Wine Connoisseur: White Wine Glasses

Wine Connoisseur: White Wine Glasses

Certain wine glasses are recommended for red wine, white wine, sparkling wine, and dessert wine. See information about red wine glasses in the previous installment in this series. Getting such things right is important because they make a difference in the taste of the wine. As always, wine storage is also of key importance, and that’s why custom wine cellars or wine cabinets are investments that true experts and collectors are compelled to make.

Serving White Wine

Sparkling wine

Using the right type of glass enhances the enjoyment of wine.

The bowl is the component of a white wine glass that can distinguish it from red wine glasses. A white wine glass is shaped more like a “U” because the bowls are slimmer. Don’t fill the glass more than two-thirds of the way. This way, the floral aromas can be released plus the cooler temperature can be maintained. The longer stems on white wines encourage holding onto the stem, so that heat transferred from your body to the wine is minimized.

Serving Sparkling Wine

A glass that’s ideal for serving champagne is easy to identify. It’s tall and narrow and referred to as a “champagne flute.” The flute is ideal for all types of sparkling wine. The shape of the glass helps to retain the flavor, as the carbonation is captured and clings to the sides of the glass. The rim is smaller, which also helps to retain carbonation so that the aroma and bubbliness can be fully enjoyed.

Serving Dessert Wine

Dessert wines come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including port glasses, sippers, and sherry glasses. A primary characteristic of dessert glasses is that they are compact, for the purpose of accentuating sweet flavors and full-bodied aromas. As the name implies, dessert wine is traditionally served after dinner. It is sweeter and higher in alcohol content than other wines.

Wine Storage–Before Serving

Before you ever select the correct wine glass for serving wine with dinner, hopefully your wine has been properly stored. Custom wine cellars and wine cabinets maintain the temperatures needed to protect the flavor of the wine. Learn about optimal wine serving temperature and allowing wine to breathe in this continuing series on becoming a wine connoisseur.

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Savor

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Savor

Sparkling wineWe’ve offered tips on seeing, smelling, sniffing, and sipping wine. Now, to savor the wine. A true mark of a connoisseur is the ability to evaluate the wine. Having a clean palate and making good use of your taste buds can help you make evaluations regarding whether the wine is harmonious, balanced, complex, and/or complete. You can be sure that if the wine has not been properly stored, such as in a custom wine cellar in Toronto, savoring of wine leaves a lot to be desired.


The flavors in a wine should come together like a tasteful symphony, completely in harmony. It’s not unusual for certain components in a young wine to be more pronounced. In other words, blending hasn’t occurred. Skilled winemaking yields even young wine that plays harmonious notes on your taste buds.


Wine that is nicely balanced has desirable flavor components in advantageous proportions. Focus on detecting the sour, the sweet, the salty, and the bitter notes in wine, when evaluating balance. Saltiness is actually rare in wine and bitterness is better described as astringent flavors, which usually come from tannins. The sweet and sour or acidic notes are most prominent. If a wine is too sugary, too sour, or too bitter, it doesn’t have good balance. If you find out-of-balance flavors in young wine, it’s not likely it would have aged well. In old wines, it could be that the balance fell apart during an unsuccessful aging process.


Detecting complexity in wine is a sign of experience in wine tasting. The beauty of complex wines is that they have depth, similar to a sublime painting. One sign of a complex wine is that the flavors linger in your mouth long after swallowing. When wine has a strong and familiar flavor similar to a carbonated soft drink, it lacks complexity. Just as you took the time to see, swirl, smell, and sip the wine, allow the wine to dance on your tongue before swallowing, as a way of savoring its flavors.


When a wine is complete, it has all of the above-named qualities. It is harmonious, balanced, and complex. When you can evaluate the completeness of a wine, you have a solid foundation for a valid claim as a wine connoisseur.

More to come on becoming a wine expert

There is probably no one we appreciate more at Rosehill Wine Cellars than a wine connoisseur because a continuous supply of wine is needed. We understand that proper storage is a critical part of being a wine collector, and we are proud to provide the best in custom wine cellars Toronto. For more details on becoming a wine connoisseur, see our continuing series.

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Sip

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Sip

look swirl smell tasteBecoming a wine connoisseur requires a bit of know-how and some technique. Among the basics are the 5 S’s, being see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor. Sipping wine involves methodology, part of which is allowing the wine to oxidate in the mouth. An important point here is that the wine you drink needs to be stored in the right conditions to prevent premature oxidation. For instance, the cork will shrink, allow oxygen into the bottle, and cause a leak if storage conditions are too dry.  Wine humidifiers from Wine Guardian are among the excellent products we use at Rosehill Wine Cellars to ensure that the wine isn’t spoiled by such things as a dry cork.

Ultimate wine sipping

You don’t have to be at a wine tasting to engage in the five “S’s” of wine drinking. There is a distinct difference in one huge respect, however. When at a wine tasting, it can be very important to frequently spit instead of swallow, since it’s poor etiquette to become overly intoxicated in that setting. True wine lovers want to experience wine to the fullest on every occasion. The sip technique, therefore, is recommended anytime you’re enjoying a glass of wine.

Here are tips for drinking like a wine connoisseur. Don’t worry if anyone judges you and thinks you look pretentious. If you really love wine, you’re doing just the right thing:

  • As you take a healthy “sip” of wine, roll the wine around in your mouth gently while pursing your lips. Suck in a little bit of air, to oxygenate the wine; and give it another taste, to fully indulge your palate. Only then should you swallow or, depending on the circumstance, spit.

