On Friday night and Shabbos morning, our Shabbos meals begin with the recitation of Kiddush (blessing over wine) by the patriarch of the family. The word Kiddush actually means holiness as we recall G-d’s creation of the world and His dedication of the Shabbos as a day of rest and holiness. We designate a special cup for the Kiddush, typically a silver one. At our Shabbos table, you will also see one or two silver creamers placed alongside the kiddush cup.
After the Kiddush is recited over the goblet of wine or grape juice, everyone at the table answers אָמֵן, Amen. The kiddush wine is then silently passed to each person at the table as the one who made the kiddush drinks from the original goblet. Typically, the wine is poured from the kiddush cup into small shot glasses or miniature kiddush cups and then passed around. To simplify things (and require less washing and clean-up afterward), instead, we place a decorative creamer next to the silver wine goblet. This shortcut was an elegant solution thought up by our friend, Michael Horn, to the challenge of passing the kiddush wine around the table quickly and easily with minimal spillage.
Just after reciting the kiddush, Don pours off some of the wine before drinking from the silver kiddush cup into the creamer. The creamer is then passed around the table and each person pours a bit of wine into his/her glass. When we have a houseful of guests, I place two creamers, one for each side of the table, in order to expedite passing the wine around the table.