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Zambra and Stemware

Has anyone else noticed that Zambra will not give you correct stemware for your wine unless you ask for it? I was there on Sunday night with a family member and we spent $100 but when I ordered a glass of wine 1/2 way through meal it was served in a generic 12 oz house wineglass. Since Zambra is a great restaurant and wine bar I think they should always offer crystal stemware. I was not able to fully appreciate and enjoy my red wine in the small glass. I called back today and talked to Peter Slamp, owner, and he told me that when you order a bottle for $75 and up you get crystal stemware. Good servers, I think, should offer crystal stemware to their guests. We left a 20% tip but I'm not sure I will go back to Zambra anytime soon. The Zambrarita that we had at the beginning of the meal was great.

Anyone else feel the same way about the importance of stemware at good restaurants?


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  1. I am not sure where Zambra is, but I got served pinot griogio in a champagne flute recently at Verde in Durham, NC. I think they were trying to be avant-guarde, but ..... no; I asked for a proper glass (which they promptly brought).

    BTW, Verde was a nice! surprise. Excellent food and VERY reasonable prices. (Just didn't use the right glasses!)

    1. Not sure that you need crystal to enjoy the wine, but you should have the appropriate sized glass in order to let the wine open up. We have very cheap wine glasses at home but they are appropriate for the type of wine we are drinking at any given time.

      1. I have no idea where Zambra is either, but, I also appreciate great stemware for my wine.
        But, I also understand economics, and I do know that many restaurants will only give you expensive crystal glasses with expensive wine. The amount of glasseware that gets broken in every restaurant, everyday does not justify serving a $7.00 glass of wine in a $50.00 glass.
        I feel for you, but I think we all want the restaurants that we love to remain in business.

        1. I think crystal is a nice touch, but certainly not necessary. When we dined at Zambras recently we were very pleased with the food, service and, yes, the wine. It was suggested by our server, served in a generic wine glass, and paired very well with our dinner.

          1. I hear y'all here on the proper stemware etc....but....having lived in Italy (Piedmonte) I love the fact that many great wine producing regions use plain little jelly jar type - which I have come to prefer...that's just me though...

            6 Replies
            1. re: jbyoga

              Thx for the replies.

              Just so everyone knows Zambra is in Asheville, NC.

              The wine glasses I use at home are made by Riedel which is in Austria I think. You can pick them up at Target at $10 per glass (4 for $40). A great light feel to them and do they make a big difference for me - wow! This is an appreciation that I have developed over the past few months.


              I know most restaurant owners need to keep costs down but I think more places like Zambra that call themselves a restaurant and "wine bar" should offer crystal glasses. I mean, Zambra has a great Spanish wine list! So, why not flaunt it by using stemware without putting it to the guest to ask for it. If they are saying stemware is reserved for $75 per bottle and up, then they are cutting out alot of great wines from being appreciated to the highest level possible by each guest.

              If Zambra and other wine bar restaurants began using stemware with each pour, it would help us all better appreciate their wines and food - and overall dining experience, which, in the end, would mean more overall business for Zambra.

              Just my thoughts.


              1. re: mark66

                We ate at Zambra last week and had 4 glasses of red wine (all different). I did not really notice the glass, but did have an issue with the temperature at which the wine was served. Each glass was really, really warm. Almost hot, even. I was under the impression that reds should be served slightly cool. We keep ours in a refrigerated wine cellar set at about 60 degrees - maybe I have just gotten accustomed to that - but I much preferred the cooler pours I get at home to the warm glasses I was served there. I think for a restaurant that celebrates the wine as much as the food, Zambra could stand to pay attention to this as well.

                Food was great, though.

                1. re: miss piggy

                  this happened to me recently at fig. However, the server was nice enough to put the bottle in the cooler for a few minutes while we finished our cocktails, and ten minutes later, it was perfect.

                  1. re: bethd127

                    I don't have refrigerated wine cellar - nice!

                    Here's an article from the New Yorker Magazine that covers alot of wine basics. I've got this opened to the temperature page, but feel free to scan through some of the other pages.


                    Glass size note:

                    I mentioned in my opening post that the server at Zambra had used a 12 oz generic wine glass for my red wine last week. However, I think the generic glass used at Zambra is smaller than 12 oz because my pour was well over the half-way point of the glass - probably more like 2/3 full if not more.

                    The "rule of thumb" for pouring wine is that a full glass pour should only fill 1/3 of the glass (especially red). I think white wine could perhaps fill 1/3 to 1/2 of the glass because white glasses are much smaller.

                    Burgundy glasses are in the 14-16 oz range.
                    Bordeaux glasses are in the 20-24 oz range.

                    So, you can see why a full glass pour into these beauties should easily fall under the 1/3 line!!

                    On another point, has anyone tried Modesto recently? I just spotted that place last week walking around and picked up one of their menus. The place was hopping and smells were incredible and flowing out onto the sidewalk. I may give them a try either Mon or Tues.



                    1. re: mark66

                      Modesto is good, if sometimes a bit uneven, and you never know when you get a weird server. Pizza has improved recently and now gets a "very good" on the Danna scale. pastas are good. Salads range from so good I'm trying to copy them at home, to so bad I am still pissed about it. Have had some absolutely delicious apps, especially when I have caught Hector in the kitchen.

                      Stemware is very nice at Modesto.

                      1. re: danna

                        Thanks. I actually just tried Modesto last night and was impressed. Sat outside, had the arugula salad with the Satre Sauvignon Blanc (nice!) and the proscuitto wrapped filet with the Vajra Langhe Rosso (also nice!)
                        My medium rare filet was melt in your mouth delicious! My server, Marco, was nice. He gave me generous sample pours of wine - two whites and two reds to help me decide. The glasses did have a nice shape to them but they're not basic crystal stemware I'm use to at home. I like a larger bowl for my reds - the red glass was too small for me. However, I would never mention this as the food and the service was excellent. I finished off my meal with the delicious lemon sorbet with the raspberry glaze along the sides of the martini glass.

                        Modesto rocks!