Unfortunately, we live in a world where there’s a lot of posing and little things at key moments can make all the difference. Knowing about or, rather, appearing to know about wine, is important, much more than we might think, as for many people it’s a social and educational badge of distinction. Believe us when we say that not knowing how you’re supposed to hold a wine glass can leave the wrong impression.
Work meetings, social events, a first date… These bring stresses of their own without worrying about possibly messing up over a tiny detail.
They say that you only get one chance to make a first impression, though life is full of second chances, luckily, but so as not to need them or watch as someone else swans through ahead of you, at GRUPO COVIÑAS we’re here to give you a hand so that you don’t put a foot wrong and look to the manner born as far as wine is concerned.
Today we’ll explain the right way to hold a glass of wine and why.
The parts of a wine glass
To understand why a wine glass should be held in a particular way, it should be borne in mind that wine glasses are, without doubt, one of the most important factors in tasting wine. They are designed to stimulate and enhance the taste and the aromas of wine. And, of course, knowing the different parts of a wine glass is vital in terms of getting the terms right and understanding how to hold a glass of wine correctly. Let’s go!
- The foot or base: This is the part of the glass that allows it to stand.
- The stem: This connects the foot with the bowl. It should be long enough to allow you to hold your glass of wine without touching the bowl.
- Bowl: This is the part that the wine is poured into. The bowl of a wine glass differs in size and shape according to the wine it is intended for, as this is the part that helps to best present the characteristics of a given type of wine.
- Rim: This is the edge of the bowl by which the wine reaches our palate.
Once you’ve chosen the ideal glass for your favourite wine and you’re clear about the names of the different parts, you can begin to learn how a wine glass should be held.
What’s the right way to hold a wine glass?
How you hold a glass of wine has a social and a physical significance, and at the risk of seeming snobby, the right way to hold a wine glass is by its stem.
The worst thing that can happen to you at a social event is that you show yourself up straight away and seem gauche, before you even take your first sip. So, take note and discover why there’s a right way to hold a glass of wine.
The first and most obvious thing to realize is that the stem is designed to let you hold the glass with your fingertips so as not to affect the temperature of the wine and, in consequence, its aroma and taste.
When we hold a glass by the bowl we inevitably affect the temperature of the wine and change its characteristics in the mouth and the nose. The lower the temperature, the less intense the aromas, but if wine is served too warm, the alcohol predominates. So, especially when we’re drinking a white wine or a cava, which should be served cold, we ought to hold the glass by the stem and so keep it cold for longer.
Cold brings out acidity, sharpness and tannins, which are less noticeable when the wine is warmer. If we were the case that we had cooled a red wine too much, we can do the opposite and cup the bowl in our hands to bring it to the ideal temperature. But remember, this should be just for that purpose, don’t take a sip while holding the glass like that, it’s not a bowl of soup.
Don’t forget that tasting a wine involves all five senses, meaning that the visual part is also of vital importance. If you hold the glass by the bowl you will leave fingermarks and smudge the glass, making it less transparent and the wine itself less visible. What could be less glamorous than holding a glass with greasy pawmarks all over it?
One last advice
Ah, one last bit of advice we were forgetting! If you still need a bit of practice getting used to how to do it, use all four fingers to hold the glass by the bowl so as not to meet a worse fate. Remember, first impressions matter and life sometimes forces you to pose a bit.
Holding the glass right will impress your friends, but do you want to really knock their socks off? Then click here and wow them with the secrets of the Bobal grape!