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A. Robert Mondavi Winery

B. Schramsberg

C. Kendall Jackson

D. Stony Hill

D.

Stony Hill, a small cult winery on Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain, planted chardonnay in 1947 and released their first bottle in 1952 at the then steep price of $1.95. Schramsberg Vineyards planted chardonnay for its famous sparkling wines in 1965. The Robert Mondavi Winery’s first chardonnay was planted in 1970. And Kendall Jackson, which is not located in the Napa Valley, made its first chardonnay in 1982 and now makes several million cases of chardonnay annually.

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A. Beaujolais from the best vineyards.

B. Beaujolais that are aged for at least a year in French oak.

C. Beaujolais from selected villages.

D. Beaujolais from what historically have been the top producers (the “cru”).

C.

The Cru Beaujolais refers to wines from ten distinguished villages. (Interestingly enough, in most of the rest of France, the word cru refers to a vineyard.) Most of these villages are in the north of the region on steep granite hills. Cru wines are deeper, denser, more structured and more age worthy than regular Beaujolais. The ten Cru are: St.-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-à-Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Régnié, Brouilly, and Côte de Brouilly. Although Beaujolais Nouveau will be released next Thursday, we recommend you drink the far better Cru Beaujolais to celebrate the region.

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A. nebbiolo

B. moscato

C. dolcetto

D. barbera

D.

Barbera, an indigenous variety, accounts for a majority of all the vines planted in Piedmont, even though the region is best known as the home of nebbiolo, the grape that makes the famous wines Barolo and Barbaresco. (After barbera, the next most widely planted grape is moscato). Nebbiolo is high in tannin and therefore Barolo and Barbaresco are capable of being cellared for decades.  By comparison, barbera is an everynight drinking wine. Because (like pinot noir) it’s relatively high in acidity and low in tannin, it is very food flexible. In northern Italy, barbera is considered perfect for braised meats, grilled sausages, and pasta with tomato sauce.  In other words, it’s great right now in the fall.

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A. United States

B. Mexico

C. Argentina

D. Peru

B.

Casa Madero, the first known winery in the Americas, was established in 1597 in the Mexican town of Santa Maria de las Parras (“Holy Mary of the Grapevines”). The winery still exists and today, specializes in chardonnay, chenin blanc and shiraz. In the last decade, the Mexican wine industry has grown significantly even as it has moved closer toward high quality wine. Much of the excitement has been centered on the 1,000 + mile long Baja Peninsula south of California. There are now 100 wineries in Baja. The earliest wine made in what is now the United States was produced between 1562 and 1564 by French Huguenot settlers in northern Florida. The wine was made from local Scuppernong grapes, but it appears the settlers did not build a winery.

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A. Ull de llebre

B. Tinta de Toro

C. Tinta barroca

D. Tinta roriz

C.

Tinta barroca, one of the red varieties used in the production of Port is not the same as tempranillo. The rest are.  Ull de Llebre (“eye of the hare”) is what tempranillo is called in Penedés region of northeastern Spain. Tinta de Toro is what tempranillo is called near the town of Toro. And tinta roriz is tempranillo’s name in much of northern Portugal. In Spanish, temprano means early; the grape’s name is thought to have originated because tempranillo ripens earlier than garnacha (grenache), its blending partner in much of Spain.

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A. A colloquial Sicilian term for the powerful flavor of a wine that’s high in alcohol

B. An Italian method of post fermentation maceration intended to increase color saturation in a wine and amplify a wine’s body

C. An ancient leading grape variety in the Republic of Georgia

D. The process by which proteins in human saliva bind with various molecules including tannin, creating the impression of dryness in the mouth

C.

The Alazani Valley (pronounced: al a ZAH knee) of Georgia, on the edge of the Caucasus Mountains, considers itself the “cradle of wine.” Archeological evidence suggests that wine has been made here for more than seven millennia. The valley’s specialty is saperavi, a dark skinned red variety. Saperavi, like dozens of other grape varieties that grow in Georgia, is often still fermented in large subterranean earthenware pots called qvevri (ke VEV ree).

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A. Walnuts

B. Mustard

C. Venison

D. Beets

B.

France’s best loved condiment, mustard is a Burgundian specialty. Most of it is moutarde de Dijon—a creamy, smooth, especially pungent style. Many Burgundian villages have their own moutarderie, or mustard shop, where artisanal mustards are made, often with slightly fermented white grape juice in place of vinegar.

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A. Bottled two to three years after fermentation then aged a long time in the bottle

B. Bottled 10 to 15 years after fermentation and then usually even longer by the ultimate consumer

C. Bottled after it has thrown a sediment

D. Bottled as soon as the governing body in Oporto formally declares it to be a Vintage year

A.

Vintage Ports are first aged just two years in barrel, to round off their powerful edges. Then—and this is the key—they are aged reductively (without oxygen) for a long time in bottle. During bottle aging, the Vintage Port matures slowly, becoming progressively more refined and integrated. A decade’s worth of aging is standard, and several decades used to be fairly common. Indeed, the 1970 Vintage Port is now, nearly fifty years later, considered to be one of the Ports to experience. And Ports from the 1950s are still amazingly lively on the palate.  (The 1955 Cockburn’s is one of the most hauntingly luscious wines I have ever tasted or felt…it was sheer silk).

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A. Prestige Cuvées

B. Grand Marques

C. Blanc de Blancs

D. Premier Grand Crus

A.

About 40% of all the Champagne sold this year will be sold over the next three months, so it’s a good time to brush up on Champagne terminology. Proprietary names like La Grande Dame, Cristal and Comtes de Champagne are the names that Champagne Houses give to their very top wines which are known as prestige cuvées. The grapes for a prestige cuvee come from the best (and highest-rated) vineyards the House has access to, and the wines usually spend a very long time on the yeast lees–sometimes as much as ten years. As a result, prestige cuvées are usually both a) exquisite and b) expensive. La Grande Dame, Cristal and Comtes de Champagne are the prestige cuvées of Veuve Clicquot, Roederer and Taittinger respectively.

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A. Chardonnay Greek Yogurt

B. Cheese M & Ms

C. Pink Chocolate

D. Cabernet IPA (Beer)

C.

Move over dark, milk and white, a fourth type of chocolate has arrived–pink. The rosy hued chocolate is the invention of Swiss chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut who believe the “berry fruitiness and luscious smoothness” may appeal to “hedonistic millennials.” The product, which Callebaut calls “ruby chocolate,” is made from Ruby Cacao beans which grow in Ecuador, Brazil and the Ivory Coast. (No red food coloring or berry flavoring is added). As far as we know, Cabernet IPA and Chardonnay Yogurt are still waiting to be created, as are Cheese M & Ms—although Cheesecake M & Ms have already made their debut. You can buy them on Amazon.