Home > Champagne, Sparkling wine, wine quiz > Weekly Wine Quiz #102: Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 6

Weekly Wine Quiz #102: Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 6

two cremantsThe 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,  focusing on the blends, even if it is a blend of 1. White, Red, Rosé, Sparkling, Still, Fortified and Dessert – all goes. Oh yes, and we will blend in some regions and even wineries as well, just to make it more fun.

Absolute majority of the wines are the blends of some sort, but there is one wine which to me is a complete standout in terms of the art of blending – I’m talking about Champagne. A typical bottle of the so called Non-Vintage Champagne is a blend of different wines from different vintages, all magically concocted together to achieve the consistent taste. As a special tribute to Champagne, I would like to focus today’s quiz only on the sparkling wines, which nowadays are produced absolutely everywhere.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: French sparkling wines produced outside of the Champagne region are generally called Crémant. Today, the Crémant wines are produced in most of the well known regions in France, each region imposing its own requirements on the winemaking techniques. For one of sparkling wines below, if it is identified as Crémant Blanc, it is required for at least 50% of the grapes to be Chardonnay. Do you know which wine has this requirement?

a. Crémant d’Alsace

b. Crémant de Bordeaux

c. Crémant de Bourgogne

d. Crémant du Jura

Q2: Among other reasons, complexity of sparkling wines comes from the extended time the fermented juice have to stay in contact with the yeast (it is also called aging on the lees). Sort the list of the sparkling wines below based on the minimum time required for the non-vintage wine to be aged on the lees, from the longest to the shortest:

a. Cava

b. Champagne

c. Franciacorta

d. Trento

Q3: Dom Pérignon, a benedictine monk, largely considered to be the father of Champagne, had a very significant impact on creation the Champagne as we know it. From the list below, what do you think was Dom Pérignon’s major claim to fame?

a. He created the Champagne bottle

b. He discovered the Méthode Champenoise

c. He created the riddling table

d. He mastered the art of blending to improve the taste of the resulting wine

Q4: Below is the blend composition of the sparkling wine – can you name it?

Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac

Q5: As tomorrow is the Mother’s Day in US, here is probably an open ended and debatable question, but: Who would you call the Mother of Champagne and why?

Good luck, enjoy the quiz and your weekend! Cheers!

  1. May 10, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Let’s see
    Q1: Cremant de Jura
    It depends if you talk about non-vintage, vintage or riserva.
    Non vintage: Franciacorta (18 months), Trento DOC (15 months), Champagne (15 months), Cava (9 months).
    Vintage: (36 months), Franciacorta (30 months), Trento DOC (24 months), Cava (24 months).
    Riserva: Franciacorta (60 months),Trento DOC (36 months)

    Q3: B – He discovered the Methode Champenoise.
    Q4: Maybe Cremant de Limoux?
    Q5: I don’t know really – but Bollinger is always good so I go with Bollinger 🙂


    • May 10, 2014 at 9:56 am

      I really wish I could edit my own comments..
      I meant to say:
      Vintage: Champagne (36 months), Franciacorta (30 months), Trento DOC (24 months), Cava (24 months).

    • talkavino
      May 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      Julian, great answers! Thank you for spotting the issue – I meant to say a “non-vintage” for the Q2, thus you already provided a good answer to that question. My answers are coming on Wednesday.

  2. May 10, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I’ll be tackling this one tomorrow, I need to know more about champagne.

    • talkavino
      May 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Great, looking forward!

  3. Gene Castellino
    May 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    1. cremant du jura
    2. franciacorta(18), champagne(15), trento(15), cava(9)
    3. d
    4. blanquette de limoux
    5.Nicole Barbe Ponsardin and Louise Pommery catalyzed the metamorphosis, which is especially remarkable given the chauvinism of the French wine industry in the 19th century. They initiated what we now take for granted: a starbright wine free of unsightly dead yeast, the visual importance of the bubbles, and the minimization of sugar to produce a drier, brut, style.

    • talkavino
      May 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Very, very impressive, thanks for playing!

  4. Jennifer Lewis
    May 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    1. Cremant de Jura

    2. Cava- This second fermentation and bottle aging occurs in the bottle and lasts for nine months at a temperature between 55 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Trento- The wines must rest for a minimum of 15 months on their lees for non-vintage, 24 months for vintage, and 36 for riserva.
    Champagne- 18mo for nonvintage, 36 months for vintage.
    Nonvintage Franciacorta (NV) may not be released until at least 25 months after harvest, of which 18 months must be in contact with the yeast in the bottle (compared to 15 months in the case of Champagne).
    3. D. Dom Pérignon did not introduce blending to Champagne wines but rather the innovation of blending the grapes prior to sending them to press.

    4. Blanquette de Limoux, the Laguedoc sparkling wine that can contain three grape varieties: Mauzac with a minimum of 90% of the blend, the balance with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.

    5. Madame Barbe-Nicole Clicquot (née Ponsardin), only 27 at the time, she rocked the conservative Champagne establishment by taking over the House of Clicquot upon the death of her husband in 1805. A true innovator, she was responsible for the invention of rosé Champagne, the world’s first Champagne label and the distinctive modern Champagne bottle shape. Madame Clicquot was also a production genius, innovating techniques still used in the making of fine Champagne today. Her most famous product is the iconic, orange-labeled Veuve Clicquot. Today, the house of Veuve Clicquot- Ponsardin is owned by the luxury company, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy).

    • talkavino
      May 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Excellent work, Jennifer, thanks for playing! Great level of detail on the answers – very impressive.

  5. May 10, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    Ahhhh, now you are talking my language!
    1. Crémant de Jura
    2. Franciacorta (18 months), Champagne (15 months—this is the minimum, most keep it far longer), Trento (15 months), Cava (9 months).
    3. D. None of the answers are really true, but D. is the most commonly held view.
    4. Blanquette de Limoux.
    5. Here, I guess I would go with La Grande Dame de Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, who had many innovations, the most famous of which was the process of riddling to remove the dead yeast from the bottle.

    • talkavino
      May 10, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Great work, Jeff, as expected : )

  1. May 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

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