Lynda Goldman, a great crafter of the written text, sends out a weekly newsletter. This one contained the helpful hint on eating, drinking and networking which she calls the Layering Technique.
It's difficult to eat and drink while networking. If possible, eat before you arrive, or sit down and eat, and then network. But if you are going to eat and drink while networking, use the magic layering technique. The key is to always keep your right hand free to shake hands.
1. Hold your plate in your left hand.
2. Put your wine glass on top, and anchor it with your thumb.
3. Hold a napkin under the plate, and wipe your fingers every time you eat.