Forget everything you’ve been told about which stemware to use for which wine.
The only glass you need to know about is called the porron, a watering can-like decanter that will do wonders for your best bottles of vino. The tapered spout allows the wine to decant as well as be poured from high to stir up the carbonation in cider and cava. But the porron’s main purpose is for direct liquor-to-face access—just tilt the glass, extend your arm, and hope the stream of beer or wine lands in your mouth and not on your shirt.
Leave it to Chef Jose Andres to bring the traditional Spanish custom over to The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. At its new Bar Blanca, guests can order porron service that comes with 10 ounces of their choice of cider, sherry, or wine.
If you’re still not sure you want to do it, at the Bazaar the server will do the first pour into a glass for you. Then they’ll leave you to try it out for yourself. Don’t be scared—it can get messy, but that’s part of the fun. Hint: The trick is to stop pouring a few seconds before you’ve really had too much and with a little flick of the wrist. Also, wear something you don’t mind spilling on.
Here’s how to pour according to your comfort level.
Beginner: Pour into a glass
Pouring into a glass is a great way for newbies to practice. No one gets hurt from a little spillage here. So go ahead and master the pour. Begin with the spout close to the glass and then pull the porron and glass away from each other to get some height. Just when you’re near the end of the pour, tilt the porron back up, flicking the wrist a little as the flow stops so any last drops will be flung away.
Remember, the key here is to stop pouring seconds before you want to. Observe how Chefs Anthony Bourdain and Jose Andres do it in Bourdain’s No Reservations. Start with the spout hovering near your open mouth and slowly tilt it forward toward you. Keep looking up while pulling the porron away to get some height. And when you’re just about done, bring the vessel back toward your mouth. Tilt the spout back up right before you’ve had enough. Just make sure no one says anything funny while you’re in mid-pour.
Advanced: Pouring for friends
After you’ve refined your pour technique, go ahead and try it on your friends. But before experimenting on a couple of brave volunteers, make sure you all agree on a signal when they want you to stop. Consider yourself a pro when there are no shirts (or friendships) ruined.
Bar Blanca at The Bazaar is open 7 days a week from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.