It's been a long day at work. You head out to the pub down the street that serves all the rare and obscure seasonal beers because you heard they have a special release on tap you've been waiting to try. You sit down, order, and receive your beer. When you pick your glass up to the light to analyze the beer's color, you see...
"Imagine watching a movie through dirty eyeglasses," said advanced sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, Erik Segelbaum, in a recent article in Nation's Restaurant News. "Sure, you'll get the gist of it, but you'll miss all the nuances. All of the effort and decisions that went into crafting that beverage can simply be ruined."
The reason is simple. Like dirty glasses, once you're aware they're dirty, it's hard not to make that the entire focus of your vision. The same can be said for glassware.
Take beer glasses, for example. There are three easy ways to tell if your glass isn't totally clean.
First, look for bubbles or "fish eyes." If bubbles cling to the side of your glass, it's an obvious sign there are oils or residue from the detergent still in your glass.
The second thing to look for is a beer head that dissipates quickly. Disappearing foam means your glass probably needs another rinse to make sure it's clean.
Lastly, look for horizontal rings. As you work your way down your beer, horizontal rings should appear. If foam isn't clinging to the inside of the glass, the glass probably isn't clean.
How to Ensure Your Glasses Are Clean
There are many recommendations, processes, and equipment types recommended for clean glasses. From a three-step process using a three-sink washing station to video guides on cleaning your beer glasses, everyone has an opinion. And sometimes this begins before the glassware's first use.
For example, Luigi Bormioli suggests removing all labels from your glasses and washing them in warm water with a gentle, non-abrasive detergent. With Luigi Bormioli, glasses can also be placed directly in a warewasher, as they are dishwasher safe (please keep in mind glassware should be secure to prevent damage).
Glassware can also be hand washed, just be sure to rinse it thoroughly to assure no detergent residue is left inside the glass. Residue can impact the aromas, flavors, and drinkability of wines, beers, cocktails, juices, water, and pretty much every beverage you can imagine.
Discover an entire range of inspirational glassware.
Now that you know the importance of a clean glass (and some ways to make sure they're clean), what kind of glasses are you going to serve? Glassware can have a drastic impact on how a beverage is enjoyed, so consider it carefully. Check out the Luigi Bormioli Guide to Glassware for a whole range of inspiration.