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wine cups

updated sat 31 aug 96


Gerry Barbe on tue 20 aug 96

Has anyone heard of serving wine in unglazed earthenware cups?
Seems this custom originates in Portugal. Is there a benefit to serving
wine this way? A customer came in today and told me she had wine in
these cups in a Niagara winery. She asked me to make goblets with only the
outside glazed to try and reproduce the same effect. I doubt my
stoneware would produce the same effect, it wouldn't breathe, especially
with glaze on the outside.
Has anyone ever seen these wine cups? If you have, could you describe
them to me? What about red wine and stains?

Marilyn, in hot and hazy Ailsa Craig Ontario


Louis Howard Katz on tue 20 aug 96

I don't really want to comment on sanitation and porous clay.
In Thailand unglazed earthen pots are soaked in the river for a few days
to begin to eliminate the bisque taste from them.

*Louis Katz *
*Texas A&M University Corpus Christi *
*6300 Ocean Drive, Art Department *
*Corpus Christi, Tx 78412 *
*Phone (512) 994-5987 *

JENNY LEWIS on fri 23 aug 96

Hi Marilyn

I haven't heard of wine in unglazed cups, which sounds like an odd
idea because of affecting the taste - unless of course it is rot-gut
which needs anything to imnprove it :) - but... many years ago, when
I still lived in South Africa, I came across unglazed e/w water
bottles. Wine decanter sort of shape, needed to stand on non-porous
dish, I suppose to protect surfaces from the seeping water. They
kept the water cold by evaporation (I still don't quite understand
it, but that's what I was told. I call it magic). Anyway, it
worked wonderfully well, so I'd guess that is the benefit of serving
white wine in porous ware.

This was long before my addiction to pottery, so I never thought to
question how they were fired, type of clay, etc. Now if I try hard
to remember them, I am fairly certain they must have been fired to
higher than bisque. The water tasted slightly earthy, which some
people disliked, but I didn't mind it. On reflection, I hope it was

I've just remembered. A few years ago I was given a wine cooler,
tall unglazed pot which had to be soaked in cold water for about 15
minutes, then you put your bottle of wine in and it stayed cold. That
worked well too. More magic.

I'd be interested to hear more when you get round to making them.

in warm and hazy London, UK
but the haze is pollution so it's not much fun on fri 23 aug 96

I've been reading a little book called "Healing Foods From the Bible". In it
they talk about grapes and wine. Apparently, grapes have an antibiotic
property and have been shown to destroy disease causing viruses such as polio
and herpes simplex - evidently because of the tanin. They also say that
grape juice kills bacteria and reduces tooth decay. Tests conducted with
wine found that cholera germs were destroyed in 30 seconds to 10 minutes,
E.coli in 25 to 60 minutes, and E.typhi in 5 minutes to 4 hours. They claim
that the fermentation process releases polyphenols which attack bacteria the
same way as penicillin. Perhaps that's why it's ok to drink wine from the
chalis during communion and to drink it out of unglazed cups.

Carole Rishel
Bastrop, TX

Joan Segal Leal da Costa on thu 29 aug 96

In answer to what Gerry Barbe wrote about red wine cups:

I live in the south of Portugal and I became curious about your statement
unglazed red clay wine cups, specially since I d never seen any. I have since
discovered that these clay "bowls", (not exactly what we would call glasses or
are used in taverns and among the people, in the north of the country. They are
for drinking "green wine". Green wine is a bubbly new wine and should be cold
drunk. The unglazed red clay maintains the wine cool through the principal of
evaporation. It is the same reason that unglazed red jugs are used all over the
to keep the water cool.

I hope that helps.