Wine Glassware in Restaurants - A Complaint [Long]


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Wine Glassware in Restaurants - A Complaint [Long]

Bill Hunt | | Aug 4, 2006 05:30 PM

Not so much about wine, though I feel that the glassware DOES affect the enjoyment of it. My complaint is the glassware used to serve wine in some, otherwise wine-friendly restaurants. I don't mind a jelly-jar if I'm having a bottle of Riesling in a Chinese restaurant, or neighborhood Indian-Cuisine place, but please, if you have 4-5 diamonds after your listing (US), or are on the Wine Spectator list, serve the wine in nice stemware. I've found some of the worst offenders amongst the top restaurants in the Deep South (US), especially in New Orleans. If I am having wines that exceed the price of all of the meals at the table, I expect nice crystal, with a thin wall, adequate size/shape, and a small rim. Not something from the standard restaurant supply store. I understand breakage, and having to clean the crystal, but a US$600 wine deserves more than a jelly-jar.

I've even considering picking up stemware luggage to travel with a couple of Riedel stems for just such occassions. Does anybody else travel with their glasses?

When we first moved to PHX, AZ, we dined at one of the highly respected restaurants (many accolades on the SW CH Board), and I ordered a very nice Cab for the main - Randy Dunn's Howell Mtn. '85, IIRC. We had had a few wines, by-the-glass, and the stemware was pretty poor. I asked for the wine to be decanted, and they were quick to accommodate me (good sign). Then I asked that we all (4) be given Bordeaux-stems for the wine. The reply was that they only had three "good" glasses. I got those three for wife and guests, and took the b-t-g stem for myself. I wrote a note about this to the management after the meal. As the food was quite good, and all other aspects very nice, we returned about a month later. I asked for the three "good" glasses for wife and guests, and was greeted by the response, "the manager got a note on wine glasses, and went out and bought a complete set of Spieglau stems for the better wines." Really nice to know that they read their correspondence and actually acted on my suggestion.

My feeling is that even lesser wines can benefit from good stemware. One may not subscribe to the Riedel marketing of a different US$60 stem for each varietal, but good glassware should be essential to good wine service.

Whew - off my chest,

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