Anatomy of a Wine Glass: Stem and Stemless

Stem:  Traditional wine glasses have stems ranging in length from short to tall.  The height of the stem does not impact wine at all, its purely for looks only (but do not tell the exclusive wine glass makers we said that!).  Actually, the stem height and diameter does make a difference in how it feels when you hold and drink the wine.  Most restaurants base their wine glass decisions on cost and durability which makes perfect sense.  Fortunately, there are some great glasses at all price points with stems suitable for every preference.  For drinking wine at home, there are so many options available DOMSOM recommends finding the one that simply feels the best when you hold it in your hand, and more importantly, when you tilt it between 45o and 90o to drink from it!

When drinking wine, always hold the glass by the stem and not the bowl.  Sound a bit pretentious?   We promise, its not – the average body temperature of a human is 98.6o, right?  And, we just reviewed the best serving temperatures for wine, right?  Who wants their wine to get all warm and flabby from simply holding a wine glass incorrectly?  Not to mention all the grubby fingerprints!  Trust us, use the stem!

WINE ENTHUSIAST TIP:  MADELYN MERLOT:  NEVER hold the stem of a wine glass when washing it as this is the weakest point in the glass.  DOMSOM has seen one too many tears shed over a broken stem by washing it incorrectly.  Hold the glass in your hand by the bowl and gently turn it in your hand while washing and rinsing.  Same goes for drying the glass of course.  Many glasses can be put in the dishwasher which also works great.  Just be sure to wipe the glass down with a dry towel to get any soap film off as this can make your wine taste terrible if it builds up over time!

WINE ENTHUSIAST TIP:  MADELYN MERLOT:  When shopping for wine glasses, white wine glasses within the same brand and style will have slightly longer stems to allow your hands more distance from the wine in order to keep the white wine chilled longer!

Stemless:  The case for stemless wine glasses – we get it!  We have all toppled a glass or two, especially outdoors or at an event.  And who doesn’t love an insulated stemless wine glass by the pool  on a hot summer day?  Our recommendation is simple – if you want to use a stemless glass, don’t keep it in your hot, muggy human hand the whole time!   Set it down on the table between each sip and you can keep your whites chilled and your reds at the perfect temperature!