Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Wine Blog Awards!, 2013 Bordeaux and Rioja, #winechat tonight
Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #100, Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 4.
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: True or False: Even if the bottle of wine states the vintage and is made out of 100% of the same grape, there is a very good chance that the wine is still a blend. Explain your answer.
A1: True. Now, this proved to be a very difficult question. Not the “true or false” part of it, of course – but practically nobody (with one exception) managed to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why even if the wine is made out of 100% of the same grape, it is very likely to be still a blend. If wine technical data says that it is made from 100% of Chardonnay, for example, there is no way that any other grapes where blended in. However, have you seen the words “30% malolactic fermentation” or “aged in 15% new French oak barrels”? For the most part, the wine you get in the bottle is the blend – the blend of wines from the different barrels, the blend of wines fermented with different yeasts, or somehow else differently processed. Also (as it was correctly noted in one of the answers), the wine can be made from exact same grape, but be a blend of different vintages (up to 15% allowed in US wines).
Q2: This white grape is known to produce beautiful, delicately perfumed wines. In some appellations in France, it is also the only white grape allowed to be blended into the red wines. Do you know what grape it is?
A2: Viognier. While it makes great wines on its own, it can be blended with Syrah in Northern Rhone or Shiraz in Australia to change the bouquet of the resulting wine.
Q3: What is common between Cabernet Franc, Riesling and Vidal?
A3: All three varietals are used to produce Icewine in Canada.
Q4: Which one is missing?
Rondinella, Corvina, Molinara, ?, Croatina, Negrara, Oseletta
A4: My intended answer was Corvinone, as the grapes listed above are all used in production of Amarone wines. However, I learned quite a bit myself from the answers, and I understand that in Amarone, similar to all other regions in the world, there is an effort to bring back to life many indigenous varieties, thus Forsellina, Pelara and Rossignola would be also all correct answers.
Q5: I’m drinking a delicious French white dry wine, made out of Clairette and Roussane. What AOC designation this wine most likely has?
A5: Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Some of the best white wines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape are made exactly out of the combination of these two grapes. It is possible that such wine would be produced in just a Côtes du Rhône appellation, however, it would be rather expected to see Marsanne as part of the blend, which is a lot easier to produce than Roussanne. However, Marsanne is not allowed in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines.
When it comes to the results, I’m very happy with participation in the quiz. However, there was only one full answer for the question #1, which is proven to be most difficult. Thus we don’t have the grand winner(s) this time around, but I would like to definitely acknowledge Gene Castellino (no web site), Julian of vinoinlove and Jennifer (no web site) who all correctly answered 4 questions out of 5. I also would like to acknowledge Steve of Caspernick blog, who provided a good explanation for the question #1. Thank you all for playing, well done!
Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!
Once again it is the time for Wine Blog Award nominations! This is an 8th annual Blog Awards round, where the best wine blogs are getting their peer recognition. There are 9 different categories for the Wine Blog Awards, so there are plenty of opportunities to get your favorite blogs acknowledged. Here is your link for the Blog Award nominations. And if you like what you read in this blog, I would greatly appreciate your nominations! Note – there are less than 3 days left – nominations are closed on May 2nd, so hurry!
Looks like 2013 vintage didn’t fair too well in some parts of the Europe. Here is an article for you, explaining why 2013 Bordeaux are better be avoided (in a few simple words, it is all about price/performance). Also, 2013 Rioja doesn’t seem to be the vintage to really look forward to – it was rated as “Good” by the Rioja DOC counsel, which is behind “very good” and “excellent” ratings which were given to most of the recent vintages. Of course the things can be worse – there are possible “satisfactory” and “average” ratings, which are even lower than “good”, but those are assigned very rarely. Well, as usual in the average vintages, you need to look for the better producers – as an example, La Rioja Alta Vina Alberdi from 2003 vintage (also rated “good”), was an outstanding wine. Here is the link for the Decanter article where you can read more on the subject of 2013 Rioja.
Last, but not least – new #winechat tonight! This time the subject is the Rhone and Zins of Cline Cellars. I think everybody know Cline Cellars from California as a Zinfandel producer, but looks like we are in for some interesting surprises tonight (Mourvedre, anyone? Marsanne/Roussanne?). To join the #winechat, just click this link at 9 PM Eastern time/ 6 PM Pacific, and you are in! For more information about past and future #winechat events, please use this link for the #winechat FaceBook page. Talk to you tonight!
And we are done here. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way! Cheers!