Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I have arthritis, which sometimes makes it quite painful to hold the stem of a wineglass. Sometime I have to hold the bowl with both hands to ensure a secure grip. Is that OK?
—Gerald, Springfield, Tenn.
Of course! First and foremost, you should hold a wineglass so it’s stable and comfortable in your hand (or hands). This will also help you keep it steady from sloshes.
As it sounds like you already know, the standard preferred method for holding a wineglass is by the stem, and the main reasons for that are to avoid warming the wine with your hands and to keep from smudging the bowl of the glass with fingerprints. But above all, wine is meant to be enjoyed! If you can't enjoy holding a wineglass by the stem, hold it any way you like!
And there's even some good news for arthritis sufferers who enjoy wine: Multiple health studies have indicated that regular wine consumption may reduce both the risk and severity of arthritis.