People! Here’s the deal with stemware: There’s a rod of glass between the base and the bowl of a wine glass for several reasons, and the absolute most important of those is to keep your 98.6-degree hand away from your properly chilled wine. And yet, over and over again, I see people hold their glasses in one of three bizarre ways, all of which I believe they’ve learned from bad TV. Here they are, so that in the future you can avoid utilizing them.
THE "HOUSEWIVES OF" HOLD: After over-pouring your over-oaked Merlot into your oversized etched-crystal goblet, wrap your hand around the bowl, just above the stem, and fan your fingers out in such a way that your 3-carat diamond ring mesmerizes friends and frenemies alike. Sweep your hand back and forth expansively, while giving those friends/frenemies a tour of your new 8,000-square-foot McMansion—the one you just bought yourself after catching your idiot ex-husband cheating with your backstabbing-slut ex-babysitter. Now take a sip of your wine. Warm, isn’t it? But at least everyone is impressed by your diamonds.
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THE "HAIL MARY PASS" HOLD: Otherwise known as the bro-hold. You’re trying to impress the wine-obsessed girl you’re out with, but, dude, you would so rather be hoisting a beer to your lips. Still, in an effort to look both sophisticated and faux-interested in “this, like, amazing Chardonnay” she’s yammering about, you grab your glass like it’s a football you’re about to fling across the length of the restaurant, fingers wrapped around the bowl like it’s pigskin. You are Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers heaving a 61-yard, record-breaking, game-winning touchdown, to Detroit’s utter devastation. Rodgers…he’s in trouble…he fires…in the end zone! It’s caught! For the win! Now take a sip of your wine. Warm, right? Bonehead.
THE "MASTERPIECE THEATER" HOLD: Quiet! Quiet—it’s starting! As the trumpets sound their fanfare you are Alistair Cooke, standing on your bearskin rug in front of your walk-in fireplace, protected from the sparks and ashes by your crushed velvet smoking jacket. Your butler proffers a glass of weak-looking Claret. You seize the glass, turning your palm skyward, intercepting the stem between your ring and middle fingers, and cup the bowl delicately-yet-firmly from beneath. You swirl the tea-colored wine slowly, importantly, before lifting it to your nostrils. You close your eyes and inhale deeply, filled with self-satisfaction. You swirl again. You take a sip. Ah…hm. What's this? Warm wine? “Perhaps you might want to hold the glass by the stem, sir,” your butler murmurs. “It does also prevent oily fingerprints.”