After washing thousands and thousands of glasses at the winery cellar door, we’ve tested out 6 easy steps to get super clean wine glasses at home.
1. Keep ‘em Out Of The Dishwasher
Two key reasons to keep your precious glasses out of your average dishwasher are;
1 – It’s tough on fragile glassware. It’s designed to get last nights lamb roast out of your cast iron pot, not massage your Riedel glassware. Do you really want your beautiful glasses chipped, scratched or broken?
2 – It’s still full of last nights dinner grease. We’re after sparkling clean glassware to savour and show off our wines, so the last thing we want is leftovers smearing our wine glasses.
2. Ditch the rinse-aid
Water on most surfaces ‘beads’ and dries leaving an outline of the bead. Rinse-aid in a dishwasher breaks down the surface tension and leaves a ‘streak free’ finish. But for our wines it’s no good as it leaves a film of rinse-aid (which is essentially detergent) over our precious glassware.
3. Wash in hot water by hand
The best clean comes with hot water and letting them dry. 83 degrees Celsius will sterilise your glasses and commercial glass washers heat to this temperature. Note that we said commercial glass washers and not household dishwashers. Unfortunately not many homes have commercial glass washers so the next best thing is to wash by hand in hot water.
4. Air dry naturally and don’t use a tea towel
Place the still hot glasses upside down and let them air dry. The cleanest and newest of tea towels will shed fibres on your glassware so don’t use them.
5. Use as little detergent as possible
For the totally germ obsessed folk who can’t sleep unless there’s detergent involved, please use it like it was hundred year old cognac – every drop is precious. Use at little as possible and then rinse several times. Commercial glass washers use a miniscule amount as required by most health regulations
6. Clean up the white grey film
This happens more with fine crystal than wine tasters and the culprit is organic matter. Luckily it’s an easy fix. Soak your glassware in a weak vinegar solution for an hour or two. The vinegar (acetic acid) will eat up the stuck on organic matter (wine) leaving sparkling clean glasses.
It all comes back to simple cleanliness. Everything about wines and winemaking comes back to doing everything as cleanly as possible.