Do you love champagne but feel like you’re holding the glass wrong?
The last thing you want is to break out a bottle to celebrate, only to feel silly the whole time you’re sipping from your champagne flute.
Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place!
Champagne is a great way to celebrate a special occasion or just a nice beverage to enjoy on a Saturday night.
Chilling and serving your champagne properly is key, but one important factor that is easily overlooked is holding your champagne glass correctly.
It’s more than just making sure you don’t look silly. Properly holding your champagne flute affects the flavor of your champagne, and can make a big difference in how much you enjoy a celebratory glass.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What are the benefits of holding a champagne glass correctly?
- What are the different ways to hold a champagne glass?
- And more!
What's in this Guide?
What Are The Benefits of Holding a Champagne Glass Correctly?
The benefits of holding a champagne glass correctly is that you will not only have a glass free from fingerprints, but you also won’t warm up your drink and keep it chilled.
Champagne is best served at 47-50°F and by holding your hand over the bowl of the glass, the heat of your hand will warm up your champagne. Learn more about champagne and how to preserve its previous fizz.
When your champagne warms, you’re less likely to taste the delicate sweet flavors in the glass, and the alcohol and other bitter flavors become more noticeable. Added warmth can also cause the carbonation to escape, leaving you with a partially flat flute of bubbly.
Holding your champagne flute properly also makes cleanup much easier, saving time after your celebration and reducing the chance that you’ll accidentally break the flute while scrubbing at a stubborn fingerprint.
What You Need To Know About Holding a Champagne Glass
The proper way to hold a champagne glass is to hold it by the stem, but there is another way of holding it.
Specifically, a champagne glass should only be filled ¾ of the way full. If you don’t fill your champagne flute all the way you can also hold it by the rim of your glass.
The disadvantage to holding your glass by the rim is that you will retain fingerprint smudges on your glass.
That’s the less proper way, as the best way to hold your glass is by the stem.
By holding it by the stem, you can avoid warming your champagne up. The best grip is between your forefinger and thumb, with your other fingers acting to steady the glass more than holding it.
Don’t grip right under the filled portion of the flute, either. Gripping close to the bottom of the glass will still let lots of heat transfer up through the glass. Ideally you want to hold about a half inch below where the stem meets the glass to minimize heat transference.
When serving champagne, make sure you serve it at the correct temperature because you don’t want your champagne to be too cold or too warm.
Learn more about how to store, open and serve champagne properly.
Different Types of Champagne Glasses
There are a few different types of champagne glasses including champagne flutes, champagne coupes, and champagne tulips.
Champagne flutes typically have a long stem with a narrow glass.
Champagne coupes have a short stem with a wide rim.
Champagne tulips are similar to champagne flutes, but the rim is curved inward.
Champagne flutes are the most popular type of glass to use due to their fancy appearance. However, tulip glasses are the best option to use for champagne because they are tall enough to allow the aroma and bubbles to fully develop.
The second best option is the champagne coupe but isn’t the most ideal as it’s usually too shallow and the champagne can froth up and spill over.
Each of these champagne glasses should all be held the same, at the stem.
Supplies You’ll Need For Holding a Champagne Glass
In order to serve champagne, you will need the right supplies. There are really only three things you will always need to serve champagne:
- A bottle of champagne
- Champagne glasses
- Bucket of ice
What Are The Different Ways to Hold a Champagne Glass
The best way is to hold your champagne glass by the stem, about ½ inch from the base of the glass. If that grip isn’t an option, or you need something a little more secure, holding the class by the rim will also work.
However, because you’re much more likely to leave fingerprints on the glass holding by the rim, that’s not the preferred method. It’s also difficult to drink from the glass if you’re holding it by the rim, so it’s better to hold by the stem whenever possible.
It’s also worth noting that champagne tulips are particularly difficult to hold by the rim, since the rim curves inward slightly. With tulips you’re better off gripping the stem with multiple fingers for stability than switching your grip to the upper rim.
Not many people know how to properly open a bottle of champagne, or they are afraid to open it. This video demonstrates a step by step guide on how to open a bottle of champagne and how to pour it correctly.
How To Hold a Champagne Glass (5 Step Guide)
- Open your champagne bottle and fill your glass
- Pinch the stem of the glass between your thumb and four fingers
- Don’t touch the base of the glass
- Tilt your wrist slightly to take a sip of your champagne
- Rest the stem between your pinky and ring finger when you’re not drinking
Step 1: Open your champagne bottle and fill your glass
After carefully opening your champagne bottle, fill your glass ¾ of the way full. It’s best to not overfill it so the bubbles can be lively without spilling over your glass. Pour so that the champagne flows down the side of the glass instead of directly into the bottom.
Pouring this way helps preserve the carbonation and will prevent the champagne from foaming too much in your glass
Step 2: Pinch the stem of the glass between your thumb and four fingers
Beneath the base of the glass, pinch the stem between your thumb and four fingers. Allow your thumb to rest on one side and your other fingers on the other side of the stem. You can use either hand to hold the glass.
Most of the pressure should be between your thumb and first finger. The others are there to stabilize the glass and keep it from tipping, but you shouldn’t have too much pressure on those fingers.
Too much pressure in your bottom three fingers can actually crack the stem, especially on particularly fine-stemmed champagne flutes.
Step 3: Don’t touch the base of the glass.
It’s important to remember to not touch the base of the glass. The heat of your hand will make the champagne warm. Gripping the stem about .5 inch down is the best spot to prevent warmth getting into your champagne without losing control of the glass.
Step 4: Tilt your wrist slightly to take a sip of your champagne
To drink the champagne, raise the glass up to your lips and slightly tilt your wrist to take a sip.
Most champagne glasses are designed so that small changes make a big difference in the size of your sip, so it’s best to move relatively slowly until you’re used to the champagne class you’re using.
Step 5: Rest the stem of the glass between your pinky and ring finger
When you’re not drinking, rest the stem of the glass between your pinky and ring finger. This grip is elegant and refined looking, but it does bring your hand closer to the glass than is ideal. Try to only use this resting grip when you’re concentrating on something else, or if you need to gesture with the glass in your hand.
When you’re ready to take another sip, repeat steps 1-4.
My Final Thoughts on holding a Champagne Glass
Holding a champagne glass properly is important because it can affect your champagne. The heat of your hand can make your drink too warm and change the flavor.
Also, by holding your champagne glass wrong you can cause smeared greasy fingerprints on your glass. That looks unprofessional and far from classy. Holding your glass properly while toasting, at a professional event, or while you’re out with your friends will impress everyone you know.
It may seem like a lot of steps to properly hold a champagne glass, but you will master it and impress your friends within no time!