Knowing how to hold a wine glass properly will not only help improve your image with the wine crowd, but can also help you enjoy your wine. While these rules can seem pretentious at first, most of them have their origin in plain common sense. There are a lot of etiquette rules attached to wine and wine glasses, but there are only a few basic things you need to know to appear polished and informed.
- Pinch the wine glass stem. Grasp the stem of the wine glass between your index finger and your thumb, allowing the rest of your fingers to lay comfortably alongside the stem. This will allow you to get a good grip on the stem. If this feels wobbly, practice until you can hold and sip without fear. This is another reason that the wine glass should never be more than one-third of the way filled.
Avoid holding the bowl. The reason for holding the wine glass by the stem is to avoid your hand coming in contact with the wine glass bowl. One reason for this is that touching the bowl leaves fingerprints on the glass, distorting the color of the wine. The temperature of your hand will also warm up the temperature of a chilled wine or champagne, leaving you with a warm, unpleasant drink.
The red wine debate. Some people argue that it's fine to hold red wine by the bowl of the glass because it is not typically served chilled. Others argue that there is never a correct time to hold a wine glass by the bowl. Hedge your bets by holding it by the top of the stem and letting just the side of your hand come in contact with the bowl of the glass.