How To Hold A Wine Glass? Key To Supreme Social Etiquette Here! 


In case you’ve ever wondered if you’re holding your wine glass incorrectly, here’s how to hold a wine glass the elegant way. Wine is one of the most perfect ways to commemorate a special event. There are various types of wines, like the plus red wine, or the crisp white one. Wines are usually paired with luxurious dinners. 

But you can also enjoy a chilled glass of rosé while you bask in the glory of the afternoon sun. Honestly, it is one of the most splendid pleasures of spring and summer. And, these days you can buy wine in a box, in a bag–hell! You also have the option of buying it in a can! Although, this is not a signal for you to throw away all caution and wine-related etiquette to the wind. Even out of the enthusiasm of drinking the best kind of red wine, you cannot (must not) forget your manners. 

How Do You Hold a Wine Glass Proper...
How Do You Hold a Wine Glass Properly?

To hold a wine glass correctly, you need a glass that goes well with your style. Any glass that accommodates your hand and wrist properly is suitable for you. If it’s a stemmed wine glass, you need to hold it towards the base of the stem. You should pinch the stem using your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. If it’s a stemless wine glass, you should first test your grip when it is still rested on the table. After that, you should hold the glass between the middle and the bottom. 

But if you’re to hold your article like a pro, you’ll need a more detailed explanation. And above all, you will want to know WHY is it important to hold your glass right away. You might think it’s pretentious. I used to think so too–until I discovered the real reason. So, keep reading this article to start holding your wine glass with supreme social etiquette. And yes, this is what is needed to make your grandmother happy and leave your crush(es) impressed.

Here’s How To Hold A Wine Glass Like A Seasoned Wine Connoisseur

No, the title is not misleading at all. It doesn’t exaggerate what this article promises to deliver. After reading this article, you will surely become a seasoned wine connoisseur. But, you need to make sure that you do not skip any part of this post. 

Before we start, it’s crucial to know why you should hold a wine glass the right way. Because only then you will be able to respect this social etiquette more. 

1# Why Is It Important To Hold A Wine Glass Properly?

How To Hold A Wine Glass? Key To Supreme Social Etiquette Here! 

Well, after a long day of work, when you finally get home and want nothing more than to sip wine and watch shows like Gilmore Girls– it doesn’t matter how you hold your wine glass. 

But this doesn’t work in some social situations, like a classy event. In fact, utmost social etiquette has become a dap greeting to high society. So, little things like holding your wine glass properly, count. You can’t fight this; it is what it is. 

Apart from that, holding your traditional wine glass from the stem has another reason: it can improve your wine drinking experience. No, don’t be baffled, let me explain. 

All wines taste best when served below room temperature. So, when you hold a glass from the stem, it helps in preserving the wine’s temperature. Whereas, cupping the bowl can increase the temperature of the wine by transferring your body heat to the glass.  And that affects the wine’s taste. 

If you hold your glass from the bowl, it can leave your greasy fingerprints on the stemware. This will prevent you from seeing the different hues of the wine. Appreciating the color of the wine is an important part of tasting it. 

Holding the glass from the stem lets you swirl the contents without spilling them. Whereas, swirling the glass by holding it from the bowl can make you spill wine on the guests! Now, you wouldn’t want that to happen in a classy event, right? Besides that, swirling helps in unraveling the complete flavor profile of the wine. It is yet another step in wine tasting. 

Also, it’s acceptable to hold your glass by the bowl instead of the stem if the wine is too cold. In fact, you can also cup the wine glass with both hands to raise the temperature. 

2# How To Hold A Wine Glass With A Stem?

How To Hold A Wine Glass? Key To Supreme Social Etiquette Here! 

This might sound surprising, maybe anti-climatic as well, but there’s no right way to hold a wine glass from its stem. However, you can choose any of the below-mentioned appropriate ways to hold yours: 

1# Pinch The Lower Part Of The Stem

You can hold the stem of a stemmed wine glass in between your thumb and index finger. Alternatively, you can hold the lower part of the stem using three fingers– your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. This provides you with more stability. Also, make sure that your ring finger and littlest finger rest on the top of the stem. These fingers shouldn’t touch the stem. 

Hold your wine glass this way if you want to comfortably swirl the content inside. 

2# Hold The Stem From Directly Above The Base

Another way to hold your stemmed wine glass is by pinching the stem using the stem and pointer finger from right above the base. This is the most secure way to hold your wine glass if you feel anxious while holding it from the stem only. It provides you with the maximum amount of support. Because, this way, your thumb and pointer finger are in direct contact with the glass base. Plus, other fingers support the glass from the bottom. 

