Pacific Rim
October 20, 2022 | wine | Pacific Rim

How to Hold a Red Wine Glass

For those who drink wine in the company of others or at social gatherings, it is important to know how to hold a wine glass. While in your own home, wine glass etiquette may not matter, but when you are with other wine drinkers, rest assured, how you hold your red wine glass can reveal a lot about you. In general, there is a correct way to drink wine from a glass as it allows you to enjoy the beverage to the fullest extent. To start, how to hold a red wine glass begins at the stem. Even though it may look fragile and precarious, this is the way wine is supposed to be consumed. 

how to hold a wine glass


Wines are, in general, supposed to be served on the cool side. Red wines need to be just below room temperature. When you hold the wine by the glass bowl rather than the stem, your hands warm up the wine and ruin the experience. Therefore, hold the red wine glass stem using your thumb and index finger. Your other fingers will then naturally support the base of the wine glass. Depending on the size of the wine glass, sometimes you may have to keep the glass steady by holding the stem with your thumb, index, and middle fingers.


Holding the wine glass by the stem will not only keep the wine at the right temperature but you also won’t leave any fingerprint marks all over the wine glass. This is especially useful knowledge if you are also eating food at the same time. Having oily greasy marks on the wine glass can look tacky and primitive.


It is common to see wine glasses that are not nearly full to the top, and there is a reason for that. Because the wine glass is supposed to be held at the stem, filling the wine glass with to the top can make it quite heavy, and you may have great difficulty holding it with just your fingers. Hence, when at a social function, always ensure that your wine glass is only about a third full; this makes it a lot easier to hold the wine glass with your fingers. In addition, a glass that is less full also makes it easier to swirl the wine without spilling it. Finally, select a wine glass that is lightweight and small to medium size. The larger the glass, the more difficult it becomes to hold it with just your fingers.


In the end, if you are drinking wine at home, you can hold the wine glass as you please. But when you drink wine in the presence of company or at a social function, hold the wine glass properly at the stem using your fingers. The key is to limit contact with the wine so that it does not get warm. Unfortunately, there are also stemless wine glasses that are quite popular, and, when faced with this situation, there is no option but to hold the glass bowl.  For more tips and advice on wine etiquette, like how to hold a red wine glass, contact Pacific Rim & Company at 1-503-863-5454, check out more of our blog, or email us at


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