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Fine crystal glasses for alcohol -where to purchase?

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I want to give 2-4 fine crystal, highball glasses as a house-guest present and need to know where to find the best selection of them. I'm in Manhattan, and so my options are fairly broad, but I broach the question here as a sort of generic, continental query: the places I might go boil down to these kinds of store -a) high-end liquor; b) department; c) dedicated housewares. Thus, in my case, the choices are, respectively, a) Park Ave Liquors; Sherry-Lehmann; my local; b) Bloomingdale's, Conran's, et al.; c) ABC; Williams-Sonoma; Crate & Barrel.

Is there one sort among these stores that regularly excels in glassware -factoring in affordability, choice and style? I love good glassware, but've never approached the purchase of it with this sort of diligence.

[NOTE: I can't see spending more than US$ 50 per glass. That said, I can also see readers suggesting brand names ("there's nothing better than 'Riedel'") and I can search for the best prices thereafter, with the understanding that I'm a bricks&mortar supporter at heart.]

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  1. Phil, look for a china and glassware shop. They will have the best selection of fine crystal. Think bridal registry. Also the department stores tend to have china and crystal selections. Liquor stores are in the business of selling liquor. You'll find higher quality crystal at a dedicated china shop than you will at Williams Sonoma or Crate & Barrel. I don't live in Manhattan so can't offer specific stores, surely there is a Baccarat shop there?

    3 Replies
    1. re: janniecooks

      Thanks, jannie. I was beginning to think that the word "alcohol" in my title had turned away a potent group of contributors. (That, or I'd have better asked for the best metal cup.)

      I confess I don't know what a "china & glassware shop" really is, but bridal registry is a great lead -my neighbour is getting married in May, so I'll approach her directly for advice. Thanks for your recommend, and I'll return with my discoveries once I've made the purchase.

      [R.I.P. Steuben, which is where I would have gone directly.
      Or, as you suggest, http://nymag.com/listings/stores/bacc...

      1. re: Phil Ogelos

        Try Tiffany's (you can go online)...they have always had high end glassware.

        1. re: penthouse pup

          Tiffany's is generally SO overpriced. I would have gone to Fortunoff back in the day -- now I'd probably hit Macy's or Bloomingdale's. And I'd go for Waterford in any case -- can't get more classic than that.

    2. Macy's and Bloomingdale's both carry a good selection of high-end crystal. Ask for a salesperson to walk you through the choices.

      1. Are there any auctions near you? I got a set of 32 cut crystal glassware for all of $17 at an auction. Old but beautiful glassware - I guess noone elase appreciated the quality.

        1. Michael C. Fina on 5th Ave / 45th st if you want classical traditional like Baccarat, Waterford, Lenox, Lalique, Christofle, etc., or Alessi down on Spring St. in SoHo if you want more contemporary design.