Entertaining: Know Your Glassware

It's holiday season again, so we've enlisted a "lady friend," Laura House of the Good House Guest blog, to school us on all matters of being the host with the most.

No respectable bartender would serve you a velvety red wine in a tall glass, and you wouldn't do that at home either, right? If you answered yes, here's a primer so you can quickly clean up your act before the holidays and set up your bar with these six essential glasses. Your glassware doesn't need to be fancy either, just correct. Maximize use (and cabinet space) by selecting highball glasses you'd use everyday for water or soda and wine glasses that are casual enough for a weeknight dinner.

The Highball Glass

Grab this tall, straight 6 to 12-ounce glass for serving vodka tonics and other mixed drinks. It's deep enough to accommodate a few ice cubes and the right size for non-alcoholic drinks too.

The Old Fashioned or Rocks Glass

This heavy-bottomed (so you can muddle), squat 6 to 8-ounce glass can be used for everything from Scotch to margaritas and, of course, its namesake cocktail too.

White Wine Glass

Whether you go with a classic stemmed or more modern stemless, serve whites in the tulip shaped, smaller profile glass.

Red Wine Glass

As with the whites, with or without stems is up to you. Pouring reds in the wider (no need for the gigantic super-sized) shaped glass allows reds to breathe a bit.

Beer Glasses

Some guys prefer their beer right from the bottle or can, but it's nice to have a few 12-ounce Pilsner style or substantial Pint glasses in the cabinet to offer up to your more refined pals (or lady friends).

Specialty Glasses

Martinis are most often served in the iconic cone-shaped class with a thin stem, and bubbles are typically served in a fluted glass. A birdbath shape is a hip-again throwback style and an elegant solution for martinis, specialty mixed cocktails and Champagne.

This holiday entertaining guide is presented by our friends at Rioja Wines.