Real crystal, as opposed to plastic.
Nothing is more disheartening than the sound of a favorite wine glass hitting a hard kitchen floor and shattering into a hundred pieces... unless it's several glasses breaking at the same time.
But accidents happen, and there's not much you can do about them. That said, accidents also can be prevented, particularly when washing your glassware.
We asked members of our tasting panel to share some of their glass-washing savvy, both in terms of protecting the glasses from breakage and getting them squeaky clean. Here are six of their tips...
1. Carry one glass per hand at a time.
Even if you have big hands, you're just asking for trouble when you try to transport multiple glasses. And don't use a tray. Filled wine glasses are top-heavy, and the typical laws of gravity just don't seem to apply. That old saying does apply, however: Haste makes waste.
2. Store the glasses upright, not upside down.
The rim of the glass is much more prone to chipping than the base, so use the base as it was intended.
3. When washing the glass, do not hold it by the stem.
Instead, hold it by the bowl in one hand, and place it under warm or hot running water.
4. Avoid using harsh detergents.
As long as you don't allow the glass to sit unwashed overnight, water is all you need to get the glass clean.
5. When drying the glass, again hold it by the bowl, not the stem.
Cradle the glass in one hand with a clean towel, and then use a second towel for the inside. Dry the outside and the inside simultaneously with a simple circular motion.
6. Store the glasses in a cabinet away from the kitchen.
Glassware can pick up the odors of food, and the only thing you want to smell in that wine glass is wine.