Skip to main content

The question

Do you put your wineglasses in the dishwasher?

The answer

There was a period when I put the wine itself in the dishwasher, because the "dishwasher" was me (I had no mechanical appliance for a spell), but I never put good stemware in the KitchenAid.

Some fine-glass companies will boast that their wares are dishwasher-safe. Yes, technically. That mainly means that the surface won't become visibly etched by harsh detergents swirling around and around, at least not for hundreds of cycles. But there is another consideration, the human factor. In my experience, those vertical tines are the bigger problem. In other words, delicate glasses are not always safe from the dishwasher operator.

I broke a $25 Bordeaux glass two weeks ago testing out a new dishwasher. I was aware of the risk, but I wanted to see whether the glass would sit snugly in the well-designed top rack, which can be set high or low for each wash depending on the items you need cleaned. (Yes, some evenings I'd love to fall back on technology when the bones are too weak to face a forest of soiled glasses.) The long stem did indeed clear the machine's ceiling, but as I tried to secure the glass in place, crack went the edge of the thin, expensive rim, which had seized against a tine. Broken glass everywhere.

I've gone back to my old ways, carefully labouring by hand. And I make sure I use sufficient water with the soap so that the sponge doesn't stick to the bowl while I'm turning the base, otherwise the stem will snap away like the heel from a stiletto caught in a subway vent. I also would not recommend the dishwasher for your shoes, but that's another matter.

The Flavour Principle by Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crosariol recently took home top prize for best general English cookbook at the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards. Published by HarperCollins.

E-mail your wine and spirits questions to Beppi Crosariol. Look for answers to select questions to appear in the Wine & Spirits newsletter and on The Globe and Mail website.