As you taste the wine, allow your taste buds to make determinations of whether or not the wine is harmonious, balanced, complex, evolved, and complete. These are elements to be considered for the final S, which is to savor the wine, to be covered in the next part of the series.

More about corked wine

In case you’ve ever wondered, the primary reason waiters in restaurants allow customers to initially taste a new bottle or glass of wine is to ensure that the wine isn’t corked. You could ruin a fine meal, after all, if you match up a delicious entrée with a certain wine only to discover that the wine has spoiled. Be sure to contact Rosehill Wine Cellars if you live anywhere in or around Toronto because we know how to ensure proper storage, which often involves a reliable humidifier in addition to a custom wine cellar with a wine cooling unit. Check back for more of our series on becoming a wine connoisseur.

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Sniff

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: Sniff

There are five steps to drinking wine like a connoisseur, and the first two were covered in Part 1 of this series – See and Swirl. The next “S” is to sniff the wine. This is truly an essential part of enjoying the flavors in a bottle of wine. We appreciate this step at Rosehill Wine Cellars because proper wine storage in a custom wine cellar or wine cabinet ensures that the aroma is a pleasant one. Custom wine cellars have wine cooling units that maintain the ideal atmosphere for wine storage. Among the top manufacturers we use to keep the right smell in the wine bottles are WhisperKOOL, Wine Guardian, Cellar Pro, and Koolspace KoolR.

Take in the aroma

glass of red wineThe nose has a profound effect on how we experience the taste of wine and foods. To truly focus on the aroma, close your eyes as your put your nose into the glass all the way. Breathe in deeply. Try to identify the scents you detect. If it’s red wine, you may pick up on cherries, tobacco, strawberries, or many other possible aromas. White wine often smells like lemons and other fresh scents, such as pineapple and many others. There is no way to fail the sniff test. At any given wine tasting, for example, if everyone writes down what they catch a whiff of, even ten different wine tasters may pick up on a different smell.

Significance of the sniff test

Ultimately what you’re doing with a sniff of your wine is you are preparing your brain for what your taste buds will soon experience. It enhances actually drinking the wine, to smell it attentively first.

One thing that could happen when you smell the wine is that you could pick up clues that the wine is “corked.” It means that you should probably choose a different bottle to drink. Corked wine has become contaminated with cork taint. The cause is a chemical compound called TCA or 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole. The aroma of corked wine is musty like wet dog, dank towels, or wet newspaper or cardboard.

Proper storage helps pass the smell test

The entire purpose of wine cellars and the use of reliable wine cooling units is to protect wine as it is stored, so that the taste is as the winemaker intended. If temperatures are too warm or if they fluctuate too frequently or if there isn’t the right humidity level, wine can be spoiled. Protecting wine is something you don’t need to worry about when your custom wine cellar or wine cabinet has a cooling unit by a manufacturer such as WhisperKOOL, Wine Guardian, Cellar Pro, or Koolspace KoolR.

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: See & Swirl

So You Want to be a Wine Connoisseur: See & Swirl

Wine cellars from Rosehill Wine Cellars

Custom wine cellar with tasting nook from Rosehill Wine Cellars.

One way to add new dimension to life is to reach for your heart-felt aspirations. For many people, becoming a wine connoisseur is a great way to take life to the next level. There is no college degree or set of classes required to earn the distinction of being a wine connoisseur, unlike becoming a sommelier. Although a particular education is not required, expectations are high, since a connoisseur is supposed to be a bona fide wine expert. At Rosehill Wine Cellars, we believe that includes knowing about the importance of wine storage in a wine cellar in Toronto that has a reliable wine cooling unit establishing just the right setting for the wines. Some aspects of becoming connoisseur are more difficult than others, and some knowledge is foundational.

What Everyone Agrees on about Wine Connoisseurs

It would be dishonest to say that there’s not that much a person can learn about wine. The topic is vast! You could spend the rest of your life building on your knowledge of wine without running out of resources. Many people exploring the qualifications of a connoisseur begin with the basics of the 5 S’s, which are see, swirl, sniff, sip, and savor:


When you look at wine before drinking it, there are some things you can conclude about the drink before ever tasting it. Hold the glass toward natural light and against a white background. The color of wine can give you hints about varietal, flavor, age, and even the climate where the grapes were grown. Red wines range in color from pink to almost black. Red wine that has aged for a longer period of time is usually lighter than young vintages. White wines range from almost clear to rich shades of gold. Typically, the longer white wine has aged, the darker it is. If there is a cloudy appearance to the wine, it may indicate that the wine is mature or unfiltered.


When you swirl the wine against the side and then watch how quickly the wine on the sides dissipates, you learn about the “legs,” which is to say the alcohol content. When there is a higher alcohol content, the wine is thicker. More is happening during the swirling process. You are letting in more oxygen, to release flavors and aromas. This is referred to as “volatizing the esters.” Because of the swirl step, do not fill your wine glass to more than a third, to avoid sloshing. Note: Swirling is not a step to be used on sparkling wines, since it disturbs the bubbles.

Contact Rosehill Wine Cellars

Every true wine connoisseur has their own place to properly store wine. Contact Rosehill Wine Cellars for a custom wine cellar in Toronto. We always use trusted wine cooling units from a variety of top cooling unit manufacturers. Be sure to check back to learn more about becoming a wine connoisseur, including the other three S’s of wine drinking.