How to Hold a Wine Glass: Tips and Tricks
There is more to drinking wine than enjoying its unique aromas and flavors. It is an art. Unfortunately, many beginners do not know this. A lot of them may not be familiar with wine etiquette. Newbie wine-drinkers have a puzzled look whenever people frown on them for holding the wine glass the wrong way. So how do you hold a wine glass the correct way? Here are some tips and tricks you can adhere to, straight from a sommelier.
Understanding the Wine Glass
It is best to come to terms with the different types of wine glass before you start learning how to hold them properly.
There are four distinct parts in a standard wine glass. From top to bottom, there is the rim, the bowl, the stem, and the base. In some wine glasses, there may not be a stem. That is why people call them stemless wine glasses.
The rim of the wine glass forms its opening. Different glasses have different diameters for the rim. There are broad and narrow rims. Broad rims are perfect for red wines because it allows the wine to interact with more air. This enhances the quality of the wine. Narrow rims are ideal for white wines.
The bowl or goblet is the vessel that holds the wine. They can be narrow or wide. Wide-bodied goblets are ideal for reds. They make excellent wine glasses for swirling this type of wine. White wines do not need to be swirled.
The stem is one of the most important parts of a wine glass. This component distances your hands and fingers from the goblet. Most wines have better quality when chilled. Your hands or fingers do not have the same temperature of the wine. This can ruin the flavors and aromas of the wine, leading to a less-than-pleasant drinking experience. As such, wine-drinkers always hold the stem of the wine glass and not the goblet. This is a wine etiquette that every beginner should know.
The base holds the other three components together. Some wine-drinkers also hold their wine glasses at the base. This will help move their hands further away from the goblet. The only problem with this technique is that you may not be able to hold the wine glass in a steady fashion. Our sommelier recommends holding the wine glass at the stem.
How to Hold the Wine Glass
There are four ways you can hold a stemmed wine glass.
- Thumb and Forefinger Method
In this technique, only the thumb and forefinger will touch the stem of the wine glass. The middle finger supports the stem near the base, while the ring and little fingers anchor the base. You might have seen people extending their pinkies out when holding the glass this way. It is not a wine etiquette in itself. However, it does lend a certain level of sophistication to the art of drinking wine.
- Pinch at Stem Method
This can be trickier than the thumb and forefinger method. To do this, you will need to wrap your forefinger around the stem. The thumb will support the other side of the stem. Curl the rest of the fingers into the palm as if making a closed fist. It is critical that the fingers do not get in contact with the base of the wine glass. Brushing against the base every once in a while is okay, though.
- Pinch at Base Method
This is a lot like the pinch at stem method. The only difference is that the forefinger and the thumb will be ‘pinching’ the lower part of the stem at the base. Stretch the middle finger underneath the base. This will help support the wine glass. The other two fingers can rest in a more natural manner.
- Lever with Thumb Method
In this method, only the thumb is on the upper surface of the base. The forefinger and middle finger will support the wine glass from underneath the base. They should also curl towards the palm together with the ring and little fingers. This is one of the most unstable ways to hold a wine glass. Hence, not many people use it.
If you are served wine in a stemless glass, you can hold it like any other drinking glass. Hold only the base and never the top or the middle. This will help prevent altering the temperature of the wine. Most stemless wine glasses have a thick base. Make sure to hold the glass in this section only.
Learning how to hold a wine glass the correct way is crucial to building your knowledge of wine etiquette. This can make for a more fulfilling wine-drinking experience.