Home > Wednesday's Meritage, wine information, wine quiz > Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, WTSO Cheapskate Marathon, #MWWC9 Vote, Algeria Wine and French AOC

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, WTSO Cheapskate Marathon, #MWWC9 Vote, Algeria Wine and French AOC

El NidoMeritage time!

Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #101, Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 5.

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: White wines of this region are considered to be some of the best white wines in the world, and they are made out of the blend of Marsanne and Roussanne grapes. Do you know what region is that?

A1: Hermitage. A region in Northern Rhone, which produces magnificent, long living white wines from Marsanne and Roussanne grapes.

Q2: These wines, made out of primarily Grenache and Cinsault, sometimes with the addition of Syrah and Mourvedre, can be only made as Rosé. Can you name these wines?

A2: Tavel. Of course when thinking about classic Rosé, Provence probably comes to mind first. But Provence allows production of not only Rosé, but also of both white and red wines. Tavel, on the other hand, while much lesser known to the majority of the wine-consuming public, is one of the oldest AOCs and solely dedicated to the production of only Rosé wines (no other wines are allowed).

Q3: Can you continue this sequence? Explain your answer:

Amarone, Vin de Paille, Vin Santo, ?

A3: This was somewhat of a difficult question. The point of the matter is that all the wines mentioned are made out of grapes which are dried out after the harvest, for at least 3-4 month. So the next wine which can be added here is Valtellina Sfursat, which is a dry wine from Norther Italy, made out of Nebbiolo grape which is dried out before pressing for at least 3-4 month.

Q4: This famous Spanish wine is always made out of the Monastrell and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The primary wine typically has 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell, and the second label has the blend proportions reversed. Can you name both wines?

A4: El Nido and Clio. El Nido ifs the flagship wine of Bodegas El Nido in Jumilla, which is traditionally made with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Monastrell. The second wine from Bodegas El Nido, Clio, is made out of 70% Monastrell and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Q5: What is common between Château d’Yquem and Vega-Sicilia, outside of the fact that both make some of the world’s most famous wines?

A5: Both wineries only produce their flagship wines (Chateau d’Yquem and Vega-Sicilia Unico) in the best years – both have a number of years when the top wines were simply not produced.

When it comes to the results, the participation was a bit less than a few last times. Nobody was able all five questions correctly, so we don’t have a winner. Oh well, there is always the next time…

Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!

Only a few weeks ago, WTSO glued thousands of people to their computer screens for the day with the Magnum Marathon activities. And now they are doing it again. Tuesday, May 13th, starting at 6 AM Eastern, new wines will be offered at the $7.99 to $18.99 range,  every 15 minutes or sooner if the previous wine will sold out. All the new wines will be announced only on Twitter. Free some space in your cellar and make sure your credit card has some spending room too. Happy [value wine] Hunting!

The Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #9 has concluded, and now it is the time to vote. The theme of the challenge was “Fear”, so you can find 25 fearless entries at this link. Once you done reading them, you can vote here. The voting is open from now until Monday, May 12th. The winner will be announced on May 13th.

Ever had or even heard of Algerian wine? Me too. But it turns out that only 50 years ago, Algeria was the … number one exporter of the wine in the world! Just to give you an idea for how well they were doing, Algeria was exporting twice (!) as much as France, Italy and Spain combined! While this was quite unexpected to me, it was still not the most interesting fact related to the Algerian wine industry. What is even more fascinating in my mind, that the French AOC system was largely created to protect the wine consumers in France and around the world from the flood of French-associated wine, which was actually not made in France. I don’t want to recite the whole article, so here are the sources for you where you can learn more. The original article appeared in the Journal of Wine Economics, and then W. Blake Gray provided an excellent “Cliff notes” narration for the same where you can learn all the basic facts – both definitely worth your time.

And we are done here. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way! Cheers!

  1. May 7, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Wow, I was definitely thinking Cotes de Provence for #2. Haven’t heard of Tavel but not I MUST try it since CdP rose is one of my all time favorites.

    • talkavino
      May 7, 2014 at 7:11 am

      More and more Rosé is available nowadays, but I think Tavel still stands apart as a source of serious Rosé – it is a thought-provoking wine. You can probably find some in the stores (but they will be rare). According to Jancis Robinson, Chateau d’Aqueria is one of the very best producers – you can find it on Wine-Searcher.

  2. May 7, 2014 at 7:47 am

    About Algerian wine, it’s important to note that at the time, and until 1962, Algeria was France. Not a colony or a protectorate but 3 fully fledged departments of France. The wine industry there really took of under French tutelage.

    • talkavino
      May 7, 2014 at 7:56 am

      Well, in any case the wine industry was run by the people from France/Europe, especially because Phylloxera came to Algeria a lot later compare to France, and the complete loss of vineyards was the reason for many Frenchmen to relocate to Algeria… In any case, a fascinating story.

      • May 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm

        It’s a very dark page of French history, even today French Algeria remains a political trauma for my parents’ generation. It’s still a defining political event for the far-right parties too. Anyway, loved your post !

        • talkavino
          May 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm

          Thanks, Antoine, I understand. For me it is just a random fact of curiosity, and for you this all is not abstract at all… As they say, life is full of surprises…

  3. May 7, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I feel bad for not participating in the quiz – I didn’t find the time this week.. but next time I’ll be playing again 🙂

    Thanks for the MWC voting reminder. Cheers!

    • talkavino
      May 7, 2014 at 9:12 am

      Julian, don’t feel bad – while wine is very dear to us, life takes precedence. I definitely appreciate your participation when you have time – but again, life is life 🙂

  4. Gene Castellino
    May 7, 2014 at 11:12 am

    vin de paille is not a wine. it is the french term for “straw wine”.

    • talkavino
      May 7, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I agree in the generic terms, however, this is exactly what is put on the label of the Jura wines, like this one for example: 2007 Domaine Désire Petit Vin de Paille. If you would do the search for the Vin de Paille on Google, most of the links which come up refer specifically to the Jura wines. Having said that – even if we will look for the Vin de Paille as a generic term for all French wines where the grapes are dried before pressing, the question was to continue the line with something outside of Vin de Paille group…

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