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Answer: True.

True. Despite the German sounding name, Gewürztraminer is Italian in origin, and is thought to be indigenous to the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. The prefix “gewürz” means spice in German, though the meaning is more along the lines of outrageously perfumed than anything that might come out of a kitchen spice rack. The grape is not actually a distinct variety but rather a pink-berried, highly aromatic clone of Savagin, one of the ancient so-called “founder varieties.”

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Answer: False.

The first phrase is true, but the second is not. The juice of all grapes, red and white, is almost colorless (with a few rare exceptions). If the juice from red grapes is fermented without the red grape skins, white wine can be made. (One example is a Champagne made from Pinot Noir grapes). But if the skins are white and the juice is necessarily white, a red wine cannot be made.

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Answer: False.

I love the French term gout de terroir, but like so many French expressions, it exists in some halfway point between the literal and the romantic. Gout de terroir (literally “taste of the terroir”) is the distinctive flavor a wine acquires from the combination of a given grape variety grown in a specific place. Over time, for example, winemakers notice that a certain variety from a certain plot of ground always has the same discernable flavors. That’s the gout de terroir. So, for some wines the gout de terroir may indeed be earthy, but not for others.

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Answer: False.

Skins and seeds left behind are called pomace. The cap is the densely packed mass of skins of red grapes that, during fermentation, are propelled to the top of the tank by CO2 gas that is being created by the fermentation. In order to extract color, tannin, aroma, and flavor from these packed skins, the winemaker must mix the cap with the wine underneath, usually either by pushing the cap down into the wine or pumping the wine over the cap so that the wine trickles through it.

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Answer: False.

The French term cailloux refers to stones or large pebbles often left behind by ancient rivers or glaciers. Although it can seem next to impossible, vineyards exist in soils composed mainly of such stones. Several regions in Europe are notable for cailloux (especially Châteauneuf-du-Pape).  In the US a region famous for its cailloux is the Rocks District of Milton Freewater, an appellation in rural eastern Oregon that is across the border from the town of Walla Walla, Washington. Some of the best Syrah in the U.S, grows here in cailloux.

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Answer: False.

The sweetness difference between Port and Sauternes seems like a fitting topic this time of year when people often end a holiday meal with something luscious and sweet.  As it turns out, Port is considerably less sweet than Sauternes. Port has about 7% residual sugar (and is fortified to about 20% alcohol). Sauternes, on the other hand, rings in at 10 to 15% residual sugar (and is generally 13-14% alcohol).

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Answer: False.

That would be Washington State with about 60,000 acres of vineyards. Washington is a distant second to California which has the most vineyard acreage in the U.S.—620,000 acres. For its part, New York has about 35,000 acres of grapes but about 9,000 of those are Concord grapes destined to be juice or jelly, not wine.

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Answer: False.

A rosé Champagne needn’t be made mostly from red grapes; in fact, many aren’t. The blend of base wines might be 80 percent Pinot Noir and 20 percent Chardonnay—or just the opposite, 80 percent Chardonnay and only 20 percent Pinot Noir. A rosé can be made either way because only a small amount of red wine is needed to achieve the pinkish color.

But when you drink them, the two rosés make will be very different. Pinot-dominant rosé Champagnes are often a bit fuller in body, with a rich fruit character. Chardonnay-dominant rosé Champagnes are often lighter, more crisp, and some would say more elegant. Among the rosé Champagnes we love are those made by Marc Hébrart, Charles Heidsieck, Gaston Chiquet, Drappier, and Gatinois.

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Answer: False.

Several regions in France have limestone soils, including parts of the following: the Loire, Champagne, the Jura, and the Languedoc-Roussillon. (Limestone is also found in parts of Spain, Italy, southern England, and South Australia.) Limestone is a marine sedimentary rock made from seashells and fine-grain precipitates of calcium carbonate.

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Answer: False.

Armagnac and Cognac—yes. But Calvados—a specialty of the Normandy region of France—is distilled from apples (and sometimes pears). But not just any apples. Approximately eight hundred heirloom varieties of apples grow in Normandy. Of these, most Calvados producers would grow twenty to twenty-five different varieties, among them Douce Moën, Kermerrien, Douce Coet Ligne, Bédan, Binet Rouge, Fréquin Rouge, Marie Ménard, and Petit Jaune. (Alas, no Red Delicious.)

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Answer: True.

Amazingly enough, and despite its strong association with Tuscany, Sangiovese originated in southern Italy. Its parents are the Calabrian (southern Italian) grape variety Calabrese di Montenuovo and Ciliegiolo a variety cultivated all over Italy (the name Ciliegiolo means “small cherry”). For its part, the word Sangiovese is thought to derive from the Latin sanguis Jovis—”the blood of Jupiter.”

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Answer: False.

Just the opposite is the case: Wines that lack acidity do not age well. Acid is a natural preservative. For example, among the longest-lived white wines in the world are Champagne, Vouvray (Chenin Blanc from the Loire), and German Riesling—all of which are very high in acid. Acid also helps red wines age, although red wines tend to get most of their ageability from tannin, which is another natural preservative.

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Answer: True.

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) limit on bringing alcohol into the country is divided into two categories: alcoholic beverages that contain between 24% and 70% alcohol, and alcoholic beverages that contain less than 24% alcohol. In the first case, you are limited to bringing in 5 liters per adult. Wine belongs in the second group since wine contains less than 24% alcohol. For the second group (wine), the amount an adult can bring in is unlimited. Of course, the airline carrier will have a weight limit, and you will have to abide by that. It helps to know that most bottles of wine are about 3 pounds. And in both cases above, bottles of alcohol must go in your checked (not carry on) luggage.

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Answer: False.

That would be dairy products and milk, the value of which last year (2021) was $7.6 billion. Grapes came in second at $5.2 billion, and almonds were third at $5 billion. Over one third of all the vegetables and three fourths of all the fruits and nuts grown in the U.S. are grown in California.

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Answer: False.

Hello, this is the US. Nothing is ever easy when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Under 26 U.S.C. 5042 and the implementing regulations in 27 CFR 24.75(a), “wine produced for personal or family use may never be sold or offered for sale.  Only wine produced at a fully qualified bonded wine premises may be sold or offered for sale.” Sorry.

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Answer: False.

While wine was a common beverage in ancient Greece, intoxication itself was something the Greeks denounced for its harmful effects. Accordingly, wine was always diluted with water, sometimes as much as three parts water to one part wine. In the eyes of the ancient Greeks, only barbarians drank wine straight.

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Answer: True.

At least if you drink it in moderation, you can. There are several different types of alcohol, all of which are organic molecules comprised of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms. Ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) is the only type of alcohol that you can safely drink. Ethanol is the form of alcohol in wine, beer, and spirits.

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Answer: False.

The word BIN in a wine name (famously used on so many Penfolds’ wines), stands for “Batch Identification Number” and is a way that Penfolds winemakers keep track of winemaking trials.  Penfolds in particular has dozens of wines named Bin This or That. There’s Bin 95 (Grange), Bin 28 (Kalimna Shiraz), Bin 389 (a Cabernet Shiraz Blend) ), Bin 707 (an expensive Cabernet), and scores of other “Bins!” Bin 707 by the way was named after the 707 aircraft on the occassion of Boeing’s 100th anniversary.