Share

A. The United States

B. Spain

C. Italy

D. France

D.

France leads global production of rosé with over 193 million gallons produced in 2015, according to the Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the Provence Wine Council (CIVP). France is not only the largest producer, but also the largest consumer by volume and the largest exporter of rosé wines! Spain (123.2 million gallons), the U.S. (96.2 million gallons), and Italy (58 million gallons) are the other leading rosé producers.

Share

A. New York

B. California

C. Virginia

D. Missouri

D.

The oldest AVA in the U.S. is Augusta, Missouri, which was awarded the status on June 20, 1980. The region is home to a plethora of grape varieties including chambourcin, vignoles, concord, and Norton/Cynthiana (this latter variety became the official state grape in 2003). Missouri is also, along with Yamanashi, Japan, a recently elected member of Wine Origins, a global organization with 25 members that focuses on protecting wine place names. Other members of Wine Origins include: Willamette Valley, Jerez, Tokaj-Hegyalja, Washington State, Santa Barbara, Oregon, Burgundy, Texas, Rioja, Napa Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Long Island, Paso Robles, Chianti Classico, Bordeaux, the Duoro, Champagne, Sonoma County, McLaren Vale, Victoria, British Columbia, the Barossa, and Western Australia.

Share

A. Magdeleine noire des Charentes

B. Petit Manseng

C. Chardonnay

D. Côt (aka Malbec)

A.

Merlot’s mother was magdeleine noire des Charentes. Grape geneticists determined that merlot was the offspring of cabernet franc in the early 1990s, but merlot’s other parent remained a mystery for a decade. We can thank French ampelographer Jean-Michel Boursiquot for finding merlot’s unnamed mother in an abandoned vineyard in Brittany, France. A few years later, more vines were found in the Charentes region of southwestern France, and Boursiquot named the vines magdeleine noire des Charentes.

Share

A. Sea urchins

B. Wasps

C. Pickled radishes

D. Ants

B.

Jibachi senbei, or digger wasp rice crackers, contain an insect called digger wasps. Hunters set traps for the wasps in the forests surrounding Omachi, a town about 120 miles from Tokyo where these crackers were invented, specifically to make jibachi senbei. After being boiled and dried, the wasps are added to the rice cracker mix. According to Gastro Obscura, the snack was invented by a wasp fan club (who knew?) and a cracker-baker. It’s now a favorite among the elderly population (Omachi’s youth aren’t so keen). A reviewer claims the crackers taste slightly sweet and savory, with the wasps coming across “like burnt raisins.” A wine to pair? Hmmm. Port to mirror the sweet/savoriness or Champagne to amplify the crunch?

Share

A. Singapore

B. Tel Aviv

C. Geneva

D. Hong Kong

B.

Of the top ten cities in the world with the highest cost of living, Tel Aviv, Israel, also has the highest average price for a bottle of wine—$28.77, according to The Economist’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2018 report. The second most expensive city for wine is Seoul, South Korea, with the average bottle price of $27.02. The ten most expensive cities in the world are: Singapore, Paris, Hong Kong, Zurich, Geneva, Osaka, Seoul, Copenhagen, New York, Tel Aviv, and Los Angeles.

Share

A. Writings by an early Napa Valley pioneer

B. The life of an early winemaker in the Pacific Northwest

C. A myth of revenge from the Piedmont region of Italy

D. A California miner who became famous during the Gold Rush and eventually became a judge

A.

Napa Valley’s first non-Native American settler, George Calvert Yount was a fur trapper and a friend of fellow fur trapper Hugh Glass, the subject of the film The Revenant and the book of the same name. Some of Yount’s writings helped inform the true story of Glass and fur traders in the West. Yount settled in the Napa Valley in 1838 and his first production of “wine” was allegedly fermented in cowhides hung from trees. In 1860, Yount hired a young Prussian immigrant named Charles Krug to help him make better quality wines. Krug went on to found his own winery, Charles Krug, in 1861. After Yount’s death in 1865, the United States Postal Service renamed the town where he lived “Yountville” in his honor.

Share

A. Loupiac

B. Fargues

C. Preignac

D. Bommes

A.

Yeah, this is a tough one. The communes of Sauternes, Bommes, Fargues, Preignac, and Barsac in the southern Graves region of Bordeaux all produce sweet wines that are legally allowed to use the umbrella name Sauternes for their production. Although Loupiac is an appellation also dedicated to sweet wine in Bordeaux, it is not a part of the Sauternes designation. Sometimes called “the poor man’s Sauternes,” Loupiac’s wines are made in the same manner from botrytised grapes.

Share

A. The name for a diseased grenache vine that develops a coating on the leaves, making it look like it’s covered in hair

B. A nickname for the feeling of tannin on the palate that comes after drinking grenache

C. A mutation of grenache that has leaves that appear to be covered in fur

D. An idiom in northeast Spain for a hangover that comes from drinking too much red wine

C.

Hairy grenache, or garnacha peluda in Spain and lledoner pelut in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France, is a clone of grenache that has particularly hairy leaves. Like the furry fuzz found on rosemary and other Mediterranean plants, the “fur” evolved as a defense mechanism to protect the vine from heat and conserve moisture. The clone is native to the Spanish region of Catalonia. Wines made from hairy grenache often have a lower alcohol content, but the clone is customarily blended with regular (non-hairy) clones of grenache.

Share

A. The fact that the men often drink so much, they’re “sideways”

B. The fact that the wine valleys where the film takes place run east-west

C. The fact that the men are such screw-ups, their lives and careers are “sideways”

D. The fact that there’s a lot of unconventional sex in the film

B.

While the protagonists of the film, Miles and Jack, are certainly screw-ups, the title actually refers to geology. Thanks to millennia of shifting by tectonic plates off the mid- and northern-California coast, most of the state’s wine valleys run essentially north-south. But the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez Valleys in Santa Barbara County where the film takes place run east-west. Because the western ends are open to the Pacific Ocean, the two coastal valleys act as big wind tunnels funneling cold air inland from the Pacific. Thus, even though the valleys are in the southern, theoretically warmer part of the state, they have some of the coolest temperatures. This makes them ideal regions for grape varieties that thrive in cool environments—notably pinot noir. The 2004 cult film Sideways was named for this fact.

Share

A. Because early Australian pioneers historically added small amounts of eucalyptus oil to fermenting wine, believing it to impart health benefits

B. Because the species of American oak now grown in Australia takes on a slight eucalyptus flavor when the barrels are toasted

C. Because many vineyards are planted near eucalyptus trees, the leaves of which sometimes end up in picking bins and ultimately in fermenting vats

D. Because shiraz, Australia’s main red wine, naturally has a eucalyptus flavor 

C.

Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, and many vineyards are planted in close proximity to them. The leaves of the trees contain an essential oil which itself contains the volatile compound 1,8 cineole, commonly known as eucalyptol. Eucalyptol has a fresh, cool aroma and flavor evocative of camphor and mint. According to the Australian Wine Research Institute, when vineyards exist near eucalyptus trees, the leaves of the trees often end up in picking bins, especially in vineyards that are machine harvested. The leaves both secrete their oil onto the skins of grapes, and some leaves may end up being fermented along with the grapes themselves. In a survey the Institute conducted of commercially available Australian wines, eucalyptol was found above sensory detection threshold in 40% of red wines.