How To Hold A Wine Glass Properly

by Kelvin Teo | Last Updated: November 6, 2020

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to hold a wine glass properly — and it is definitely not snobbery. It’s the best way of enjoying all its flavors and aromas.

That’s what wine is all about, right? Enjoying it to the fullest! At the end of the day, wine is not the most inexpensive drink around, and those who enjoy it do it for its charming personality, not only for its alcohol content.

In order to soak in all those fantastic aromas of cherries and pepper and butter and apples, you must hold your wine glass correctly and follow a few more guidelines. Here’s all about it.

Why Does Holding a Glass of Wine Correctly Matters?

How you perceive wine depends largely on its temperature. Aromatic particles, tiny molecules that our noses catch and interpret as fruit or spices, are volatile; they reach our nose because the alcohol evaporates.

The thing is, alcohol evaporates at room temperature, but it will remain liquid if the wine is chilled.

Here’s a rough guide on the right temperature for wine:

So why does this matter?

This is because our bodies are at a constant 37°C (98°F) and holding our wine glass incorrectly can heat the wine to an unfavorable level.

Pro Tip: If you drink wine too cold, it will not show its best expression. If you drink your wine too hot, alcohol on the nose can be overpowering and will ruin your tasting experience.

How Much Is A Wine Pour?

To release those aromatic compounds and enjoy a wine’s bouquet, you must swirl the wine a bit as well. For that, you need to pour the right amount.

A standard wine pour comprises five ounces, meaning there are five pours in each bottle. If you over pour, you won’t be able to swirl the wine and won’t leave room to stick your nose in that glass.

If you buy a glass of wine at a restaurant, you better get those five ounces, but if you’re at home, you want smaller pours. 2-3 ounces at a time are ideal, especially if you want to make the most out of wine’s aromatic profile.

Once you’ve got the right pour, it’s time to talk about how you handle those wine glasses; here’s where holding a wine glass properly matters.

How To Hold a Wine Glass Properly

Regular wine glasses have a stem, a vase, and a foot. There’s a reason for this. You should always hold your wine glass from the stem. A thumb and index finger pinch will undoubtedly work, but you can use a few more fingers for support.

If you’re at the table, holding the glass by the stem works best, and you can rest your drink on the table between sips. If you’re at a party or reception and you don’t have a place to lay down your glass, you can always grab it from the foot; it’s more comfortable in the long run.

Holding the glass from the bowl or vase will warm up your wine, and even worse, you’ll end up imprinting that shiny crystal with your oily fingers. You don’t want that.

Types of Wine Glasses

How about those fashionable stemless wine glasses? How should you hold those?

The wine community had its doubts about stemless wine glasses for a while, but they’re now widely accepted. They’re so cool!

If you’re opening a super old, legendary bottle of wine, you might want to go for stemmed glasses, but for a good time, there’s nothing wrong about them.

Try to hold these from the bottom and not with your palm to avoid warming up the wine too much. Pour small amounts of wine at a time and keep it casual.

While we’re at it, Styrofoam and red plastic cups are big no-nos, but stemmed plastic glasses designed to enjoy wine at the beach or at a pool party are okay, am I right?

11 of Our Favorite Wine Glasses in 2020 | Filled With Wine

Looking for a good wine glass? Here are our favorite wine glasses in all categories, from red and white wine to bubbles; best buys to collectibles.

Get Some Practice!

Now that you know how to hold a wine glass and how to appreciate your favorite bottles more, it’s time to put your new skills to good use.

Call your drinking buddies and pop open some bottles. Following the guidelines above, you’ll find yourself enjoying wine more than ever!

Kelvin Teo founded Filled With Wine™ because one summer night, he noticed that his glass of wine tasted funny. It was only after he discovered that he stored his bottle wrongly that he realised the importance of proper wine storage. Since then, he has taken the art of wine drinking seriously and is now on a quest to help fellow wine lovers achieve the best drinking experience possible.