How to Hold a Wine Glass: The Acceptable Ways

How to Hold a Wine Glass

How to Hold a Wine GlassOne of the great pleasures of summertime is drinking a chilled glass of rosé, and no matter what the weather is, serving it warm just won’t do the trick. Well, here is what you really do not know. By holding your wine glass the wrong way, you tend to tamper with the serving temperature, which would take away all the pleasure. Hence, how to hold a wine glass is something that you might want to consider learning.

How to Hold a Wine Glass?

You might have seen how people in the movies hold the wine glasses, but in reality, the technique that you need to use will depend on what type of wine glass you are carrying. With that in mind, we will discuss the proper way of holding a regular wine glass as well as a stemless wine glass.

Regular Wine Glasses

Interestingly, there are different ways to hold a regular or traditional wine glass, and they are the following:

A. Holding the trunk of the wine glass on either side of your thumb, index or middle finger

  1. The first thing that you need to do is to hold the trunk of your glass with your thumb and your first two fingers, i.e., the index and middle fingers. Also, make sure that the glass is in between them.
  2. To pose your fingers, ensure that they are on the bottom end of your glass trunk while ensuring that you keep the middle finger on the body of your wine glass.
  3. Keep in mind that only the three aforementioned fingers should be touching the body of your wine glass. The other two fingers are to be rested on top of the glass base.

B. Grasping the trunk with just your index fingers and thumb

  1. The index finger should be wrapped around the half part of the wine glass stem, while you hold the other half using your thumb.
  2. Curl the other three fingers into your palm, forming something like an unclenched fist.
  3. Keep in mind that those three fingers should not be in contact with the bottom of your glass, though they can touch it slightly.

C. Holding the glass stem right above the base

  1. With this technique, you need to hold the glass stem above its base using just your index finger and thumb. While the two fingers are holding the stem, they should also be in contact with the apex of your glass base.
  2. The glass should be supported from beneath, and this is the job of the middle finger. To do that, extend the middle finger along the sole of the bottom.
  3. The two remaining fingers should just rest naturally on the glass.

D. Pinching the bottom of the wine glass using your thumb

  1. Here, your thumb should be placed above the base while the rest of your fingers support the sole of the base. Using this method, your fingers wouldn’t be in contact with the body of the wine glass.
  2. Keep in mind that your remaining fingers should be curved mildly into your palm as this will create balance as well as support the thumb. This is perhaps the most unstable form of holding the traditional wine glass even though it is an acceptable form.

Stemless Wine Glasses

This is a wine glass that has no trunk or stem; thus, it should be held like a regular drinking glass. However, there are some essential things to keep in mind, and they are:

A. Gripping the glass towards the base

  • You should hold the glass towards its base, which is preferable compared to holding the glass at the top or middle.
  • To ensure stability, it is recommended to curl your fingers mildly around your wine glass.
  • You can also decide to keep the thumb and the index and middle fingers on the wine glass, while the middle and index fingers of the other hand are used to carry the glass from the bottom.

B. Ensuring little contact

  • Since your hands have the ability to make your wine warmer, it is recommended to hold the stemless wine glass with minimal contact, and not too frequently.
  • Only take the glass when you want to take a sip. Meaning, always find a table to put it down when you aren’t drinking it.

What are the Other Things You Need to Know?

Holding the wine glass properly is not the only etiquette you should know. There are other things you should do with the wine glass at social events that are acceptable.

  • Let the Glass Rest When Necessary

It will be quite impossible for you to hold the glass properly for an entire event. At some point, you have to put it down. If there is no resting surface close to you or you feel the necessity to support the glass in between sips, then it is recommended that you rest the sole of the wine glass on your weaker palm. While doing so, you can continue holding the glass properly with your other hand.

  • Do Not Change Spots while Sipping

While sipping your wine, it is recommended that you sip from a spot across the edge of your glass, and you must drink from the same spot each time. Drinking from different spots across the rim of your glass will lead to excess contact, which will result in the scent of your wine becoming tainted. In addition to that, it will leave multiple prints on the glass, especially if you are wearing lipstick or a gloss.

  • The Glass should be Partially Full

When drinking, your glass should never be full. For red wine, a third of the glass should be filled. On the other hand, for white wine, the glass should be half full. In that way, there is a low chance of accidentally spilling the wine.

  • Hold the Glass towards Your Nose when Smelling the Wine

If you want to check the fragrance of the wine, you should tilt the glass a bit and bring it close to your nose. Another acceptable method is to put the rim of the wine glass just an inch away from your nose. Since the way we smell things differ, each of those two methods are socially acceptable.


Social events are places where you meet new friends, potential business partners, clients and all sorts of people that might influence your life. That is why it is essential for you to know how to hold a wine glass correctly as well as how to go about with drinking wine. Any of the above-listed methods and tips are socially acceptable and recommended.

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