by Julie Finch-Scally
I don’t know how many times I have been in a hotel or bar and a glass has been placed down in front of me with a lipstick stain on the rim.
Now I am very particular about the cleanliness of a glass for my wine, so I get a little upset when it is dirty. I don’t want my wine poured into a glass with someone else’s lipstick and I am certainly not going to drink out of it. Lipstick is the worst offender but quite often there are water spots on the inside making the glass look dirty even though I know it has been washed.
The problem isn’t the dish washer. It’s the lack of wiping them once the glasses have been washed.
Many years ago I frequented a wine bar and watched them clean each glass before hanging them in the overhead rack for serving. This bar was very particular about each customer receiving a sparkling glass and because the glass looked so great, the wine tasted better and the whole thing invited one to drink more. The company prided itself on having sparkling, clean glasses, and I am sure it added to the atmosphere of pride in the bar staff and enjoyment of the customer.
I haven’t been into any bar or hotel since where there has been such a pride in clean glasses. Which I think is a pity. I guess the companies who run these establishments don’t think it is worth the time and effort of the staff.
But this is where I believe they are wrong. The pleasure of the first glass of wine in any establishment is the sparkling of the glass as the wine is poured. If you are drinking sparkling wine this is especially important because any water spots in a champagne flute flatten the wine. To have the drink returned, which I have done many times, is a waste; so surely keeping the glasses clean is common sense and cost saving?
There are many down times at a bar when staff could be cleaning the wine glasses as they come out of the dish washer. And I for one would love to see this implemented as a new part of service.
I believe it is time to start a campaign requesting all hotels and bars to implement a new cleaning régime of their wine glasses. I think a well worded letter or email to the hotel/bar management should help. Next time you receive a wine glass with the lipstick stain, complain to the management; don’t just let them give you a fresh glass.