How Do You Properly Hold a Wine Glass?

To properly hold a stemmed wine glass, securely grasp the stem between the thumb and index finger without touching the bowl of the glass. This method is appropriate for holding all types of red wine, white wine and champagne.

  1. Choose the proper glass

    In comparison to white wine glasses, red wine glasses are usually taller, and they have a bigger bowl. This extra space allows the aroma of red wine to expand as it is swirled around the glass.

  2. Fill the glass

    Pour wine into the glass so that it is one-quarter to one-third filled. This proportion allows you to hold the glass by the stem without it feeling too heavy, and it provides sufficient room for swirling the wine.

  3. Grasp the stem

    Hold the stem firmly between your thumb and index finger, placing your remaining fingers along the stem if the glass feels unsteady. Do not touch the bowl of the glass with your fingers or any part of your hand. Touching the bowl warms the wine, which can interfere with the correct temperature and taste. Touching the bowl also leaves fingerprints and mars the glass, which distracts from the color and clarity of the wine. Properly filling and holding a wine glass allows you to swirl the wine and enjoy its aroma before tasting.