5 Techniques for Holding a Wine Glass (Stem & Stemless)

Do you know how to hold your wine glass properly? Keep reading to discover 5 techniques on how to hold a wine glass.

5 techniques for holding a wine glass

It may be surprising, but there is a right and a wrong way to hold a wine glass. The way you hold your wine glass can affect your wine drinking experience. 

A lot of factors can influence your wine and your drinking experience, but the main thing is the temperature. How you hold your wine glass can affect this. There are different ways you can hold your wine glass, whether it is stem or stemless, there is a right and a wrong way to hold these glasses. 

In this article, we will be discussing the 5 different techniques for holding a wine glass. We will be covering stem and stemless wine glasses.

types of wine Glasses

You can drink wine out of anything you like really, many people are known to drink their wine from a mug or straight from the bottle. However, to have the proper and full wine experience, then you should be drinking your wine from the proper wine glasses. 

There are actually several types of wine glasses that all have a specific purpose depending on the type of wine that you are drinking. This is because the shape of the wine glass can impact the color, taste, aroma and how the wine itself reacts with the oxygen in the glass. 

For example, white wine is typically served in a narrow bowled glass. This is because they don’t need to react with the air, also a wider bowl would alter the acidity of the white wine. Compared to a red wine, that will generally be served in a wide bowl glass. This is because red wine likes to be exposed to oxygen, and the more exposure it gets, the better the taste and aroma it will give off.

examples of wine glass types

There are two basic types of wine glasses, stemless and stemmed. In both cases, they have a base and a bowl. The difference between them is that the stemless has no stem, while the stemmed one does. Both of these types of wine glasses come in various shapes and sizes. Some of the common ones include:

champagne flute

This type of wine glass is used when you are drinking champagne. It is usually made of crystal and comes in various shapes and sizes ranging from 8-10 inches tall.

chardonnay glass

This type of wineglass is used when you are having a white wine. It is typically made up of clear glass and comes in various shapes such as round, square, and oval.


This type of wine glasses is used when you are enjoying red wines. They are also known as Burgundy coupe and Bordeaux coupe. These are generally made of crystal and come in various shapes and sizes.


This type of glass is used when you want to enjoy white wines. It is often made from crystal and comes in various sizes and shapes.

parts of a wine glass

For each wine glass, it is made up of four components. Each has its own function in helping give you the best wine drinking experience.


The rim is at the top of every wine glass, and its job is to manage the amount of exposure that your wine receives. Thus, the rim is a major company as it affects the taste of your wine glass. 


The base of a wine glass is all about supporting the wine glass and giving you the stability that you need while drinking the wine. 


If you have a stem on your wine glass, that is where you will hold your wine glass. This is quite an important feature, as the stem is how you are able to pick up and drink your wine easily. 


The bowl can sometimes be referred to as the goblet. This is where the wine is poured into and can vary in sizes. This is also the area where people like to swirl their wine to release the aroma of the wine. The wider your bowl is, the more swirling you are able to do, yet this also depends on the vine you are drinking. 

how to hold your wine glass with stem

A lot of people like to drink their wine from a wine glass that has a stem. Thus, we have done all the work for you, and put together some techniques that will allow you to hold your wine glass with stem correctly.

Hold Stem Between Your Thumb And First Two Fingers 

The first step is to hold the stem between your thumb and first two fingers. It will be like a pinching motion. You want to make sure that the stem is held firmly and not too loose. If you do not hold the stem properly, then you might end up breaking it. Also, if you hold the stem too tight, then it will cause discomfort. 

Try to hold the glass on the lower half of  the stem, nearer the base. With your remaining fingers, they should be resting on the top of the base of the glass. This should feel really natural, and with this method you will have complete stability and control over the glass. 

Pinch Stem With Thumb And Index Finger 

Just like the previous method, you want to place your hand near the lower half of the stem, which is closest to the base of the wine glass. With your index finger, wrap it around one side of the stem of the wine glass. Then use the tip of your thumb to support the other side of the stem. All your other fingers will naturally curl in to make a fist. 

With this method, only two fingers will be touching the glass at any time. No other fingers should be intentionally touching the glass. 

Grab The Stem Directly Above The Base

With your index finger and thumb, once again pinch the stem. Yet, this time you want to pinch the stem as close to the base of the wine glass as possible. Then, to help give you more support, extend your middle finger under the base so that it is resting on the bottom of the base of the glass. 

This will give you more support, while your other fingers will also naturally rest in this position as well. Or you can curl the fingers towards your palm, whichever feels the most comfortable.

Index Finger Under The Base, While Your Thumb Supports

Another method you may want to consider is by resting your middle and index finger under the base of your wine glass. Then you can place your thumb on the top of the base. Your other fingers should naturally curve into your palm. These techniques may take a bit of practice so that you feel comfortable holding a wine glass like this in public.

