Washing wine glasses

            The wine is the perfect pair for your fare. Then you pour into cloudy, stained stemware and visions of Bubba & Bab’s Greasy Spoon Diner dance in your guest’s head.

Washing stemware is a chore, but essential to full wine enjoyment. Here are basics:

  • Hot water is your friend; soap is your enemy. Wineglasses should live detergent-free lives. Just say “nope to soap.”
  • Wash glasses as soon as decorum allows. At minimum, set them in warm water to soak.
  • If horrible happens with lipstick stains or greasy glasses, help is on the way—table salt is good way to remove lipstick stains, baking soda or citric acid dissolved in warm water also works. If you are forced into soap, use as little as possible, then rinse completely. Rinse again. Then rinse again.
  • Hand washing wineglasses always is best. Some wineglasses claim to be dishwasher safe. That means they are thicker glass, which is a problem in itself and does not address the dishwasher difficulty: dishwashers are machines that turn clear glassware into cloudy glassware.
  • If you must use a dishwasher, ensure there is ample space between glasses to minimize breakage. Wash glasses by themselves, water only. Open the door when washing is complete so steam escapes. Even when you take all these precautions, multiple dishwasher cycles will create cloudy glasses if you use detergent.
  • Dry glasses with a lint-free towel that has not seen fabric softener. Be gentle. The better the glass—which means the thinner the glass—the more eager they are to break during drying.

Cleaning stemware can be a real pain in the glass. Your reward is a perfect, sparklingly clear vessel for your sipping enjoyment.


  • McManis Malbec 2010. Juicy fruity; raspberry, blackberry, spice; acidity, oak. Not Argentina, but another McManis value winner. $12
  • D’Arenberg The Footbolt Shiraz 2005. Intense, tart berries; plush plum/purple fruits; classic Aussie shiraz. ($14 closeout bargain, newer vintage $19, still recommended).
  • Alexander Valley Vineyards Homestead Red Blend 2009. Cab-syrah-zin. Very black cherry & blueberry; medium body, plain, pleasing drinker. $20