6 May 2024 By Jonathan

Mastering the Art of Glassware Placement for Every Occasion: A Comprehensive Guide


Placing glasses on a table is an art that may seem complex, but with a few tips and tricks, it becomes easy to create an elegant and friendly atmosphere during your meals. Whether you are hosting a formal or informal dinner, the correct choice and placement of glasses is essential to ensure the comfort of your guests and make it easier to enjoy the drinks served. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to correctly arrange glasses on your table, taking into account the social and diplomatic context as well as the implications of choosing different types of glasses.

Placement of glasses according to the occasion

Formal dinner

For a formal meal, it is important to follow some traditional rules in order to impress your guests with your attention to detail. Here’s how to do it:

  • The order: The glasses should be placed in the order they will be used during the meal: water, white wine, red wine and sparkling drinks (if necessary).
  • The height: Stemmed glasses should be arranged in descending order of height.
  • The position: Place the glasses about a centimeter from the upper right edge of the plate.
  • The number: Have at least three glasses per person: one for water, one for white wine and one for red wine. If you’re serving sparkling drinks, add a champagne glass as well.
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Informal dinner

For informal meals, you can take a more casual approach while still maintaining a certain elegance:

  • The order: It is always recommended to place glasses in the order of use, but you may choose not to include certain types of glasses if you do not plan to serve those drinks (for example, if no red wine is being served) .
  • The height: The rules regarding the height of glasses are less strict during an informal meal. You can opt for stemmed or stemless glasses depending on your preferences.
  • The position: Place the glasses about two centimeters from the upper right edge of the plate.
  • The number: Two glasses per person may be enough: one for water and another for wine or whatever beverage you are serving. Feel free to add additional glasses if necessary.
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The importance of glass placement in the social and diplomatic context

Although it may seem trivial, the choice and arrangement of glasses on a table can have a significant impact on the ambiance and perception of your event. In fact, proper lens placement can:

  • Show your attention to detail and concern for the comfort of your guests.
  • Facilitate interactions between guests by creating a clear and organized space.
  • Help prevent accidents, like spilled drinks or mixing up glasses.
  • Enhance the taste experience by providing appropriate glasses for each type of beverage served.

Specific instructions for arranging glasses at a Christmas meal

During a festive meal like Christmas, it is important to take into account certain particularities linked to the drinks traditionally served:

  • Water: Place a tall water glass directly above the knife to the right of the plate. This will be the first glass your guests use.
  • White wine: To the right of the water glass, place a slightly smaller glass for white wine. Since white wine is generally served before red wine, this placement will make it easier to use.
  • Red wine: Just after the white wine is generally the third location to accommodate another type of cup: the one that will contain red wine.
  • Sparkling drinks: If you are serving champagne or other sparkling drinks, place a champagne glass (flute or coupe) slightly back from the other glasses and to the right of the red wine glass.
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Now that you know how to place glasses on a table for different occasions, all you have to do is put these tips into practice at your next event. Whether for a formal or informal meal, remember that attention to glass placement can make all the difference in your guests’ experience. So take the time to prepare your table well and enjoy a friendly and elegant moment with your loved ones.