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Answer: True.

Labeling a wine based on the variety of grape used to make that wine has been commonplace in most of the New World since the late 1960s. In the United States, the first varietally labeled wines were required by federal law to be composed of 51 percent of the variety named. In 1983, the minimum was raised to the current level of 75 percent. States and specific appellations can choose to exceed (but not go below) the federal regulations. For example, in Oregon, all Pinot Noirs so-labeled must be at least 90 percent Pinot Noir. The same is true for Oregon Chardonnay, but not Oregon Cabernet Sauvignon. Oregon makes an exception from the “90% rule” for Cabernet and other grapes that benefit from blending and have a long history of being used for blending in their respective European regions.

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Answer: False.

All Champagne must spend at least 15 months in the bottle before release. Of this, 12 months must be sur lie, (on the lees). The minimum aging periods required by law for Champagne wines are much longer than for other sparkling wines. European wine regulations, for example, specify a minimum of only 90 days for effervescent wines in general.

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Answer: True.

Oenotria was what Greek colonists called southern Italy when they first arrived in the 8th century BC or thereabouts. The local population was most likely already producing wine.

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Answer: False.

That would be Zweigelt, a juicy, fruity, easy wine, the result of a cross of Blaufränkisch and the simple grape variety St. Laurent. However, even though Zweigelt leads in production, Blaufränkisch is Austria’s highest quality and most revered red. Austrian Blaufränkisch is precise and sleek, with flavors of delicious woodland blueberries, a sense of forestiness, and a bit of a spicy bite. It is exactly the ticket for splicing through a spicy meat dish. Among our favorite producers are Moric and J. Heinrich.

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Answer: True.

According to the International Wines and Spirits Record’s latest report, Americans bought less wine in 2019, the first drop in wine purchases in the last 25 years. Millennials are opting for alternatives beverages such as hard seltzers, cocktails, and nonalcoholic beer. The trend was attributed to a generational shift as the number of millennials surpasses baby boomers, who drove strong demand for wine in America.

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Answer: False.

Cabernet Sauvignon plantings superseded Zinfandel way back in 1998. Today there are 94,854 acres of Cabernet; but just 40,061 acres of Zinfandel. Most of the Cabernet is planted in Napa and San Luis Obispo counties. Most of the Zinfandel is planted in San Joaquin and Sonoma counties.

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Answer: False.

Ok Washington State wine fans, this was a bit of a trick question. Even though the Columbia Valley is the largest and best known American Viticultural Area in Washington, the Yakima Valley, which is within Columbia Valley, was Washington’s first AVA, designated as such in 1983. Columbia Valley was named an AVA a year later. The Yakima Valley is the historic heart of Washington wine country. Vinifera wine grapes were planted here in the late 1930s by Seattle attorney William Bridgman who also pioneered irrigated agriculture in the region and planted some of the state’s first grapes including Semillon, Ruby Cabernet, Grenache, and Pinot Noir. Many of the state’s earliest wineries, including Chinook, Thurston-Wolfe, Portteus, and Barnard Griffin are in Yakima, and many other wineries buy Yakima grapes. A number of Washington’s most famous grower-owned vineyards are also here, notably, Boushey Vineyard and Red Willow Vineyard.

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Answer: True.

Genetic research in 2010 revealed that cab franc originated in Spain’s Basque country and was later brought to southwest France, then Bordeaux.

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Answer: True.

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed from decomposed seashells and marine skeletons that are extremely high in calcium. There are many different types of limestone which is created formed under different conditions. Chalk, marble, and marl are all types of limestone.

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Answer: True.

Johnson was the first President who regularly featured wines from the U.S. at state dinners. By doing so, he hoped to support the burgeoning US wine industry. Following Johnson, President Richard Nixon reverted to serving mostly French wines in the White House. It was not until Jimmy Carter became President that U.S. wines were served once again- a tradition that continues to this day.

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Answer: True.

