Understanding how to handle a wine glass the proper way will enhance your wine experience
You don’t need a master sommelier to show you what proper wine glass holding etiquette looks like. Although it seems trivial, having a nuanced understanding of how to handle a wine glass the proper way will enhance your experience with wine and impress your elders.
Even winemakers must consider what kind of glassware is best for their bottle of wine. The right way to hold a wine glass or a champagne flute starts with proper placement of the pointer finger, index finger, and middle finger at the base of the glass. Proper wine glass holding etiquette, served at room temperature, makes for a more refined wine-drinking experience.
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IN THIS ARTICLE:
Is there Truly a Proper Way to Hold a Wine Glass? The Right Way to Handle that Wine Glass, Wine Glasses and Stemware, Best Practice with a Champagne Flute, Closing.
Is there Truly a Proper Way to Hold a Wine Glass?
Learning to hold your wine glass the right way has multiple benefits other than just looking fancy. Holding your wine the proper way allows you to swirl your wine with ease. Swirling your wine is not just aesthetically pleasing but has real effects on your aromatic experience. Swirling your wine lets oxygen in the air breathe with your wine allowing releasing its aroma; this is why true wine connoisseurs often swirl as soon as they open the bottle of wine.
Aside from looking elegant, wine drinkers know that having proper wine glass etiquette also has tangible benefits. For example, after you pour yourself a glass of cabernet, keep the majority of your fingers at the stem rather than the base of the glass or the bowl of the glass. This will help your wine will stay cooler longer; generally, you want your wine at room temperature. Wrapping your fingers or hand around the bowl of the glass will significantly raise its temperature.
The Right Way to Handle that Wine Glass
Holding a wine glass is relatively simple, but there are some rules you want to follow and others you do not. If you have a glass of red wine or white wine, do not hold the bowl of the glass, this will warm up your wine above room temperature diminishing its flavors.
Using this simple procedure, you’ll be holding your wine glass the right way.
- First, you want to place your index finger and thumb around the stem of the wine glass and let your middle finger hang under the index finger. Your hand should fall towards the bottom half of the stem, let them rest on the base of the wine glass.
- Pinch the stem with your index finger and thumb, and allow your other fingers to curl into your hand, forming a loose fist. Allow your thumb to support the weight of the glass as you press the tip against the stem.
- Drop your middle finger and other fingers under the base of the glass to support the weight of the wine glass. When done right, your index finger and thumb will be pinching the stem, as your pinky and ring finger, and pointer finger supports the weight under the base of the glass.
- Using this technique allows for easy swirling, and keeps your fingerprints off of the bowl of the glass, and shows off great wine glass holding etiquette.
Wine Glasses and Stemware
Considering what type of wine you have at home can also determine what kind of stemware you use on your wine glasses. When choosing the stemware for your wine glass, we must also consider the right way to handle this glass to maximize the experience of breaking open a new bottle of wine. Stemless wine glasses are essentially the same as other wine glasses, but they too have a proper way of handling them.
- Hold your stemless wine glass from the middle of the glass or the top. This is the opposite of holding a stemmed wine glass, but to avoid making a mess or spilling, do not hold this glass from the bottom.
- Use your middle finger, index finger, and pointer finger to wrap around the wine glass while using your thumb to support the rest of its weight.
- Wrapping your whole hand around the glass is the wrong way to hold it and can cause unwanted heating of the drink. Using a stemless wine glass is for your favorite Bordeaux is perfectly fine but when drinking with other connoisseurs, try to aim for stemmed wine glasses.
Best Practice with a Champagne Flute
Knowing the right way to hold a glass for sparkling wine will optimize your experience. Most wine drinkers aren’t aware of the difference between a wine glass and a champagne flute, however, more experienced wine connoisseurs know having proper technique goes a long way when enjoying your bottle of sparkling Bordeaux.
- Champagne is best served chilled, which is why proper placement of your fingers is imperative to prevent unnecessary heating in your drink.
- The champagne flute should be filled up to 75% of the way up the glass, leaving ample space for the bubbles to settle.
- Pinch the stem of the champagne flute with your index finger and thumb at the base of the bowl of the glass.
- Rest your pinky on the base of the glass, next to the base of the stem. Allow your middle finger and ring finger to make contact on the stem of the glass joining your index finger.
The next time you and your oenophile friends sit down for a glass of red wine or white wine, head over to Firstleaf’s Wine Club to become a member and get great value deals on your favorite wines and premium Firstleaf exclusives.