how to hold a wine glass

How to Hold a Wine Glass

Whether you are attending a formal event or enjoying a casual gathering with friends, knowing how to hold a wine glass properly can add sophistication to your overall appearance and enhance your wine tasting experience. Holding a wine glass correctly not only displays etiquette but also contributes to the flavors and aromas of the wine. In this article, we will guide you through the proper technique of holding a wine glass to ensure you make the most out of your favorite wine.

The Basic Grip

When holding a wine glass, it is essential to refrain from gripping it tightly as it can affect the temperature of the wine. Instead, opt for a gentle and relaxed grip. Place your thumb on the base of the stem, ensuring it makes slight contact. Allow your remaining fingers to wrap around the stem softly. This grip allows for stability and minimizes heat transfer from your hand to the wine, keeping it at its optimal serving temperature.

The Stem Hold

how to hold a wine glass

The stem of a wine glass exists to serve a specific purpose. By holding the glass by its stem, you avoid leaving fingerprints on the bowl, preserving the visual appeal of the wine. Furthermore, by holding the stem rather than the bowl, you prevent any unwanted heat transfer from your hand, which could affect the wine’s temperature and alter its flavors.

The Pinky Extension

While it may seem elegant, extending your pinky finger while holding a wine glass is not necessary and can actually be considered pretentious. It is more appropriate to keep your pinky finger curled naturally along with your other fingers, enhancing the overall balance and grace of your hand while holding the glass.

Adjusting for Different Wine Glasses

It is essential to adapt your wine holding technique according to the type of wine glass you are using. Champagne flutes, for instance, have a longer stem to maintain the bubbles. Thus, holding the glass by the stem is crucial to preserve the carbonation. For larger wine glasses, such as Bordeaux glasses, a firm grip on the base of the bowl can provide better stability due to their wider shape. Remember to always consider the shape and purpose of the glass when adjusting your holding technique.

Benefits of Proper Wine Glass Holding

Properly holding a wine glass has several advantages, both from an aesthetic and a taste perspective. Firstly, by holding the glass by its stem, you prevent any smudging or residue from appearing on the bowl, ensuring the presentation remains flawless. Secondly, the gentle hold on the stem prevents the wine from warming up and altering its taste, allowing you to fully appreciate the intended flavors and aromas. Lastly, holding the glass correctly enhances your overall presence and demonstrates good manners, reflecting positively on your image in social gatherings.

Practicing Wine Glass Holding

It is always beneficial to practice holding a wine glass correctly, especially if you are new to wine tasting or attending a formal event. Take the time to understand and appreciate the correct technique by handling different types of wine glasses. You can also attend wine tasting events or even watch online tutorials to observe experts demonstrating the proper wine glass holding etiquette. With some practice, it will become second nature to hold a wine glass correctly.


By mastering the art of holding a wine glass properly, you not only display good etiquette but also elevate your wine tasting experience. Remember to hold the glass with a gentle grip, primarily using the stem to avoid transferring heat to the wine. Adjust your technique according to the type of wine glass you are using and always practice to perfect your wine glass holding skills. Embrace the elegance and sophistication that comes with properly holding a wine glass, and enjoy your favorite wines to the fullest.

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