Here, Hold My Wine
There's a reason why the wine glass has a stem. Now, if you're a generation of an old-world family who uses small tumblers or jelly jars to celebrate their daily dinner wine, then no need to read this. Those of us in the new world have no business telling you how to drink your wine.
To sum it up, stems were created for the greater good. Sure, they add to the elegance of the glass, but the wine glass is more than just a "pretty face." The stem assists in regulating the temperature of the wine, such as keeping your whites at a cooler temperature. The stem also keeps unsightly fingertip smudges off the bowl of the glass allowing you to admire the color of the wine - and it's kind of gross to see what greasy canape you were eating. So, be conscious of the stem. It's a good thing.
There were many years when I spent evenings and weekends at wine tasting events, and even professional and industry tasting events. You get to know the holding-wine-glass signature of wine enthusiasts: Bauble Flasher, Bro' Dude, and The Person of the Universe.
There's the Bauble Flasher who is a newly engaged woman with the new diamond or the wife whose husband found himself in the proverbial dog house and now there's a rather large diamond on her left ring finger. She may be right-handed, but she is holding her wine glass by her left hand with her fingers wrapped prominently around the stem or bowl of the glass showcasing the new shiny bauble - and sometimes even clicking the glass with her well-manicured nails.
Enter the Bro' Dude who is not going to hold the glass by the stem. Hey man, the Bro' Dude doesn't even use the handle of his coffee mug, let alone would extend his bulbous pinky while holding the delicate teacup handle. Stems are for snowflakes! The Bro' Dude will grip the center of the glass bowl as if he's holding a football or if he unconsciously grips the stem he will treat it as a turkey leg from a Renaissance Faire. He doesn't care about the temperature of the wine. The Bro' Dude needs no stinkin' stem, but he will recite over and over all of the winemakers that are his besties. The Bro' Dude also fancies himself to be a wine connoisseur, except he hates drinking merlot and white wine.
And speaking of Renaissance, there's the self-proclaimed Person of the Universe who will recite a bit of Shakespeare in a conversation and who traded in the college bong for a Dunhill tobacco pipe. The Person of the Universe subscribes to World Politics Review but has yet to break the plastic mailer on this quarterly. No matter! They can still do a bit of name-dropping because at least they "subscribe" to this Princeton journal. They hold the wine glass as if they had the world in their hands or the Holy Grail by turning their palm towards the sky, clutching the bottom of the bowl with the stem between their ring and middle fingers. After all, they're used to clutching their nightly short-stemmed brandy snifter.
So let's make this easy. How to hold a wine glass? Here are some choices.
By the stem:
1. Hold the stem of the wine glass with the thumb and forefinger resting the ring and pinky on the base, or
2. Pinch the stem with the thumb and forefinger with the middle, ring, and pinky fingers curled under.
By the base of the glass:
1. Hold the top of the base with a thumb and level the glass with fingers curled under, or
2. Pinch the base of the glass with thumb and forefinger.
So, what's this you say? You only use the popular stemless wine glassware? Whatever...