Is it OK to serve wine in lead crystal glasses?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is it OK if to serve wine in lead crystal glasses?

—Chyrel, Arlington, Mass.

Dear Chyrel,

Serving wine in crystal and lead crystal is perfectly safe, with just a couple small caveats: Lead is added to glass to make it easier to cut into fancy shapes, help glass keep its sparkle and create that lovely clinking sound.

Lead poisoning is serious, but it would take months or years of wine sitting in a lead crystal glass or decanter before the acids in the wine would leach lead from the glass, and then you’d have to drink a whole lot of lead-tainted wine before it would have any dangerous effects.

So enjoy your new goblets, just wash them thoroughly before and after use and don’t store wine (or water, or anything you’d drink later) in the glasses.

—Dr. Vinny

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