3#  Grab The Stem Just Below The Bowl

By holding the stem from just below the bowl, you can hold the upper part of the stem without touching the bowl. To do this, pinch the stem using your thumb and pointer finger. Your hand will be slightly curled and face the base of the glass. But, it will not be touching the glass. 

This is another way of securely holding the glass. This method is most convenient when you want to hold your glass and there’s no table around to rest it on. 

4# Hold The Base With Your Thumb

This method is not for beginners. To hold your glass by the base, hold the top of the base using your thumb. Your forefinger and middle finger should be positioned at the bottom to support the glass from there. For more stability, curl the rest of the fingers inside your palm.

Yes, I know this method sounds complicated and scary. That’s why I said it isn’t for beginners. Nevertheless, it’s the best way to admire the hues of the wine. 

3# How To Hold A Stemless Wine Glass?

How To Hold A Wine Glass? Key To Supreme Social Etiquette Here! 

When it comes to a stemless wine glass, do not hold the top, or the middle of the bowl. You need to hold the glass from the bottom using your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. 

But if you feel nervous about holding your glass like this, curl your ring finger and pinky finger underneath the middle finger. Doing this will provide extra stability.

You must be wondering if it’s possible to not touch the bowl with stemless glassware. And, you guessed it right; it’s impossible. So, this is the reason why you can’t maintain the right temperature of the wine in a stemless wine glass. 

But there’s a way around that: avoid holding your glass unnecessarily. This way your body heat won’t transfer to the glass. Hold the glass only when you have to take a sip and rest it on a surface again. 

4# More Wine Glass Etiquette Tips To Impress People With!

How To Hold A Wine Glass? Key To Supreme Social Etiquette Here! 

Here’s some more wine glass-related etiquette that you need to know: 

1# How Much To Fill Your Wine Glass?

You should never fill your wine glass to the top. You must have noticed that servers at a bar never fill your wine to the top. Have you ever wondered why? It’s done to allow some breathing space for the wine. It helps you in determining the aroma of the wine. Also, there are different standard pour sizes for wines:

  • If it’s red wine like Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon, only one-third of the glass should be filled. 
  • White wine like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, etc styles, should only be filled half. 
  • Sparkling wines like champagne should be filled by three fourth of the glass only. 

Also, if the wine glass is filled all the way to the top, it will be impossible to swirl the wine without spilling it everywhere. 

2# How To Rest Your Glass When Needed?

No, you don’t have to hold your glass throughout the dinner or the even. Rest it, if needed. But how? Well, if you’re seated at a table, rest the wineglass on the top left corner of your setting. 

But if there’s no table nearby, rest your stemmed wine glass on the base of your palm. Hold the stem of the glass from your other hand. 

3# How To Examine The Wine Color?

If you’ve only ever used wine for cooking, and this is your first time tasting wine, take a moment and appreciate the wine’s color. Inspect the depth of the color by looking at it from the top of the side. To look at different hues, slightly tilt the glass and observe the color change. For a better visibility, consider placing your glass in front of a light source or against a clear background. 

4# How To Swirl Your Wine Glass Before Drinking?

You might think that swirling your wine is risky, so, why swirl it at all? Well, swirling accelerates oxidation and evaporation processes. The process is just like decanting your wine in a wine decanter. Doing this improves the taste and aroma of your wine. 

If you’re new to the swirling business, or if you’re worried about spiling it, then hold the glass from its stem and swirl your drink in small and gentle circular motions. Also, do not do it for longer than 10-15 seconds. 

5# Sip From One Spot

If you sip your wine from different angles, it will make the glass look dirty. Also, it can also leave behind lipstick and food smudges. All this will only contribute to affecting the wine’s taste. So, sip your wine from a single spot only. 

6# Where To Look While You Sip From Your Wine?. 

Neither up nor at the sides, look down while you sip from your wine. This will prevent you from spilling the liquid on your clothes. But, when you’re making a toast, it’s important to make eye contact with others. It’s a part of the supreme social etiquette we earlier talked about. 

7# How To Check The Scent Of A Wine? 

If you want to study the scent of your wine, till the glass a bit and place your nose about an inch away from the top of the glass. 

Final Words

So, now you know how to hold your wine glass like a well-practiced wine connoisseur. Just think about how impactful your wine-related etiquette will be in some classy event! If you manage to cast a wonderful impression, don’t forget to thank me! 

Cherry Sharma
Cherry Sharma
Cherry is a Vocational English student, passionate about psychology, and an advocate of mental health. She has a deep love for literature and storytelling. Writing is the only thing that makes her see a sense of the thousands of thoughts she has. On Viebly, she combines her love for the three to write interesting articles. In her free time, you can catch her making and playing stories in her head, trying some fancy DIY, tending to her plants, or reading a good book. She mostly prefers thrillers but is still a Potterhead at heart.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here