If you’re preparing for a fancy dinner or a cocktail reception, you may be interested in learning basic dining etiquette. At most dinners and receptions, some type of wines are served. Learn how to hold a wine glass so that you’ll look like a pro. Your host will love to see their Riedel glasses being treated with the utmost care and you’ll impress by showing everyone that you know how to treat your wine well. Plus, knowing how to hold a wine glass can affect how the wine tastes.

tips for holding a wine glass

Ways To Hold Various Types Of Wine Glasses

Rule of Thumb:

Regardless of the size or shape of the wine glass, always try to hold it by the stem. This goes for every type of wine, too, whether you’re drinking white, red or rose wine, or champagne. Never hold the wine glass by the bowl. This is the number one rule when learning how to hold a wine glass.

The reason for this is simple. When you hold a wine glass by the bowl, your warm touch will warm up the drink and change the flavor. Your fingers will also leave unpleasant muddy marks outside of the wine glass.


1.) Red Wine

Since red wine is served at room temperature, holding a red wine glass by the bowl won’t change the temperature of the drink so much that it will be noticeable. However, you should still follow the basic guidelines for how to hold a wine glass.

Even if taste isn’t a factor, holding a red wine glass by the bowl will change how clearly you can see the wine. The color and clarity of the wine will be affected if you have your hands around the bowl. Fingerprints on the wine glass can affect color and clarity.

2.) White Wine and Champagne

White wine and champagne are meant to be served chilled. If white wine isn’t consumed at the correct temperature, it will taste much different than it’s intended to. Holding a white wine or champagne glass by the bowl will warm up the wine and change the taste. Just as with red wine, holding a white wine or champagne glass by the bowl will affect both the color and clarity.

how to hold a wine glass properly

Other Tips on How to Hold the Wine Glass

1.)    Pinch the stem of the wine glass between your index finger and your thumb.

2.)    It shouldn’t be difficult to hold and balance your wine glass.

3.)    If your wine glass feels too unsteady to hold just by the stem, you could have too much wine in the glass.

4.)    The wine glass should only be one quarter to 1/3 full.