Weekly Wine Quiz #90: Grape Trivia – Pinotage
The Wine Quiz series is not meant to intimidate. The whole idea here is to have fun and learn something new. When answering the questions, it is fully encouraged to use all available sources of information, including Google or any other search engine. There are no embarrassing answers – the most embarrassing thing is not giving it a try…
Welcome to the weekend and your new wine quiz!
We are continuing our grape trivia series, with the focus still on the red grapes, and today’s subject is Pinotage.
Have you heard of Pinotage? Have you ever tasted it? What do you think of it? What, looks like I start with the quiz before the quiz? Well, kind of. Just setting the scene.
Pinotage is a unique grape, purposefully created in South Africa by Professor Abraham Izak Perold in 1925. Pinotage was created as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes. Originally used only for blending, little by little Pinotage developed into a signature grape of South Africa, similar to what Zinfandel is for California, or Malbec for Argentina.
Pinotage might be one of the most polarizing grapes in the world – well, not the grape itself, of course, but rather Pinotage wines. From the very first smell, not even a sip, Pinotage effects a love/hate relationship on wine consumers and professionals alike. Sometimes, the off putting aromas are so strong, it really makes people to put Pinotage into the “never again” category.
Lately, with the advance of the latest winemaking methods and improved winemaking knowledge, there are more and more Pinotage wines which are easy to like. A good Pinotage typically shows dark ripe berries, accompanied with hint of smoke and earthiness, without any of the “non-wine related” flavors. While Pinotage is a South Africa’s signature grape, it is also successfully growing in many other parts of the world – New Zealand, California, Virginia, Brazil, Australia are all making interesting wines out of the Pinotage.
And now, to the quiz!
Q1: Explain the origin of the name Pinotage
Q2: While Pinotage primarily grows in South Africa, California also has some plantings of the grapes. Can you estimate the approximate size of Pinotage plantings in California?
a. 50 acres
b. 250 acres
c. 500 acres
d. more than 1000 acres
Q3: Here is the list of of nasty aromas often associated with the smell of Pinotage wines, except one. Do you know which one doesn’t belong?
a. Burnt rubber
b. Rusty nails
c. Paint solvent
Q4: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Pinotage-based wines rated in the Classic category
Q5: Pinotage was created in 1925, but for the long time it was used only as blending grape. Do you know when single-grape Pinotage bottling was first released in South Africa?
Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!