Holding a stemless wine glass

Typically, most people will use a wine glass that has steam. Although, some people prefer a stemless wine glass. Commonly, a stemless wine glass is more suitable to be served with red wine. Yet, again, there is a right way to hold a stemless wine glass. 

Hold The Glass Near The Base

It is clear that this type of glass has no steam. Therefore, you are limited by how you can hold this type of wine glass. For this type of wine glass, you will hold it towards the base of the glass. With this method, you want to limit how many fingers are in contact with the glass. 

As a result, it is recommended that only your thumb, index, and middle finger make contact with the glass. Your other fingers should either curl away naturally from the glass, or you can place them underneath the base for additional support.

When using a stemless glass, you want to minimize how much contact you have with the glass. This is because your hand will affect the temperature of the wine. The longer your hand is on the glass, the warmer your wine is going to get. Thus, when you can place the stemless wine glass down, to reduce your contact with the wine.

how not to hold a wine glass

There are some ways that you shouldn’t hold a wine glass. These tips are important if you want to avoid spilling and impacting the taste of your wine.

Avoid holding your wine glass with both hands. If you do this, then you run the risk of dropping your wine glass. You also increase the chance of getting fingerprints on your wine glass. Alongside this, two hands on your wine glass increases the chances of the temperature increasing, which will then affect the taste and flavor of your wine. 

As a result, the best way to hold a wine glass is to hold it with just one hand. This reduces the chance of dropping your wine glass and also makes sure that you don’t get any fingerprints on your wine glass

When you are drinking wine, you should sip it slowly. Sipping quickly can lead to you spilling your wine. It is recommended that you take sips every three minutes. Holding a wine glass correctly is very important. By doing so, you can ensure that you don’t sip your wine and that you don’t take off any fingerprints on your wine glasses.

The most common way people hold their wine glass wrongly is by cupping their hand under the bowl of the wine glass. You should avoid this at all times. Your hand is then directly in contact with the wine and will influence the taste of the wine. 

We know in a lot of films you will see actors cupping the bowl of the wine glass as they drink it, but you shouldn’t do this. This isn’t a proper way to hold a wine glass and can have a lot of negative impacts on your wine drinking experience.

wine etiquette tips

If you are planning on having a dinner party or attending an event where you will be drinking wine, then you need to know about wine etiquette. There are certain rules that you must follow when it comes to wine etiquette. Some of these rules include:

  • Always offer a toast before you drink.
  • Never pour yourself a full glass of wine, this increases the chances of you spilling your drink. White wine should be a half full and red wine should be a third full. 
  • When serving wine, always serve white wines first.
  • Do not leave a glass empty for too long.
  • Sip your wine from the same spot, as this can boost the aroma and appearance of the wine. Also, it leaves fewer prints and smudges on your glass.
  • Never slurp your wine.
  • Never stick your tongue out at anyone when you are drinking wine.
  • Don’t constantly hold your wine glass, as this can affect the taste. Put it down when you can. 
  • Never pour wine over ice cubes.

Why Use Short vs. Long-Stemmed Wine Glasses?

You may ask why use short stemmed wine glasses instead of long stemmed ones. Well there are many reasons why you would choose to use short stemmed wine glasses. The main reason being that with short stems, you can easily control how much wine you drink. 

With longer stems, you tend to fill up your glass more than you intend to. When you hold a wine glass with long stems, you can end up filling your glass up completely. This means that you might spill your wine and ruin your clothes.

Another reason why you would prefer using short stemmed wine glasses is because they are easier to clean. This is because of the shorter length of the stem, it is easier to wipe away any spills that occur. Although some people prefer a longer stemmed wine glass as it makes it easier to swirl the wine. 

What Is the Difference Between Glass and Crystal?

There are two types of glassware that you can buy. These are crystal and glass. Both of them are made from different materials. However, both of them are used to store and serve wine. They also differ in price, crystal is often seen as a lot more expensive, yet it is much more fragile as well. So it is easier to break if it is dropped by accident. 

You may want a set of glass and crystal wine glasses, so you have the option of which to use depending on the situation. Crystal is seen as a much more formal and high-end event. It is known that crystals can enhance the aroma in your wine, and they typically have a much more elegant and refined design. Yet the tasting of the wine whether it is in a wine glass made from glass or crystal will taste the same. 

Final Thoughts

Wine is considered one of the most important drinks in the world today. It has been around since ancient times and has become a part of our culture. 

If you enjoy drinking wine, then you will find that there are many things that you need to know about it. You need to understand what kind of wine goes best with what food, and how to properly serve it. In addition, you are now aware of wine etiquette. 

Alongside that, you will now be able to hold your wine glass properly so that it doesn’t affect the taste or aroma of your wine. Whether it is a stem or stemless wine glass, you will now be able to hold your wine glass perfectly every time. By following all of these tips, you will be able to impress your friends and family with your knowledge of wine.

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