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Mar 27, 2008 12:17 PM

Broken Wine Glass

Some friends invited me for dinner, and after dinner I was reaching for something across the table and knocked over one of her beautiful etched wine glasses. It fell onto a serving dish and shattered. Obviously, I was remorseful and helped her clean up the pieces, but is that enough? Should I have offered to pay for a new one? I have no idea when or where she got the set or I would just go buy one to replace it. Or should I bring an extra hostess gift the next time I visit? I feel just awful. What should I do?

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  1. I would offer to replace it by inquiring about the brand/where she got them. However, if I were in the reverse situation, I would not take you up on the offer. Accidents happen.

    1. jfood's in the replace please camp as well. Yes accidents happen and it is always nice to show up with this in hand.

      Over the years people have broken some of jfood's and always insist on paying or buying a replacement. Jfood has never accepted money and they have no idea how hard they are to find.

      1. I've had people break wine glasses at my dinner parties a few times. Fortunately they have all been easily replaceable (I use widely available Riedel vinium glasses). The guest each time offered to pay / replace but I refused because the glasses are easily replaceable and not crazy expensive - to me a broken glass is just the "cost" of giving diner parties. One particularly persistent person who has a habit of breaking glasses everywhere did send me a gift certificate for $50 to a store where the Riedel glasses are sold, with the emphasis that it was not only to replace the one just broken but as a down payment on future broken glasses! But you should definitely offer to replace and ask the info about the brand/store.

        15 Replies
        1. re: farmersdaughter

          That's sweet. I gave up on the Sommelier series that I had begun to accumulate as wedding gifts after one friend, prone to hand waving, broke three champagne glasses.

          1. re: MMRuth

            That's why I buy cheap stems, cause I feel it's what's in the glass and who is holding it that counts (even if they've earned the nickname of 'Splatterella').

            plus this way if (when) something breaks I can look horrified and exclaim "that was my Grandmother's!" when it obviously wasn't - helps break the tension/embarrassment as the guest then gets to call me on my BS.

            1. re: hill food

              Well, my latest Splatterella was of my own doing - a corner of my living room wall is now adorned with red wine spatter due to the confluence of a sip of red wine and a cough. So nothing anyone else does in my home can be much worse than that.

              1. re: MMRuth

                believe me if you need tips for getting merlot out of a white flokati rug - we're your go to resource...

                1. re: hill food

                  Here in Manhattan, there are many society hostesses (um, I'm not one of them) who refuse to serve red wine. I've actually had great luck getting out stains from pomegranate cocktails from my cream rug. Of course, the dog (as a puppy) has since destroyed it anyway.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    yeah, but they're so cute.

                    Once I worked for architects who entertained in the office a lot and we had a strict list of what could and could NOT be served and included which sets of china/glass were used.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      And in CT there is one old dog that limits the times when red wine is served. Brand new light colored sofa and chairs, a medium gathering, maybe 40 people and jfood only served whites. One cousin came up and asked jfood if there was any red and his reply "nope." Cousin went to the wine cabinet, opened the door and saw lots of empty slots.

                      Motto - Make sure you basement has storage closets. :-))

                      1. re: jfood

                        LOL! Very smart move. I now stock only ginger ale or 7-Up when children are coming to my house. Which is not that often, but I learned the hard way after 3 bouts of spilled grape soda on a (formerly) nice cream carpet!

                        1. re: Catskillgirl

                          I preferred to buy a wine-colored sofa instead!

                          1. re: cackalackie

                            well I'm not sure if pragmatic thought is entirely welcome here (smiley symbol - don't do emoticons)

                      2. re: MMRuth

                        I've had good luck using salt to remove red wine stains (and other red stains) from clothes and I've seen it done on carpets.

                        Take a canister of salt and put a 1/4 inch layer of it across the stain. Wet the salt until it forms a paste and waite for it to dry. When it is dry, vacume or brush it off. The stain should be gone.

                        I've used it to remove red wine and beet stains from my clothes. It seems to work pretty well :)

                        1. re: adventuresinbaking

                          Hmm - not sure about trying it on my wall though ;-) . But I agree, salt has worked well for me on rugs etc.

                2. re: MMRuth

                  Me too, but I still have two of the Riedel sommelier burgundy glasses (the huge ones) that my husband gave me for our first Valentine's Day together that the two of us use to drink good aged red burgundy for special meals. I broke one of them while (delicately) washing it, but replaced it unbeknownst to him. I wouldn't use those glasses for parties unless I had no other glasses that were appropriate - for example, the vinium series doesn't have a sauternes glass, IIRC.

                  1. re: farmersdaughter

                    I do still have 4 Chardonnay Sommelier and I do love them. So far none of those have been broken ... do you have that wonderful "foam" brush for cleaning them - if not, I'll post a link ....

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      Sigh . . . yes, I do have the foam brush. To my chagrin, I am just too vigorous a washer, I guess, for those Riedel sommeliers. My husband has never broken one wine glass so he gets the unpleasant job of hand washing all of the wine glasses after parties - poor guy, it usually ends up with champagne flutes, white wine glasses, bordeaux or burgundy stems and then occasionally dessert glasses. He loves the brush!

              2. A good friend of mine, a woman who’s rather well off, had a set of Waterford cut crystal stemware for 16. At a party, a freelance photographer friend broke one of the brandy snifters. He kept insisting he replace it; my friend kept graciously putting him off. He obviously had no idea what something like that costs—and she intended to keep it that way.

                1. Its funny, I was thinking about what I would do if I were to break one of my now 'out of production' wine glasses as I was setting the table for dinner on Saturday. I love my crystal stemware but it is impossible to find anywhere. I buy every piece that comes up on Ebay.

                  As I was sitting having my third glass of red at my table of dear friends enjoying a great evening, I realized the answer was 'I would just clean up the mess and not let it ruin a great evening.'

                  And if my friend offered to buy another, I would turn them down because it would be impossible to find -- but not as impossible as good friends whose presence can brighten a cold still-wintery night.

                  If I broke a glass of course I would offer to replace it. And if I knew where it could be found I probably would try to buy one. But not everyone really cares about things like that so it is hard to say.