Test Your Wine Knowledge

Questions

Answers

  • If you are drinking a wine from the Shenandoah Valley, can you be certain where the wine is from?
  • No. Two American Viticultural Areas use the Shenandoah name – One in Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley AVA and the other is California Shenandoah Valley AVA located in the foot hills of the Sierra Nevada.

  • Is a red or white wine traditionally used to make the classic chicken dish coq au vin?
  • Red wine

  • The United States currently has well over 150 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). To put AVA on the label, how much of the wine in the bottle must come from that area – A. 110 percent. B. 95 percent. C. 90 percent. D. 85 percent. E. 80 percent?
  • D. 85 percent.

  • True or False - Salting food on the plate will amplify the tannins and alcohol in the winsse.
  • True

  • True or False – Barolo and Barbaresco from the Piedmont’s Nebbiolo grape need little cask or bottle aging to tame tannin and acids.
  • False, these wines are known for fierce tannin and acidity and may spend up to 20 years aging.

  • True or False – Mold growing between the capsule and the top of a cork means the wine is corked and not suitable for drinking.
  • False, this is a good indicator or proper storage in humid conditions.

  • True or False – Salting food on the plate will amplify the tannins and alcohol in the wine.
  • True.

  • True or False – The fewer grapes a grapevine grows, the more likely flavors will be concentrated to make quality wine.
  • True

  • True or False – US wineries exist in all 50 states.
  • True.

  • True or False – Wine labels always name the grape variety used to make the wine.
  • False, though varietal labeling is gaining popularity, place-named wines are common on European labels.

  • True or False – Wineglasses should be stored on a shelf upside down to keep dust out of the bowl.
  • False, Upside down invites cupboard odors and stresses the fragile rim.

  • True or False. California’s Zinfandel vines have a short life span and are routinely replanted every couple of decades.
  • False, Zinfandel vineyards are some of California’s oldest, dating back 100 years or more.

  • What 2004 documentary film taking on the globalization of wine features a wine critic, a wine consultant, and a Napa wine family?
  • Mondovino – Robert M. Parker Jr., Michael Rolland and the Mondavi family.

  • What climate threat is feared at the time of budding?
  • Frost.

  • What country’s most planted red grape is Syrah and goes by the local name Shiraz?
  • Australia, the grape also takes the name Shiraz in South Africa.

  • What does OWC indicate in a wine auction catalog?
  • Bottles in their original wooden cases.

  • What element is a barrel maker’s tool for shaping and adding flavor to oak staves?
  • Fire.

  • What French impressionist painter entertained guests at Giverny by serving the best Veuve Clicquot Champagne decanted to rid it of bubbles?
  • Claude Monet.

  • What is a vineyard?
  • A vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture.

    A vineyard is often characterised by its terroir, a French term loosely translating as "a sense of place" that refers to the specific geographical and geological characteristics of grapevine plantations, which may be imparted in the wine.

  • What is added to liqueur wines, such as port or sherry, to boost alcohol levels?
  • Brandy, distilled wine, or grape spirit, the procedure is called fortification.

  • What is the purpose of chewing wine like food, A. to determine the wine’s body, B. to coat the tongue, cheeks, teeth and gums, or C. to detect sediment?
  • B. To coat the tongue, cheeks, teeth and gums because different parts of the mouth detect different tastes.

  • What is the tasting term for an underachieving wine that doesn’t show its full potential – closed or hollow?
  • Closed, hollow refers to wine that lacks depth and body.

  • What will you not see on a bottle of French Champagne – A. Demi-sec. B. Reims. C. Grande Champagne. D. Doux?
  • C. Grand Champagne is a region in Cognac and has nothing to do with sparkling wine or Champagne.

  • What wine may be appropriately poured to fill three-quarters of the glass?
  • Champagne or sparkling wine, higher is better in a flute glass where bubbles climb to show off their wake.

  • What wine type is likely to be made with two fermentations?
  • Sparkling wine – the first fermentation makes the base wine and the second makes the bubbles.

  • Which bottle is the equivalent of two standard bottles – magnum, imperial, or Methuselah?
  • Magnum, the other two hold eight bottles but are traditionally Bordeaux and Burgundy shaped bottles, respectively.

  • Which cheese is a classic match with Cabernet Sauvignon, A. Aged blue, B. Feta, or C. Mozzarella?
  • A. Aged blue cheese.

  • Which dry wine contains more calories – white or red?
  • Dry red wine

  • Which French Champagne is drier – a bottle labeled brut or a bottle labeled extra dry?
  • Brut.

  • Which is the fault in wines smelling of rotten eggs – poor winemaking or the use of egg whites as a clarifying or fining agent?
  • Poor winemaking.

  • Which is the minimum aging period, required by law, for nonvintage French Champagne – 15 months, 26 months or 3 years?
  • 15 months, the minimum for vintage Champagne is 3 years.

  • Which level of alcohol will kill wine yeasts and stop fermentation – About 10, 15 or 20 percent alcohol?
  • About 15%

  • Which of the following wines would benefit most from decanting? A. 2006 Sauvignon Blanc, B. 1995 Pinot Noir, C. 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon or D. Nonvintage Spanish Cava?
  • C. The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.  The young tannic red wine would be the only one to benefit from decanting.  The Cava would lose its fizz, the older Pinot Noir would lose some of its nuance and the Sauvignon Blanc would not benefit and remain basically the same.
    Which grape – Semillon or Sauvignon Blanc tempers the grassiness of the other grape in this classic blending due?  Semillon (Sauvignon Blanc brings the needed acidity and aroma to the match)

  • Which percentage of taste is attributed to smell – 60 to 70 percent – 70 to 80 percent – 80 to 90 percent?
  • 80 to 90 percent.

  • Which pushes the grape skins and pulp to the top of an open-topped fermentation vat to form a cap – A. a cap screen. B. carbon dioxide. C. gravity?
  • B. Carbon dioxide which is a product of fermentation.

  • Which red grape grows with Italy’s white truffles and makes full-bodied wines with aromas and flavors of tar, roses and violets – Tempranillo, Sangiovese, or Nebbiolo?
  • Nebbiolo – grown in the Piedmont, the wine sometimes takes on the truffle characteristics.

  • Which state leads the others in wine consumption – Texas, Illinois or Florida?
  • Florida followed by Texas and then Illinois.

  • Which thin-skinned grape, most at home in Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, is known for flavors and aromas of cherry, raspberry, and violets, A. Syrah or B. Pinot Noir?
  • B. Pinot Noir.

  • Which vegetable is considered wine-unfriendly – A. artichoke. B. tomato. C. parsnip?
  • A. Artichoke, many people are sensitive to a substance in artichokes that makes wine taste sweet or metallic.

  • Why are roses grown in vineyards – A. To condition the soil, B. they have always been grown in vineyards - tradition, C. they look pretty or D. to act as a beacon for diseases?
  • D. Act as a beacon for diseases.  The same diseases and fungi that affect grapevines will more quickly register on the rosebushes, giving the growers a chance to treat the vines before damage is done.

  • Your glass of red wine gives off a strong vegetal smell of green bell pepper. Which of these would it likely be – Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or Cabernet Franc?
  • Cabernet Franc is the only one of these four to give off a green peppery smell.