Tartrates, which are potassium bitartrate crystals, are sometimes found floating in white wine or sticking to the bottom of the cork. These crystals, which are the same as cream of tartar, are bits of natural tartaric acid that have precipitated out of the wine, usually because of a quick extreme drop in temperature. (As when you take a wine out of a warm car and plunger it into a bucket full of ice.) Winemakers often remove them before bottling, but don’t worry if you find them in a bottle of white wine. They are harmless and won’t affect the taste of your wine at all.

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Answer: False.

Cabernet sauvignon is a major variety in California—the state recorded 94,854 acres (38,386 hectares) of cabernet in 2019. But Chile had more with —106,255 acres (43,000 hectares). In Chile, cabernet sauvignon plantings account for just over 20% of Chile’s total vineyard area— almost four times more than the grape variety carménère, which is widely thought of as Chile’s signature grape.

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Answer: True.

Roughly 35% of women are classified as supertasters in comparison to only 10% of men. Being a supertaster is not considered a positive trait, however. Often supertasters live in such a vivid and neon world of flavor impression that some flavors are often too intense to enjoy. According to Dr. Hildegarde Heymann, professor and enologist at University of California Davis supertasters usually dislike the taste of broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and sprouts; hot curry and chili; grapefruit and lemon; cigarettes; coffee; and (oh no) alcohol. Good-bye wine. Whether or not one is a super taster can be determined through a simple test where researchers administer a small sample of the nontoxic compounds 6-n-propylthiouracil (known as PROP) or phenyl thio carbamate (known as PTC).

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Answer: False.

It might seem like that would be the case since more than 60% of all the vines in New Zealand are sauvignon blanc. But the most recent sauvignon total for New Zealand comes to just over 62,000 acres (25,000 hectares). By comparison, France has 86,000 acres (35,000 hectares) of sauvignon blanc (which represents just 3.7% of France’s entire vineyard area. Who else grows a lot of sauvignon? Chile—37,000 acres (15,000 hectares); and South Africa 25,000 acres (10,000 hectares).

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Answer: False.

Sherry is fortified and undergoes some controlled oxidation. But Sherry is not maderized. Maderization means the wine was intentionally heated. The wine that is fortified, oxidized, and maderized, not to mention sometimes aged for decades, is Madeira. Arguably the world’s longest-lived wine, Madeira at its best is a wine of such spellbinding complexity it’s almost hard to fathom. Great Madeiras do not sit in your glass; they scream with tangy deliciousness. Madeira comes from a small cluster of steeply rugged volcanic islands, the largest and most important of which is also called Madeira—from ilha da madeira, “island of the woods.” Although Madeira and its tiny sister islands are geographically part of Africa (about 310 miles off the Moroccan coast), they are nonetheless a province of Portugal (about 620 miles to the northeast).

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Answer: True.

True. Burgundy got its name early in the sixth century, in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire, when the wandering Germanic tribe known as the Burgondes established a settlement in the area. They called it Burgundia. In 534, Burgundia was absorbed into another Germanic entity, the Frankish kingdom established by Clovis, the king of the Franks. Clovis eventually went on to unify the numerous Germanic tribes that operated throughout what was then called Gaul. With Clovis’s coronation, modern France (the name is derived from Franks) was born, and Clovis’s eventual conversion to Christianity established France as a Christian nation. With Christianity in place, the course of Burgundy’s history changed, as it went on to become a nucleus for Catholicism and monastic power.

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Answer: True.

Although it has been called “America’s grape,” scientists have known for decades that zinfandel (just like chardonnay, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and dozens of other varieties) originally came from Europe. The question was where in Europe? Thanks to DNA typing of grapevines, we know that zinfandel’s original home was the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia. Sometime around the 1820’s, what we now call zinfandel was brought to the United States (to Long Island) under a variety of names (zenfendel and black St. Peter’s being two). Curiously, zinfandel was also brought from Croatia to Italy, where it was named primitivo. So if you see an Italian primitivo in the wine shop, guess what? It’s zinfandel.