General Question

MicaDirtCat's avatar

Is it preferred to hold a wine glass by the stem or to cup it?

Asked by MicaDirtCat (297 points ) February 6th, 2009

I cup it because I fear I am too clumsy to hold it by the tiny stem but I have been seeing it more and more that way. Is there a “proper” way?

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16 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

I was always under the impression that you hold the stem of a chilled wine and the bowl of a room temperature wine. I always hold the bowl though.

dik2312's avatar

Holding from the stem helps to prevent the heat from your hand altering the temperature of the wine. Apparently it can make a difference. Theres also the issue of leaving finger prints which is visually unpleasant.

hmmm… beaten too it!

Sorceren's avatar

@richardhenry‘s response makes sense. I’m glad you asked; I always wondered too!

dik2312's avatar

@richardhenry – well we almost agreed! Wines served at room temperature are generally reds. It’s far more important to regulate the temperature of reds than whites and thus I’d be more inclined to hold the stem of a room temperature wine.

MicaDirtCat's avatar

Wow! I never thought of it that way. but yeah- makes total sense. I’ll still cup it mostly due to to habit but I might make more of an effort to go by the guidelines to look cool. Maybe I’ll spit it out on the hostess after swirling.

dik2312's avatar

Just remembered another reason I’ve heard… When you ‘cheer’ with wine, if you are holding the glass as oppose to the stem you won’t get that crisp ‘clinging’ sound because your hand prevents the glass from vibrating!

Ashpea9288's avatar

Holding the stem is the proper etiquette. Typically I sort of thread my fingers around the stem so I’m also supporting the cup, but in public I hold it by the stem (that’s what she said?).

MicaDirtCat's avatar

@Ashpea- nice…. she also said to put your pants back on.

vanslonski's avatar

”.... this query brings to mind non other than Louie vanBeethoven.
I do recall, and fluthers, I do recall, Prince Lichnowski, great patron to the arts, was always wondering,.. Why dos’nt our beloved Ludwig sit at our elustrious table, for dinner?
With all the bling and fine-glasswear, etc.
Well, I suppose, he’d rather drink from a crusty crock, than “be your little hump” for a day. Who cares? Swallow the swill, don’t matter what cup it comes in. on my stupid keyboard still!!
look out I,m writing a sonata for this one!!

loser's avatar

I cup it. I know you’re not supposed to but I have a slight tremor in my hands and enevitably I’ll sent the stuff flying.
I heard there’s a new thing now, stemless wine glasses?

steve6's avatar

is it fluthers or flutherites?

breedmitch's avatar

It’s Jellyfish.

mcbealer's avatar

I’m gonna have to rent Sideways now…

steve6's avatar

jellyfish? for real?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

The glass itself also matters, but for a rule of thumb, I’m gonna agree with those who have said always by the stem. You don’t want to warm up room temperature reds, nor do you want to bring chilled whites to room temperature.

maynardgirl's avatar

This is what I do…I have been drinking wines for years, so this is what comes natural to me. If my wine glass is going to spend most of the time NOT in my hand, except to take a drink, and then set it back on the table, then I would normally cup it with the stem going between my pinkie and ring finger with a very relaxed grip to the bottom of the bowl. If I am standing and holding the glass, I tend to hold white wines towards the bottom of the bowl or top of the stem to not heat up the wine. I particularly do not like to hold only the stem and prefer to hold the bottom of the bowl. In the real world, most people would feel put off by someone holding the stem ever so daintily like they have something to prove. The truth is, most people do not know what the proper way to hold a wine glass is. Hold it like you feel comfortable and it will look natural. Just do not hold much of the bowl as to not heat up the wine. That is the purpose of the stemware. Same is true for red or white wines. Hence, if you do not like to drink warm wine, hold it by the stem between your thumb and forefinger and stabilize it with your pinkie on the opposite side of the stem (the same side as your thumb).

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