So you had friends over for wine and conversation. There was an Italian barolo, a California chardonnay, an albarino from Spain plus pizzas from a new place in town.
And now? Your friends have split and you have a dozen wineglasses, greasy plates, forks and a problem:
Stick everything in the dishwasher and hope the stemware survives? Pile the glasses and greasy dishes in the sink, squirt in dishwashing soap, add water and scrub?
Or do what pros suggest: Use hot water and wash the wineglasses by hand.
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So says Ray Foley, author of Bartending for Dummies (Wiley, $16.99), founder of Bartender Magazine and a guy with 16 years of tending bar under his belt. Sure, restaurants might run wineglasses through dishwashers, but hot water — just hot water, no soap — is the way to go, he says.
"Putting them in the dishwasher is not a bad thing," Foley says. But finding a dishwasher in which wineglasses readily fit can be difficult. "If they do fit, they clang against each other, and some break," he says. Plus, dishwasher rinses might leave a residue.
Foley walked us through the process.
Degree of difficulty: Expect to spend 15 to 30 seconds on each glass.
Tools needed: Paper towels, dishcloth, hot water, cold water, drainer, rubber gloves optional.
1. Handle glasses one at a time. First, check the rim. "Lipstick is the biggest problem," Foley says, but there might be smudges from lips that have just eaten greasy foods. Wipe the wineglass around the rim with a paper towel.
2. Wash the glass in hot water, as hot as you can handle; wearing rubber gloves will allow you to use very hot water. If there was a lipstick stain or food smudge, rewipe the rim with a paper towel.
3. Rinse well with cold water.
4. Set glass upside down on a drainer and allow to air dry. Don't use a cloth to dry glasses, Foley says: "You'll leave some lint on the glass."
5. Feel uneasy without soap? "If you want to, (use) just a pinch of the soap," Foley says, adding this cautionary note: "Then you've really got to rinse them really well in cold water and let them drain."
Heads up: Whether it's a mug or tall pilsner, "never use soap with beer glasses," Foley says. "Sometimes it leaves a very light film, so when you put the beer in, the beer will go flat."