Bacchus (c. 1596) is an oil painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Caravaggio which shows a youthful Bacchus reclining in classical fashion with grapes and vine leaves in his hair, fingering the drawstring of his loosely draped robe. On a stone table in front of him is a bowl of fruit and a large carafe of red wine. He holds out a shallow goblet of the same wine, inviting the viewer to join him. The painting is currently held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Although the painting’s iconography has been a subject of many studies with in depth interpretations of various parts of the scene including the vine leaves on wine God’s head, the fruit bowl, the glass carafe of wine, facial expression etc, however here I restrict myself to a specific observation related to the way He holds the glass of wine.
Before that just notice the colour of wine in the glass – it seems to be deep purple which indicates that it could be a richly textured red wine. This view is also supported by the extra large size the glass which also has a broad base – again suggestive of an intense red wine which would benefit from some decanting in the glass itself.
But whatever be the wine, one thing which stands out clearly is the way the wine God is holding the glass – by the fingers at the stem of the glass. This infact is the correct textbook manner of holding the glass of wine which is taught as part of all wine training. It ensures the that temperature of the wine is not tempered by the touch of the palm.
So whenever you savour your favorite wine next, remember to hold the glass correctly by the stem – just as the Bacchus..
Sources – Wikipedia, Pinterest and author’s own interpretation.