How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

There are proper and improper ways to hold a wine glass, even though it isn’t difficult to learn. Hold the glass by the stem, not the bowl, as a general rule.

Below will tell you how to hold a wine glass with a stem or stemless.  For more specific information, keep reading.

How to Hold a Wine Glass? Seriously This Matters?

Actually, there are no wrong ways to hold a wine glass. We figure, as long as you’re actively tasting wine, it really doesn’t matter what you do. Despite this, there are some social situations that should not be taken lightly. Perhaps you’re at a classy event or someone is about to snap your mug on instagram… either way,

“the last thing you should be worried about is being judged by how you hold a glass.”

Sadly, we live in a world where insignificant details like this matter. So rather than fighting it, arm yourself with a few refined wine glass holding techniques. Pull off the look of a wine connoisseur and you might just become one.

How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

How to Hold a Wine Glass With a Stem?

There is no one correct way to hold your wine glass by the stem. Here are a few correct ways you can choose from:

  • Pinch the lower part of the stem: The stem should be between your thumb and index finger. For added stability, you can also hold with your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger. Your pinky and ring fingers should not touch the stem; they should rest on top of the base.

If you want to swirl your wine, this is the easiest method to use.

  • Grab the glassware stem right above the base: With your thumb and pointer finger, pinch the stem just above the base. Your other fingers are supporting it from the bottom while they’re in direct contact with the glass base in this way.

This is a very stable way to hold your glass, especially if you feel nervous holding only the stem.

  • Hold the stem just below the bowl: By doing this, you can hold the stem’s top portion while avoiding making contact with the glass’s bowl. Simply pinch the stem between your thumb and pointer finger. When facing the base of the glass without touching it, your hand should be slightly curled.

This way of holding your glass is fairly stable. It will let you control how much and in which direction you tilt your glass. It’s the best way to hold your glass if there’s no table nearby to rest it.

  • Hold the glass by the base: Your forefinger and middle finger should be supporting the base from the bottom while your thumb should be holding the top of the base. For added stability, your other fingers are all curled in your palm.

The different color hues of the wine in your glass can be seen using this technique, which may be intimidating to beginners.

How to Hold a Stemless Wine GlassWhen holding a stemless glass, stay away from the top or the center of the bowl.

Instead, use only your thumb, index finger, and middle finger to focus on the bottom portion.

If it feels shaky, you can add more support by curling your ring and pinky fingers under your middle finger.

You can’t help but touch the bowl when using stemless glassware. Because of this, it is much more difficult to keep your drink at the right temperature in a stemless glass than in a conventional stemmed wine glass.

Try to hold your glass as little as possible to prevent heating the wine with your body heat. You can keep the wine at the proper temperature for a longer period of time by only using the stemless glass when you’re about to drink it. Find a table or other flat surface where you can set your glass while you wait.

Let’s look at some other manners you should be aware of before your next elegant wine gala now that you know how to hold your wine glass properly.

How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

How To Hold A Stemless Wine Glass?

If you’re drinking from a stemless wine glass, you need a different approach. First, test your grip while the glass is still sitting on the table. You want to make sure the glass isn’t too large for the palm of your hand or particular grip. Place your dominant hand around the side of the glass and get a feel for where you’d naturally pick it up.

Second, grasp the glass between the middle and the bottom. You don’t want your hand to be too close to the bottom because that will warm the wine too fast. However, you also don’t want it too high on the glass, which will risk the glass slipping out of your hand. Practice your grip a few times until you get a good feel for it. 

How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

Related Etiquette

If necessary, put the glass down. While holding the glass at its stem with your dominant hand, you can rest the base of the glass on the palm of your non-dominant hand if you are unable to set it down and feel the need to support it between sips.

  • Keep in mind that the glass should be placed to the right of your water glass when setting it down at the dinner table. If you don’t have a water glass, just set your wine glass in the place setting’s upper left corner, where the water glass usually belongs.

Drink from the same vessel every time. Try to only sip from one spot on the wine glass’s rim. Doing so can improve the scent and appearance of your wine.

  • The excessive contact can actually taint the wine’s aroma if you take sips from too many different locations along the glass’s rim. Since taste and scent are closely related, this might also make the wine taste worse.
  • Additionally, your lips leave a print on the glass like your fingers do, even if you aren’t wearing lipstick, balm, or gloss. Sipping from only one spot makes the top of your glass look cleaner.

Maintain a half-full glass. Generally speaking, when drinking red wine or white wine, you should only keep the glass halfway full.

  • Similar to this, you should fill your champagne flute to the top when sipping champagne or sparkling wine.
  • By only filling part of the glass, you can minimize the risk of accidental spills. Glasses that are completely full can become heavy, and since you can only hold them by their stems rather than their bowls, your hand may become weakened and give way under the pressure of the wine.

As you sip, take a look inside your glass. Instead of focusing on someone else or something else as you take a sip of your wine, look into your glass.

  • It’s considered particularly rude to sip your wine while looking at someone else. Whether you’re speaking to someone directly or not doesn’t matter; this is true.
  • On the other hand, you shouldmaintain eye contact with someone when making a toast. If you clink glasses with anyone, make eye contact. It is polite to do so, and superstition states that failing to do so could bring seven years of bad luck.
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

When examining its appearance, tilt the glass. When holding the glass up to the light to examine the wine’s appearance, tilt it slightly.

  • Use natural light when possible. Placing your glass against a white or light background will help you see the color and clarity better if you can’t get a clear view of them.

Swirl the wine carefully. If you don’t go overboard, swirling your wine is acceptable in social situations. The key is to gently swirl the glass in small circular movements while keeping the base on a flat surface.

  • Swirl the glass only for 10 to 20 seconds while maintaining a firm grip on the stem. You run the risk of accidentally spilling your wine if you hold the glass loosely, move it vigorously, or swirl it for an extended period of time.
  • Before you drink the wine, swirling it can also help any unfavorable flavors fade.

When smelling, place the glass right up against your nose. Tilt the glass just a little and stick your nose right inside to smell a particular wine.

  • Instead of sticking your nose inside the glass, you could hold it about 1 inch (2.5 cm) away from the top of the container. Some people find that doing it this way allows them to pick up more of the scent, while others prefer the conventional method. The socially acceptable option is either one, though.
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide
How to Hold a Wine Glass? the Ultimate Guide

Sip on Some of the Most Elegant Wines in the World

It may initially seem intimidating to hold your wine glass elegantly, but with some practice, you can quickly master the technique.

If you want to sip on an exceptional wine at your next big gathering, or you’re looking to add some investment-grade wines to your wine cellar, Vinovest is your answer.


You have a lot of information to process from what we have presented. The structure and wine types of the various wine glasses vary. We also show you the proper way to hold stemmed and stemless wine glasses. Putting this knowledge into practice was crucial, and you understood how important it was.

Once more, there isn’t a proper way to hold a wine glass, but there is one that you should learn to use. However, as long as it won’t annoy others, do whatever makes you comfortable!

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