Check out the new, mobile-friendly WineSpectator.com!
Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Do you hold a glass of red wine by the stem of the glass? If so, why, and if not, how and why?
—Michael D., Darlington, S.C.
I hold all wineglasses by the base, or by the stem, near the base—never by the bowl of the glass—for three reasons. First, I generally want to avoid heat from my hand warming the wine (however, if I have a glass of wine that's too cold, I cup the bowl in my hand to warm it up). Second, holding a wineglass by the stem lets me appreciate the wine's color. In fact, to really take in the color, I like to hold the wine in front of me, tilt it away from me and look at it against a white background. It's also easier to keep track of your swirling (and hopefully avoid spilling) if you have a clear view of what you're doing. Third—and this is most important to me—fingerprints on a wineglass drive me crazy! I end up staring at greasy prints, which distracts me from enjoying the wine.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered