Friends toasting one another
Credit: James Merrell
How to look like a pro when ordering and imbibing.
How to Hold a Wineglass
- Always hold the glass by the stem, no matter what the shape or size of the glass or the type of wine. Pinch the stem between your index finger and your thumb. If holding the glass by the stem feels unwieldy, check the portion: A wineglass should be only a quarter to a third full.
- When you hold a glass by the bowl, your body heat warms the drink inside. (Remember: White wine and Champagne taste best when chilled.)
- Red wines should be appreciated for their color and clarity as well as their taste, and it’s hard to see them when your hand is wrapped around the glass and you have fingerprints on the bowl.
What to Do With the Cork
When you order a bottle in a restaurant, the sommelier usually presents the cork in front of you. What should you do with it? Nothing. Here’s why.
- Sniffing the cork will make you look unknowledgeable, as there’s little information that can be gained from smelling a cork. The best way to judge your wine is to taste it.
- Traditionally, the cork, which is often printed with the winemaker’s logo, was presented to prove that what was in the bottle matched what was on the label (this prevented unscrupulous merchants from refilling expensive bottles with cheaper wine).