Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Wine and Biodynamics, Rioja Week in New York, Water Witching and #winechat tonight
Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #99, Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 3.
For the long time, the grape trivia series was focused on the single grapes. But now we are stirring things up, so all the questions in the quiz are about blends (well, even if it is a blend of one), as most of the wines in the world are actually blends. As usual, there were 5 questions in the quiz.
Here are the questions, now with the answers:
Q1: Sangiovese is the main grape used in production of Chianti. By itself, sometimes it might lack the intensity of the color. For a while, another grape was added to Sangiovese wines specifically to enhance their color. Can you name that grape?
A1: Colorino. It was popular addition for a short while, but now only very few producers still add it.
Q2: I’m blending together Xarel-lo, Macabeo and Parellada. Which wine I’m most likely making?
A2: Cava – the Spanish sparkling wine. These three grapes are generally a classic blend for a Spanish Cava.
Q3: In the past, this white grape used to be blended into the Chianti wines, and now its use is simply prohibited in some of those Chianti wines. Can you name that grape?
A3: Trebbiano, a.k.a. Ugni Blanc, a.k.a. Malvasia Fina (be careful – just using the name Malvasia is incorrect). It used to be a required grape in the Chianti blend, which was leading to diluted, dull wines. Since 2006, Trebbiano use is banned in Chianti Classico wines.
Q4: You can say whatever you want, but Bordeaux and Burgundy are the hallmarks of wine world, and everybody try to measure up to them. Name two regions in Italy, one sometimes compared to Bordeaux, and another one to Burgundy.
A4: Tuscany is often compared to Bordeaux, and Piedmont, or to be more specific, Barolo wines, are often compared to the Burgundy. While Tuscany/Bordeaux parallel is more of the terroir/climate based, the reason for Barolo/Burgundy comparison lies in complicated Vineyard/Sub-zone/Cru/Parcel system of wine identification in Barolo.
Q5: Name the missing grape: Crljenak Kaštelanski, Primitivo, ?, Zinfandel
A5: Tribidrag. All the listed grapes are close relatives of Zinfandel, with Tribidrag being recently discovered as direct predecessor of Zinfandel.
When it comes to the results, we had a great participation in the quiz, and we have a winner – Julian of VinoinLove, who correctly answered all 5 questions! Julian get the coveted prize of unlimited bragging rights. Also (no web site), Jeff a.k.a.the drunken cyclist and Mario Plazio (no web site) are all answered correctly 4 questions out of 5, and they get the honorable mention. Well done, everyone – and we are going to continue blending things up for a while.
Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!
Last week’s #winechat was all about Biodynamics – we were talking about the wines of Youngberg Hill, the winery in Oregon, were the wines are made using biodynamics. I understand that there is a lot of controversy surrounding the concept of Biodynamics, with all the cow horns, bladders and water manipulations – but a lot of it makes sense if you think about the whole approach holistically. I want to share with you a great article from The Oregonian, which explains in detail how biodynamics works in the vineyard.
Rioja is coming to New York City! Starting Saturday, April 26, there will be a whole slew of events taking place all over the city – seminars, tastings, grand tasting, wine and tapas event and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the vibrancy of the magical Rioja – here is your link for all the information regarding the Rioja festivities. I will be attending the trade tasting and seminar on Thursday – drop me a note if you plan to be there as well.
Heard of water witching? It appears that Marc Mondavi, a son of the legendary winemaker Peter Mondavi, not only makes wine in California – he also possesses special abilities to find water under ground, using set of two special rods. Whether you believe in the water witchery or not, this video and the blog post are quite interesting.
Last but least for today – don’t miss the #winechat tonight! Last from the Oregon Pinot Noir series, tonight we will be talking about the wines of J Wrigley Vineyard – #winechat is easy to join on twitter, just follow the #winechat hashtag, and they are always fun! 9 PM Easter/ 6 PM Pacific – don’t miss it!
And we are done here. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way! Cheers!