Although often debated, the correct way to hold a wine glass is by the stem. Despite what you may have heard, this is true of all wine – white as well as red.

Wine is served in stemware because the temperature at which wine is served can have a profound impact on the tastes and the enjoyment it yields. Wine glasses should always be held by the stem of the glass rather than the bowl since the heat of your hand will quickly warm the liquid. This is the reason stemware was invented!

Warming a wine above its desired serving temperature will yield unwanted and unpleasant characteristics. The alcohol in wine will give a sharpness or ‘bite’ to the taste if the wine is served above 74 F. degrees. The palm of your hand around the glass can easily raise the wine’s temperature above this threshold. This is most noticeable in whites, but is also important in reds, which should be served at 64 F.

Although a bit awkward at first, holding by the stem prevents the heat of your hands from altering the temperature of the wine and your fingerprints from altering the appearance of the wine.

By the way, pinky in or out – both are perfectly acceptable.

So next time you hold a glass of wine or bubbly to raise a toast, do it in style … the correct way is to hold it by the stem and proudly say … CHEERS!

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