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Snooth User: Philip James

Rinsing Glasses

Posted by Philip James, Apr 27, 2007.

I was at a wine tasting the other day and, feeling thirsty, poured some water into my glass. I drained what was left, and held out the glass for the next wine. The server then proceeded to lecture me on how I shouldn't put water in the same glass as wine as it "changed the pH and acidity".

It certainly sounded as if they knew what they were talking about.

I let it slide as I hear this sort of fallacy every day. Firstly, pH and acidity are the same thing. Moreover, wine is predominantly made out of water. The few drops of water in the glass made no difference to the half glass of wine that was poured in.

Technically, the water would have diluted the taste, but we're talking literally 2 drops versus 2 mouth-fulls of wine. I figure that to be a 0.1% difference. Certainly nothing worth mentioning.

Replies

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Reply by amour, Mar 31, 2010.

It  has  always been suggested, that we all should build hanging racks

 and rinse our glasses with wine...oops...no no no ....with WATER

and hang them out to dry...and  there is no room in the equation for

 dish-washing liquid and drying cloths.

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Reply by Degrandcru, Mar 31, 2010.

Philip: I do not see any issue in rinsing a glass with water before filling it up again. I do exactly the same thing, when opening a second (or third) different bottle at my house.

Amour: I actually do use dish washing liquid (how else would I get off my wifes lipstick). I just make sure I rinse them well afterwards. I do hang them up for drying, but more out of convenience. On the other hand I had a few waiters exchange or rinse glasses for me if they smelled too bad like dishwasher or soap.

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Reply by amour, Mar 31, 2010.

I guess some use too much detergent...the wasteful habits of so many....

I also use detergent and the dishwasher where appropriate...

I think everyone knows the importance of spotless everything but especially wine glasses......and glasses....as a child we had home helpers but my father taught us to  hold  each glass, whatever kind, up to the light and survey its every aspect!!    And to respond by acting accordingly!!

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Reply by zufrieden, Mar 31, 2010.

Ideas should also be held to the light for inspection.

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Reply by cigarman168, Apr 1, 2010.

Better to let the server know that  we are doing wine tasting and not chemical analysis. Of course it is perfect to have new glass for every cups of wines but seems not practical and not so environmental freindly.

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Reply by zufrieden, Apr 1, 2010.

Drop me a line sometime, cigarman168...

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Reply by cigarman168, Apr 1, 2010.

@Zufrienden : What can I do for you? 

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Reply by VegasOenophile, Apr 1, 2010.

I don't think rinsing is an issue.  While tasting, rinsing out with wine is always better so I have been told.  To actually wash the glasses, yes, wash them! lol.  The bigger issue I have is cleaning my decanter.  I need those ball bearings or something, or that wand cloth thinggie. 

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Reply by gregt, Apr 1, 2010.

At some of those tastings, they pour such small amounts that if you've got a few drops of water in your glass, you dilute the wine.  Solution is to shake the glass pretty hard to get the water out and tell them to pour a little more.  That's what I do anyway.  After tasting a few dozen wines the glass always looks kind of gross, so I always rinse it. 

I fact I do that when I get a new one anyway.  First of all, people have some kind of phobia about actually washing them sometimes, thinking that rinsing with water is just fine.  Well, I hate that philosophy.  God invented detergent for a reason!

Second and more importantly, there's often a musty dusty stale quality to the glass, particularly if they've been in a rack or something.  So I rinse the glass.  Do it at home too if it's been in the cupboard for a few days. 

Finally, in NYC, every single public venue has cockroaches.  It's just not possible to avoid them and I don't want to drink a glass that's got little pieces of cockroach crap in it. 

So rinse away!

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Reply by Degrandcru, Apr 1, 2010.

@ Vegas: Yes, cleaning a decanter is an issue, I am using the same brush I am using for cleaning baby bottles. They sell them at every supermarket.

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Reply by Cathy Shore, Apr 1, 2010.

When changing from one wine to another in a dinner situation I see no problem with using a little water to clean the glass.  In a professional situation however I normally give clients a little of the next wine to taste and let them rinse their glass with it before throwing it away and giving a little more.

I used to work with an Australian winemaker and she was adamant to use wine not water using the same argument you put forward.  Wine is closer to wine than water is. 

When washing up glasses, I do use detergent but rinse and rinse again, especially when washing flutes.  Just a smidgeon of detergent will kill a sparkling wine dead in seconds.

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Reply by prestamp, Apr 1, 2010.

Degrandcru, a great idea. Wonder why I never thought of it. Maybe because I never had babies... In any case, I'm going to try it.

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Reply by Degrandcru, Apr 1, 2010.

Yep, as I have a baby I am usually cleaning bottles and wine glasses / decanter at the same time, so the idea just came naturally.


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