Weekly Wine Quiz #92: Grape Trivia – Montepulciano
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 Montepulciano.
Montepulciano is an indigenous Italian grape variety, recommended for use in 20 out of 95 wine regions in Italy, and one of the most planted red grapes in the country. The origins of Montepulciano are hard to pinpoint, with some sources citing the grape been growing on the hills of Abruzzo since the ancient times, and some sources suggesting that the grape was brought into the Abruzzo region from the neighboring Tuscany at the end of the 18th century. Also an interesting “gotcha” is associated with the name of the grape itself. It seems that the name of the grape, Montepulciano, is given after the town in Tuscany, also called Montepulciano, where the grape supposedly came from. But the problem is that the wine produced in Montepulciano has nothing to do with Montepulciano grape! Town of Montepulciano produces the wine called Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made out of 100% Sangiovese grape! Yep, that’s what I call confusing.
Montepulciano is a late ripening variety, with thick black skin and relatively low acidity. It produces wines which are quite dry, with cherry and cherry pit (did you ever try to eat the content of the cherry pit?) flavors, full bodied and easy to drink. While a lot of Montepulciano wines are easy to drink but not necessarily memorable, proper care and reduced yields can result in the world-class wines. Absolute majority of Montepulciano wines are produced in Italy, with Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Rosso Piceno and Rosso Conero probably been best known areas, but Montepulciano plantings also exist in Argentina, New Zealand and the United States.
And now, to the quiz!
Q1: In the number of regions, Montepulciano is often blended with … [name that grape]
Q2: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Montepulciano – based wines rated in the Classic category
Q3: From the list below, which state in US doesn’t make any Montepulciano wines of notice:
c. North Carolina
Q4: True or false: from 2000 to 2010, plantings of Montepulciano in Italy increased by more than 15%
Q5: Best known Montepulciano wine comes from Abruzzo in Italy and it is known as Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Do you know the name of the white wine commonly produced in Abruzzo?
Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!