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How to Hold a Wine Glass: Your Guide to Wine Enjoyment

Welcome, wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs, to our comprehensive guide on how to hold a wine glass properly with elegance and finesse. While it may seem like a trivial matter, the way you hold your wine glass can have a significant impact on your overall wine tasting experience. In this blog post, we will give a detailed instruction on how to hold a glass of wine, explore the reasons behind the various grips, and discuss the benefits they bring. We'll provide you with practical tips on holding both stemmed and stemless wine glasses, highlighting the differences and guiding you towards the optimal grip for each type. So, let's raise our glasses and embark on this enlightening journey together.


Why does the way you hold a wine glass matter?

How are you supposed to hold a wine glass? The way you hold a wine glass actually does matter and can have an impact on your overall wine tasting experience. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Temperature: Holding the wine glass by the stem prevents your hand from warming up the wine. Holding wine glass by the bowl, however, can quickly raise the temperature of the wine from the heat of your hand, which can affect its flavor profile. By holding the glass by the stem, you can maintain the wine's ideal temperature.
  • Aromas: Holding the glass by the stem also helps to prevent any interference with the wine's aromas. When you hold the glass by the bowl, your hand can create a barrier between the wine and your nose, reducing your ability to fully appreciate the wine's bouquet. By holding the glass by the stem, you can bring the glass to your nose without any obstructions.
  • Avoiding Smudges: When you hold the glass by the bowl, the heat from your hands creates unsightly fingerprints that not only detract from the overall visual appeal but also impede your ability to fully appreciate and evaluate the wine's exquisite color and clarity. Taking care to hold the glass by the stem not only showcases your wine knowledge and sophistication but also allows you to indulge in the complete sensory experience that wine has to offer.

How to Hold a Wine Glass Based on Its Type

Different types of glasses call for different holding techniques. Let's delve into how to hold a traditional wine glass and a stemless one.

How to Hold a Traditional Wine Glass

A traditional wine glass consists of three distinct parts: the bowl, which holds the wine and allows its flavors to unfold; the stem, a slender and elegant extension that ensures a proper grip while preventing the warmth of your hand from influencing the temperature of the wine; and lastly, the base, providing stability and support to the delicate structure.

So, how to hold a stemmed wine glass to get the best win tasting experience? It’s simple. You just need to delicately grasp the stem between your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger, creating a balanced and poised grip. This light touch allows you to effortlessly swirl the wine within, enhancing its aromas and allowing it to breathe, enriching your overall tasting experience.


How to Hold a Stemless Wine Glass

Stemless glasses are increasingly popular for their modern appeal and perceived ease of handling. However, they present a challenge due to the reasons mentioned above. With no stem to hold, you might be tempted to cradle the bowl, thus warming the wine. To avoid this, hold the glass towards the base, allowing as little hand contact with the bowl as possible. This method minimizes heat transfer and keeps the wine at its optimal temperature.

Other Related Etiquette to Know

The art of wine drinking is not limited to knowing how to hold a glass. There is so much more to explore when it comes to refining your wine appreciation etiquette. Here are seven additional tips that will take your enjoyment of wine to a whole new level.

  • Firstly, when pouring wine, it is important to consider the appropriate amount. Aim to pour the wine up to the widest diameter of the glass bowl. Allowing the wine to breathe and the aromas to fully open up.
  • Next, swirling the wine in the glass helps to aerate it and release its tempting aromas. If you are not confident in swirling the wine mid-air, you can place the glass flat on the table and move it in small circles.
  • Before taking a sip, take a moment to immerse yourself in the wine's aroma. The nose plays a significant role in enhancing our sense of taste, hence appreciating the fragrance enriches the overall experience.
  • When it comes to sipping the wine, savor the flavors by taking small sips. Allow the wine to coat your tongue, exploring the intricate layers of taste before swallowing.
  • Toasting is an essential part of wine etiquette. When clinking glasses, remember to make eye contact with the person you are toasting to, as a gesture of respect and camaraderie.
  • It's always polite to wait until your glass is empty before accepting a refill. This ensures that you don't mix different wines and allows you to fully appreciate each bottle.
  • Lastly, accidents happen, and spills may occur. If you find yourself dealing with a wine spill, quickly blot the stain to prevent it from setting. Lightly sprinkle salt on the stain, as this can help absorb the liquid and minimize any potential damage.

By embracing these extra details, you can elevate your wine tasting journey and cultivate a deeper appreciation for the art of drinking wine. 


In conclusion, the art of drinking wine is much more than the wine itself. From how to hold a wine glass elegantly to other wine drinking etiquette, each action contributes to the full experience of enjoying a glass of wine. By understanding and practicing these tips, you can fully appreciate the beauty, elegance, and charm of wine-drinking.

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