Why do wine glasses have a stem?

Other than adding an utterly chic, stylish and sophisticated air to the glass; why do wine glasses have a stem? Predominantly in order to keep the wine at the correct temperature: fresh for example when considering white wine, but ultimately it’s etiquette that dictates that one must hold a wine glass by its stem. Recently, there has been a surge in the fabrication of stemless wine glasses, however the traditional wine glass always has a stem. It’s much easier to apply the techniques of wine tasting and to appreciate the visual appearance of the contents in the glass whilst swilling it round in the bowl holding the stem. For example, if you don’t hold the wine glass by its stem, the glassware could become smudged and then in turn impair the look of the wine, which is an important factor when wine tasting. Wine could also be overly warmed when holding the bowl rather than the stem and given that it should be served at an appropriate temperature it’s always wise to hold the stem. However if you crave a touch of modernity, stemless wine glasses are excellent for serving wine outdoors, the stability of a glass without a stem means it can sometimes be safer to use, and of course, less likely to get knocked over.

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