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A. Muscadelle

B. Chardonnay

C. Sauvignon Blanc

D. Sémillon

B.

Chardonnay is not one of the grape varieties permitted in white Bordeaux wine. Seven grapes can comprise white Bordeaux: the main three—sémillon, sauvignon blanc, and muscadelle—plus these more unusual suspects: ugni blanc, colombard, merlot blanc, and sauvignon gris. The latter are used in extremely small amounts if at all.

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A. A vegetable related to artichokes 

B. A type of sweet onion similar in shape to leeks

C. Traditional Moroccan candies made from raw sugar, almonds, and spices

D. A fennel-like herb historically used to make curative teas

A.

Cardoons are close relatives of globe artichokes. However, only the ribs of the leaves are edible. Cardoons, like artichokes, are members of the thistle family and are similar in taste to artichoke hearts. Cardoons are among many forgotten vegetables that were very popular in America during colonial times. Many of these vegetables (which still grow in the Colonial Garden and Nursery at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia) are undergoing a resurgence thanks to farm stands and chef markets across the country.

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A. Napa Valley, 1969

B. Sonoma Valley, 1965

C. Napa Valley, 1981

D. Santa Cruz Mountains, 1975

C.

The first AVA in California was Napa Valley, established in February 1981. According to the Wine Institute, other California winegrowing regions that were established later that same year include: Santa Maria Valley in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, San Pasqual Valley in San Diego County, and Guenoc Valley in Lake County.

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A. Brettanomyces

B. Oxidation

C. Trichloroanisole (or TCA)

D. Mercaptan Compounds

D.

Ok, unless you’re a winemaker, this might have been a tough one. Rotten onion aromas are a sign of mercaptan compounds. These horrible-smelling compounds can be created after fermentation when hydrogen sulfide and other basic sulfur compounds create compounds that smell like rotting onions or spoiled garlic. Brettanomyces usually smells of manure, like a barnyard. Oxidation has a scent reminiscent of rancid nuts. And TCA can be detected by its distinctive odor of a dirty wet dog sitting on wet cardboard in a damp cellar.

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A. Muscat

B. Arneis

C. Dolcetto

D. Sauvignon Blanc

A.

Vermouth originated in Piedmont, Italy, in the 18th century. Historically, muscat grapes were used as the base wine. The moscato that is typically grown in Piedmont is known as moscato Canelli, or white muscat, and is the same as muscat blanc à petit grains in France. Because muscat is a white grape, most vermouth was originally white. Today, for most inexpensive commercial versions, cheap red or white bulk wine from the south of Italy is often used as the base. The wine is then infused with a secret blend of dozens, sometimes hundreds, of aromatic spices, barks, bitter herbs, and flavorings.

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A. Sigourney Weaver

B. Greta Garbo

C. Melissa McCarthy

D. Norma Jean Mortenson

D.

Norma Jean Mortenson, also known as Marilyn Monroe, was named California’s first honorary Artichoke Queen in 1948 by what would later be known as the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival. There are numerous versions of how Norma Jean came to be crowned. But, according to Kathryn Parish, chair of the Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival, Norma Jean came to the Monterey Bay area on a press trip for the grand opening of a jewelry store in Salinas. The artichoke industry, hoping to connect with a young headed-for-Hollywood starlet, sponsored a lunch with Norma Jean and officially crowned her Artichoke Queen right then and there. The rest is (delicious) history.

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A. Wachau, Austria

B. South Australia, Australia

C. Walla Walla, Washington

D. Rheingau, Germany

B.

In 1964 in South Australia, Penfolds created the “Bin 707” cabernet sauvignon, naming it after the iconic Boeing 707 jetliner. Today, at $500 a bottle, “Bin 707” is Australia’s most expensive cabernet. The massively structured, intensely flavored wine is aged 20 months in 100% new American oak “hogshead” barrels and is considered one of Australia’s most age-worthy cabernets. As for how it came to pass that the wine was named after an airplane, when the first vintage of the “Bin 707” was released in 1964, a Penfolds board member was also on the board of Qantas, an airline which was releasing a new Boeing 707 at the same time. The Boeing 707 was thought to be the aircraft that would better connect Australia with the rest of the world. Inspired to do the same with their collection of wines, Penfolds named their wine “Bin 707.”

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A. Southern Germany

B. The Midwest of the United States

C. Northern Mexico

D. The mountains of China

A.

Spelt originated in Germany (and Switzerland too), according to the Northern Grain Growers Association. Spelt (aka “dinkle” in Germany), is similar in flavor and texture to wheat, and is typically milled into bread flour. Breads made from this grain are often heavier and denser in texture than breads made with wheat flour. Spelt has been grown for over 6,000 years. However, the grain went out of fashion in the early 20th century because wheat was easier to thresh. Over the past decade, the demand for spelt has skyrocketed as consumers search for alternatives to wheat.

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A. Department of Agriculture

B. Department of the Treasury

C. Department of Commerce

D. Department of the Interior

B.

One of the Bureaus within the U.S. Department of the Treasury called The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) establishes AVAs. This governing body is also in charge of regulating the production of alcohol and its labeling, advertising, importation, and distribution, among other tasks. There are now 242 AVAs in the U.S.

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A. Vitovska

B. Ribolla Gialla

C. Schioppettino

D. Picolit

C.

Schioppettino is one of the top red varieties grown in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a region famed for its white wines. However, schioppettino nearly disappeared from Friuli in the wake of phylloxera. The owner of Ronchi di Cialla winery, Paolo Rapuzzi, rescued the grape in the 1970s when he collected 100 extant vines and clandestinely had them grafted to make them available for propagation (schioppettino was not an officially allowed variety in Friuli at the time). Wines made from schioppettino can be startling—hauntingly dry with sharp peppery, spicy, black cherry flavors and a tight, angular body. The word schioppettino comes from scoppiettio, to “crackle” or “pop,” a possible reference to the grape’s or wine’s fascinating texture.