You would be surprised at the aromas you can get from some “clean” looking glasses. The importance of tasting wine with clean, odor free glasses was brought home during a recent wine dinner at a well-known restaurant in San Francisco. Shortly after a mature red Bordeaux was poured, a friend asked me to smell his wine. It had a dank, stale dishwater smell that ruined the wine. Although the glass looked clean, it obviously was not rinsed well. The wine was discarded since it picked up the odor from the tainted glass. This happened with three glasses out of approximately 48 used during the course of the dinner. To avoid such unpleasant and wasteful experiences, it is essential to SMELL YOUR EMPTY WINE GLASS BEFORE POURING WINE INTO IT. Alternatively, you can rinse the glass with the wine and pour it out before using the glass. However, this practice is wasteful and awkward in a restaurant setting.

*Reprinted from The Alchemist’s Wine Perspective, Issue 4, September 1997.