We’ve seen multiple variations on how to hold a wine glass, everything from grasping the tumbler to using two fingers to hold the stem (with one pinky left dangling off the side, of course) to resting the base of the glass in your palm. In terms of stemware, the stem probably causes the most confusion. Where to hold?
To answer this question, you must first understand why you might hold in a certain way: the goal is to preserve the wine’s optimal temperature, which is 55 degrees. Wrapping your hand around the tumbler will cause the wine to warm, eventually. And it can age slightly when doing so. While that can help warm up a colder red, you can see it poses a serious problem for white wine, which we prefer chilled (often even colder than the recommended 55 degrees). So, that’s basically it: if you have chilled wine, try not to hug the tumbler too much, for risk of warming up your wine. However, if you’re setting it down between sips, there is no real reason not to grab it by its tumbler. In fact, considering the rise in popularly of stem-less wine glasses only confirms that holding wine by the tumbler is not “low class” or “not done.”
[One caveat: it is easier to swirl the wine and inspect it for impurities when you hold it by the stem. You can tip it forward, slosh it around, and check out the color and any sediment by doing so. This is harder to do gracefully if you’re holding the tumbler.]
What’s the answer, then? Do what feels comfortable—there is no one right way to hold your wine glass. And, do what feels natural to you. That’s what matters.
|Holding by the base makes it harder to drink, |
but is a common technique.
|The party grip. (Also, the easiest grip.)|
|The best grip if you want to warm red wine.|
|Sometimes, you only have one option.|
|A common way to hold the glass.|