This Is How to Hold a Wine Glass Correctly

This Is How to Hold a Wine Glass Correctly

If you want to hold a glass of wine like a true connoisseur, you will need to brush up on some etiquette tips. While you can technically hold a wine glass in any way, some events may require more poise during a tasting.

How to Hold a Traditional Wine Glass

If you want to learn how to hold a glass of wine with a stem, you start by holding the stem between your first two fingers and thumb. Your middle finger should lie right above the base and the others should pinch the stem at the bottom. The ring and pinky finger will rest on the base, but they should never touch the stem. This technique offers stability while preventing smudges on the bowl.

how to hold a wine glass

Larger glasses of wine may lose balance when held at the bottom. If you do not feel comfortable with the standard option, you can pinch the stem gently using your index finger and thumb. The pointer finger wraps around one side while the thumb supports the other. Try to keep your hands relaxed and near the bottom half. Your other fingers should form a loose fist to avoid touching the base and stem.

For you daredevils who wish to avoid the stem, hold your thumb on top of the base while the index and middle fingers support the bottom. Your fingers should curl into your palm while the top parts provide support. This method lacks stability, so try to practice it beforehand to avoid a spill.

You can try pinching your index finger and thumb at the intersection of the base and stem. The middle finger extends along the base’s bottom to support the wine glass. The rest of your fingers can rest as they please.

As long as you avoid holding the bowl of the glass, you will remain socially acceptable.

What’s the Point?

What if you do not care about manners or arbitrary social rules? Learning how to hold a wine glass politely has its practical reasons. Holding the bowl can cause the wine to become lukewarm as your hands transfer heat into the glass. If you are sipping champagne or white wine, this added warmth can seriously affect the flavor.

how to hold a wine glass

Furthermore, holding the bowl leaves fingerprints that can be difficult to remove. If you observe the wine at an event, you may have trouble examining the clarity and color. Also, the fingerprints give the glass an unsightly appearance.

How to Hold a Stemless Wine Glass

If the glass of wine does not have a stem, you will need to grab the bowl. You can minimize fingerprints by holding the base rather than the top. If possible, try to use only your thumb, index, and middle fingers to hold the glass. The others can support the bottom.

While you can hold it with all fingers, that will cause more warmth to transfer from your hands to the glass. Try to take advantage of a nearby table and only hold the glass while sipping. Unfortunately, you cannot avoid fingerprints with this glass, so you may prefer to opt for ones with stems for formal company.


Learning how to hold a wine glass can have a serious impact on your overall wine-sipping experience. Whether you’re enjoying a formal dinner or simply gathering with friends, there are many benefits to knowing the right way to hold a wine glass.

Looking to purchase some wine glasses? These are the best wine glasses on the market right now.

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