Gabriel Glas = Fail

So I recently (less than a month ago) purchased 2 Gabriel Glass hand-blown glasses due to the glowing reviews received here on this board, and while I have absolutely LOVED the glasses for the 20 days or so that I’ve had them…I have to report on a major fail from tonight.

While very gently hand cleaning one of the glasses tonight (and I preface this with “gently”, as I hadn’t even had a sip to drink yet), the base of the glass snapped off in my hands, and sliced my palm wide open (happy to provide pics, if you’re into that kind of thing).

Obviously nobody likes cutting their hand open…but my first though was “damn, I just bought these freaking things, and I really liked them”.

I realize that these things happen, and I’ve seen it before with some past Riedel Sommeliers glasses…but given the anecdotes on this board where users have essentially slammed them into granite counter tops and seen them live…I’m pretty damn disappointed in the durability.

Just my bad luck, or has anyone else “felt my pain” so to speak??


If it makes you feel any better…I was aggressively wiping out some wine glasses and snapped the stem sending the shaft into the fleshy part between my thumb and index finger. An extremely frustrating ride on the bus to SF General with a towel wrapped around my hand ended with 5 stitches and the desire to drink the glass of wine I left at home.

BTW, what is “Gabriel Glass”?


For me it has been the total opposite. I bought Gabriel Glass and loved it but thought I should compare other favorites so bought a set of Zalto Universal glasses which were more expensive. After only 3 weeks of owning the Zaltos I tried to hand wash them just like you and they broke and cut my hand. I realized after investigating that the Zaltos are slightly a longer glass and it’s much harder to hand clean the glass with your hands. I have since bought a wine glass brush to help that it does not happen again with the others I’ve purchased. But I will say that I’m very impressed with my Garbriel Glass I’ve had for almost a year. I have never broke a glass even with hand and finger washing them. And by the way I do have all hand blown GG glass. Not sure if what happened in your case but none of these glasses are foolproof so the idea they can be banged on granite counter tops I think is slightly overstated.

I’ve gotta say…misery does love company :slight_smile:

And touche with the 2 x S’s in my Gabriel Glass…chalk it up being difficult to type with a severed hand :slight_smile:

No stitches required hopefully. I haven’t used mine too much lately but no breaks to report either. I’ve had mixed results with zaltos though. I broke 2 in one day while drying them last year but since then zero breaks. I put them in the dishwasher frequently as well.

One word for this issue


Thanks for the feedback everyone. Just as I expected…it’s probably “user error” :slight_smile:

Luckily there were no stitches involved, but I was curious based on everyone else’s experiences if I should look to replace the glass, or just move on.

so far…looks like “replace” has the upper hand.

Don’t hand-wash them. They can go in the dishwasher.

I did this 5 minutes before la paulee was starting. Showed up late with a bandaged hand. Looked like a crime scene in the hotel bathroom.

I’m one of the guys who has bounced a Gabriel Glas off a hard surface – once a kitchen counter, once the kitchen sink. And I am a terrible klutz with bad luck, generally speaking – I’m the guy who has destroyed cast iron pans. So I love them. My girlfriend however did manage to snap a stem off somehow.

That actually brings up another point. While I totally get you’re supposed to dishwash these bad-boys as opposed to hand-washing…I typically use my wine glasses more frequently than our dishes get washed in the dishwasher.

for instance…I’m drinking some wine tonight…and will probably drink some wine tomorrow night. But we might not be running the dishwasher until Friday night…so I don’t have much of a choice other than hand-washing…or buying a whole bunch of Gabriel Glases I guess :slight_smile:


Interesting story. Sorry to hear of the injury.

I bought a pair of GG mouthblown a couple months ago and I do like it for whites. I still prefer Zalto Bordeaux for Reds.

Sorry to hear that. I’ve dropped the GG’s a few times with no ill effects. On the other hand, a Zalto Bdx shattered all over my living room as I was shaking it dry, and a Riedel Vinum snapped in my hand (and stabbed me) when I squeezed too hard while hand-washing.

I’ve knocked one over that was standing upside down on the granite counter top once reaching for a paper towel. It took a small bounce and was fine. I’ve also hit them on the faucet at the sink while washing them, not super hard mind you, but enough to make my heart jump and they’ve survived that every time. The only glasses I’ve ever broken are Riedel Vinums, I find the GG to be much sturdier than those.

I’ve put them in the dishwasher before but I don’t know if it’s our water, my washer or the soap but they come out streaky. I’ve taken to washing them with a glass brush using the polished RO water at the sink then leaving them hanging to dry overnight. The next day is usually just a quick polish for a small spot or two and back in storage they go.

Oh yea, these are the mouth blown glasses. I’ve got 6 and am looking to pick up more as I drink everything out of them.

moderate thread drift: for those that dishwasher their zaltos, etc., what do you use to keep them straight/standing up, or otherwise keep them from moving around?

90% of the time we have 2 stems, they just fit into the folddown stem holder on upper rack of dishwasher (cheapest Bosch) at about 45 degree angle. If more, can just position white Zalto or ZS on prongs on other side of upper rack. If more than 2 Bordeaux/Burg/Universal I put couple upright on prongs in back making sure nothing can bang into. If a dinner party I have one of those racks that snaps onto bottom rack (looks like a kids toy). I’ve never broken a stem in dishwasher, have snapped a few handwashing/

Here in CA we are in full water shortage mode. Dishwashing is great if you are running full loads.

That section where the stem meets the bowl is the weak point of any delicate glass like these. There’s plenty of vertical holding power and not much horizontal. That’s why you should NEVER clean the bowl while holding the glass by the stem. You should only be holding the bowl itself while wiping that part. So, not to be mean, but it might have been your technique that failed, not the glass.

True, but more so for machined glasses as hand blown do not have a joint there. Either way, your suggestion makes sense. You should never twist the glass from the stem.

As a hand surgeon, I see about one wine glass-related digital nerve or flexor tendon laceration every 2-3 weeks and they are among the most common sources of trauma I see. Either use a dishwasher or get a sponge-on-a-handle type thing from Walmart or any kitchen store. Or have good insurance and hand wash away. :wink: