How To Hold A Wine Glass [Stem & Stemless]

November 5, 2021
by Jack Lyons
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Drinking wine is a pastime a lot of us like to do, Whether it is having a glass of wine on the weekend or after work.

However, have you ever wondered if you are holding your wine glass the right way?

 It may sound silly, but there is a right and a wrong way to hold a wine glass. If you hold your glass the wrong way, this can affect how you taste the wine.

It can also change the temperature of the wine you are drinking. This article will tell you how to hold a wine glass the right way and what you should avoid doing. 

The Right Way To Hold A Wine Glass

group of people holding wine glass

In this section, we are going to tell you the correct way to hold your wine glass, so you can impress your friends at your next dinner party. 

Method One

You only need three fingers to hold a wine glass. Your thumb and your index and middle finger.

Hold the lower half of the stem of your wine glass between your thumb and first two fingers (your index and middle finger).

Your middle finger should also be resting on the bottom of the stem, just above the base of the wine glass.

Your remaining two fingers should naturally rest on top of the base. 

This is the standard and most commonly used way to hold a wine glass, by holding the glass at the lower half of the wine glass.

By holding it this way, it provides you plenty of stability while you are drinking.

Also by holding the glass this way, it keeps your hands away from the bowl of the glass, which could raise the temperature of your wine. 

Method Two

Another way to hold a wine glass is by pinching the stem again with your thumb and index.

You do this by wrapping your index finger around one side of the lower half of the stem. Then use the tip of your thumb to support the other side of the stem. 

Your other fingers should curl to form a loose fist. The other fingers shouldnt touch the base of the wine glass but they might brush against it. 

Method Three

Pinch the stem just above the base of the wine glass, using just your thumb and index finger.

Your middle finger will support the glass from underneath the base. Your other fingers will either follow your middle finger or they will curl into your palm. Either is fine. 

Method Four (Stemless Glass)

This method is if you have a stemless glass. If you have a glass with no stem, you should try to minimise contact as much as possible. 

To hold this type of glass, you should hold it near its base. You will be holding it pretty much like any drinking glass.

However, stick to the base and not the middle or top of the glass. Try to just use your thumb, index and middle finger when holding this type of glass.

The other two fingers should gently curl away from the glass towards your palm or they can support the glass even more underneath the base. 

Related: How To Open A Wine Bottle Without A Corkscrew [3 Fool-Proof Ways]

How Not To Hold A Wine Glass And Why?

You should never hold your wine glass this way, because both the taste and appearance is negatively impacted.

The worst way to hold your wine glass is by holding the glass at the bowl, with your whole hand cupping the bowl.

You should avoid holding the glass in this way. 

By holding your wine glass at the stem you avoid leaving your fingerprints on the glass.

No one wants to see their fingerprints when they are trying to enjoy their wine.

Also by holding your wine glass at the stem and not at the bowl, it preserves the wine's temperature. All wines are served at certain temperatures.

Hence if you hold your glass at the bowl, you will increase the temperature of the wine faster. This could lead to the wine having a strange and not very enjoyable taste. 

It's fine to hold your wine in a bowl if the wine is too cold. However really there is no excuse to be holding your wine glass this way.

Which Wine Do I Pour Into Which Glass?

Various shades of Rose wine in stemmed glasses

Have you had different kinds of wine and people have looked at you strangely when you pour them all into the same type of glass.

Well if you want to become a wine enthusiast or impress your friends that you know how to properly serve wine then you need to pour wine into the right glasses.

Red wine is better suited for a wider wine glass because it needs more space to open up its aroma.

While white wine likes a smaller bowl compared to red wine and is a bit more narrow. Compared to champagne glasses which are tall and quite narrow.

This helps the Champagne stay sparkling for longer. There are a range of wine glasses to learn about.

To find out about more wine glasses, click here to learn about every wine glass you will ever need.

Wine Tips To Remember

Now you have mastered how to hold a wine glass, these tips will help you look like a real wine pouring professional.

Never fill your wine glass to the top, because this only allows a little bit of breathing space for your wine.

Also by filling your glass to the top it gives you less room to be able to swirl the wine around without spilling it everywhere. 

You should try to drink the wine from the same spot every time you take a sip.

This not only keeps your glass looking clean but drinking from different spots on the glass can affect your wine's flavor. 

Before tasting your wine for the first time, look at its color. You can look at this color from the top or side of your wine glass.

If you want to see different hues of the wine, tilt your glass to see how the color changes. 

Swirling your wine might look like a fun thing to do (and it is), but it also does have a benefit.

By swirling your wine this accelerates the oxidation and evaporation processes in your wine glass. It basically helps your wine's flavor and smell improve. 


There are 3 ways to properly hold a wine glass. When it comes to wine glasses you should always hold it at the stem, near the base of the glass.

This helps maintain the temperature and taste of the wine you are drinking.

When it is possible, put your wine glass down as less contact with the glass is better for the taste of the wine. 

There may be more rules to wine glasses than you first thought, but all these tips are to help you drink wine in the best way possible, so the wine can taste as good and even better than it should.

As long as you never hold your wine glass by the bowl you’ll notice a great difference in the taste and smell of your wine from now on.

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