There are so many fun things to write about wine and today I wanted to talk about how to hold a wine glass. Silly, huh? But really, there is a reason a wine glass has a stem and that reason is so that you don’t put your grubby paws all over the glass.
Okay, your paws aren’t grubby — you just washed them. But the point is that you will get fingerprints on the glass so it’s now difficult to actually see the wine clearly, and it is possible if you’re snacking on cheese and crackers and maybe even a little salami, your hands will become less than clean. And then your glass gets really smudged.
In addition to the fact that this prevents you from seeing the beauty of the wine, it also transfers the warmth from your hands to the wine. You’ve seen people drinking brandy and they cradle the glass (very short stem — no way to hold it by the stem anyway) to warm the brandy. That releases the aroma and that is a very good thing. With brandy. But we don’t do that with wine. Especially white wine.
In ads and movies, you often see people holding the wine by the bowl rather than the stem. This shows off the lady’s hands — her beautiful manicure, her graceful fingers. But it doesn’t do much for the wine.
When I was just getting into wine and had taken a couple of courses, I decided I would hold my wine glass like sommeliers do — by the foot of the glass. It looks professional, you know. So here I was at a garden party (and thank goodness it was a garden party and not in the house), when I foolishly swirled my red wine, still holding the glass by the foot, and managed to slosh a fair amount of wine out of the glass and onto the jacket of the man next to me. Oh, my gosh!! Talk about mortifyingly embarrassing! There was one saving grace — the man was not in the jacket. He was off talking to somebody somewhere and the jacket was hanging on the back of his chair.
Club soda to the rescue! And it worked!! I didn’t know that it would do such a fantastic job. Nevertheless, when he returned to the table, I had to confess (his jacket was quite damp, after all), and offered to pay for the dry cleaning. Lesson learned — if you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t do it!
So now I hold my wine glass properly by the stem and only once in awhile, when I’m by myself and there’s no one around to see me make a fool of myself, I practice holding my wine glass by the foot like the grown-ups do. I’ve decided I’m happier holding it by the stem — I’m a lot more secure.
Oh, and one other reason to not hold your wine glass by the bowl, other than getting it grubby and changing the temperature of the wine — I hate to have to look at a grubby wine glass. So please don’t do it around me!
Shameless plug: check out my book: “Beyond the Spotlight: On the Road with Phyllis Diller.” It’s available at: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Spotlight-Road-Phyllis-Diller/dp/0985972882