How to tell glasses apart.
I don't know about you but when entertaining friends who are interested in wine (and who isn't…?), we often serve wines two at a time – mainly because it is so instructive and interesting to make comparisons.
For obvious reasons, we tend to use only my own glass, specially designed to maximise the pleasure and intensity that any wine – red, white, rosé, still, sparkling, sweet or strong – can provide. So we end up with two identical glasses at each place. It can therefore be very confusing for people, and it's not utterly reliable to refer to 'the glass on the left/right' as you can't guarantee where people will put their glasses down.
I was thrilled therefore when I was introduced to these little pliable plastic clips designed to go round the stems of wine glasses by Christopher Hanson, son of Burgundy expert Anthony Hanson MW. I referred to them in my recent article All about blind tasting.
We usually serve an aperitif before we get to the table, in one of the two glasses allotted to each person, and I give them each a 'clipped' glass at that stage, often having fun matching the colour to their personality, clothes or football team, leaving an unclipped glass at their place round the table.
This is useful too as, before they get to the table, people tend to put their glasses down any old where and there can be some confusion about whose is whose. In the COVID-19 era, it is wise to be sure your glass is your own.
I know some people prefer to drink champagne and sparkling wines out of tall, thin flutes but most wine producers in Champagne much prefer a wider glass in order to savour the aroma fully, so we use my glass for all wines – including any sweet or fortified wine at the end of the meal.
There are those who like to use a new glass for every wine, but I prefer to use a glass throughout that has been well and truly 'wined in' rather than risk extraneous smells such as those from cardboard boxes, dusty cupboard or washing-up liquid in each new glass.
This has great benefits when it comes to washing up too. I know and understand that for some, washing wine glasses by hand is part of the ritual of entertaining, but I am not one of them. Which is why designer Richard Brendon and I specifically designed our ultra-fine glass to be dishwasher-proof. You do need to have sufficient height to put the glasses in, and this may involve lowering one of the racks…
Apologies if this grandmother seems to be teaching you to suck eggs (strange metaphor…?) but I am so thrilled with these little wine-glass clips I wanted to be sure that my fellow wine lovers knew about them.
I wonder whether there is a market for single-colour clips as well as the assortments that are available, called 'wine glass markers', for example on Amazon.co.uk at £9.99 for 36 and on Amazon.com for $9.99 for 48. Just about the same price on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to the UK's recent non Budget.