Bowl vs Stem…The More You Know…

The Lesson: Wine 101
The Hold: The Proper Way to Hold a Wine Glass
By: Dr. DaVino

Please allow us to introduce our new series, Wine 101 with Dr. DaVino. Here, we will talk all things wine and give some tips and tricks about consuming wine. Dr. DaVino is a local doctor who has a passion for wine.  In Italian, Da Vino means “from wine” and take it from us, DaVino describes the doctor perfectly.  So, let’s get to it.

Let’s talk how to hold a wine glass. Yes, it matters. Imagine you’re at a fancy wine event, that AZ Food and Wine is hosting of course, and you just retrieved a beautiful glass of Merlot.  Excited, you grab the glass by the bowl.  As you drink, you continue to hold the bowl and proceed to speak with friends and work the party.  Well, one problem, you really should not hold the glass by the bowl.  It is best to hold the glass by the stem at all times. Why? Many reasons! One of the most important reasons to hold the glass by the stem is heat. In Arizona, we are all well aware of heat.  Your wine is also well aware of heat. Temperature is very important with wine. Serving and consuming wine at the correct temperature effects many aspects of the wine, including taste. This is important for all types of wine, not just a chilled wine.  By holding the wine glass by the bowl, the heat from your hands is warming the wine. If you hold the glass by the stem then you will get much more from your wine tasting adventures.

If warm, tasteless wine isn’t reason enough to hold the glass by the stem, how about the beauty of the wine. Holding the glass by the stem helps to keep the glass clean of fingerprints. Like all food and beverages, we drink with our eyes first. A smudgy, fingerprinted glass is not the prettiest of pictures. More importantly, the fingerprints and your hand block your ability to see the wine and all the beautiful colors that are associated with the wine. Wine is pretty! So, show off that beautiful intense burgundy color and hold the wine glass by the stem.

The final reason to hold a wine glass properly is pure pomp and circumstance. Individuals who know and study wine always hold the glass correctly.  It is a sign of knowledge and respect for the wine.  When you are at the fancy wine event, be sure the hold the glass correctly and you will be seen as a person who knows about wine.

So, I know what you’re thinking, “holding the glass by the stem gives me hand cramps and makes the glass unstable.” No worries, there is a solution.  Hold the stem between your first three fingers and the thumb at the base of the stem. Tuck your pinkie finger under the base, or foot, of the glass. Voila! Now you’re holding the glass properly. The three fingers and thumb help to stabilize the glass while the pinkie relieves some of the weight off your wrist and hand. So, go pour yourself a lovely glass of wine and try out the correct way to hold the glass.

Sláinte, Dr. DaVino

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