Welcome to our guide on how to hold a wine glass elegantly. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to hold it inelegantly if you choose! But we find that observing some simple wine etiquette can make the experience that much more enjoyable – and it can impact the taste of your reds, whites, roses, and bubblies.
How NOT to Hold a Wine Glass
While it feels very natural to hold a glass by the bowl, this is considered a taboo. For one thing, you’ll get smudgy fingerprints all over the glass!
It’s not an elegant look – and it makes it hard to see the color and clarity. Another reason is that your hands will warm the wine.
You certainly don’t want this with chilled whites or champagne, and reds, too, are better when they are cooler than room temperature.
How to Hold a Wine Glass Elegantly
Is there a difference in holding a glass of red wine vs. white wine? No, the technique is the same – and it is simple!
Pinch the stem of the glass between your thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Your fingers should be placed on the lower half of the stem, with your middle finger just above the base.
Your ring and pinky fingers will rest on the top of the base. Give it a try. You’ll find you have plenty of stability and your hand is well away from the bowl.
Another option is to use your index finger and thumb. Wrap your index finger around one side of the stem.
The tip of your thumb will support the other side. Again, your hand will be positioned towards the lower part of the stem.
What are your other fingers doing? They’re just curled into your palm loosely (not touching the base).
You can also use your thumb and index finger to pinch the stem right above the base. They’ll brush lightly against the base.
Your middle finger rests on the underside of the base, giving you more stability. Let your two remaining fingers rest as they will (e.g. pressed into your palm or against your middle finger).
There’s one more method, and while “socially acceptable,” we’re not huge fans. Your thumb rests over the base.
The top parts index and middle fingers support from the underside of the base, and the ring and pinky fingers are curved into your palm.
You do not touch the stem at all. We do not like this because (1) it looks awkward, and (2) it is the least stable way to hold a wine glass.
What About Those Tricky Stemless Glasses?
We love the elegance of a stemmed glass, but there’s no doubt stemless is a popular choice. Hold the glass towards the base or bottom.
Try to minimize contact: you can do this by using only your thumb and two fingers. The remaining two can support the glass from underneath or curl away from the surface.
There you have it: now you know how to hold a wine glass elegantly. Give it a try and see if you notice a difference in both the taste and the experience. We are sure you will!