Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have some keepsake crystal wineglasses that I’m holding for my step-children, used by their late mother. What do you recommend for long-term storage? There are lots of ideas out there, but as a wine expert, I'm hoping you can give me ideas so the glasses can be kept clean, safe and without lasting smells associated with packing materials.
—Shelee, Highland Park, N.J.
What a nice thing to do for your step-children! I have my everyday glassware easily accessible in my kitchen, but I have some extra glassware for parties and such stored out of reach.
For a while I was keeping them in their original cardboard boxes, wrapped as they were for moving with paper and bubble wrap to protect them, but as you note, every time I took them out they were a bit stinky (and sometimes the ones in my wooden cabinets have a bit of an odor as well). I started “priming” them as a matter of habit, which works very well. If you have particularly stubborn odors, a bath in a solution of warm water and vinegar should do the trick.
I recently upgraded my wineglass storage to boxes made specifically for stemware storage. These canvas boxes have a lid and handles, and a see-through window to help me remember what’s inside; they typically hold a dozen glasses. There is some more air circulating through, which cuts down on odors. And while they are pretty sturdy and stackable, they wouldn’t be heavyweight enough for moving, but they're terrific specifically for storage and might be a good solution for you. Good luck!