visiting a college roommate)
  • 6 champagne flutes (inexpensive glass, bought for a big Y2K New Year’s Day brunch; not beautiful/sentimental, but I can imagine we might someday use a dozen flutes)

And these 28 stems will be going to new homes (perhaps yours?):

Finally, because I’m really nosy curious: How much stemware do you have? Is it enough/too much/too little? Do you use it often, or aspire to do so?


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