Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Fake Wine Again? Noooo, US is #1!, Douro Greatness
Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #102, Grape Trivia – Blends, Part 6.
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. This time, the focus of the quiz was on bubbles. As usual, there were 5 questions in the quiz.
Here are the questions, now with the answers:
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
A1: d, Crémant du Jura – According to Crémant du Jura AOC requirements, Crémant du Jura Blanc should be made with the minimum of 50% Chardonnay grapes.
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
A2: The right sequence is Franciacorta (18 month), Champagne and Trento (both 15 month), Cava (9 month)
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
A3: Most of the stuff surrounding Dom Pérignon is made for legends, but there is some level of consensus that he was the first person to perfect the art of blending, so the correct answer is d.
Q4: Below is the blend composition of the sparkling wine – can you name it?
Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Mauzac
A4: Blanquette de Limoux in Languedoc is using all three grapes. Technically, it can be also a Crémant de Limoux – again, I should’ve phrased the question better to avoid a possible double-answer. Still learning.
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?
A5: As I said, this can be debatable, but my choice would be Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, also known as Madame Clicquot, who pioneered drier Champagne style and invented the riddling table, thus enabling commercial production of Champagne.
When it comes to the results, we had excellent participation and we have the winners! Gene Castellino (no web site), Jennifer Lewis (no web site) and Jeff the drunken cyclist all answered 5 questions correctly and thus they are the winners of this wine quiz round and get the prize of unlimited bragging rights! All of them also provided excellent, very detailed answers – very well done!
Now, to the interesting stuff around the vine and the web!
It is truly mind boggling to see the level of wine fraud increasing together with the popularity of the wine in the world. Dr. Vino has a number of latest and greatest updates to support this “mind-boggliness”. First of all, you can learn that Kurniawan’s lawyers are trying to appeal his “guilty” verdict based on the facts that he loved wine and his victims were rich! I can’t even comment any further here, the level of absurdity is more than I can tolerate. Then Dr. Vino brings up the article in Decanter magazine, where you can find out about fake Bordeaux being made on the offshore boats in China. Lastly, another very recent development involves The White Club, an exclusive $25K membership outfit centered around luxurious and … fake wine! Again, for all the mind-boggling details, here is your link.
United States in #1 wine consuming country in the world! There is a good chance that you already read this, as this urgent news update is coming through all the wine-related news outlets, but in any case, according to just published data for 2013, United States is now the #1 wine consuming country in the world, by total volume (not per capita). It is also interesting that consumption in US increased, while the wine consumption in the world was down 1.7% in 2013. I will let you read all the detailed numbers on your own – here is an article from Jancis Robinson web site, and here is the one from Wine Spectator.
While everybody know Portugal as The Port Producer in the world, I think Portugal is actually the rising star in the world of the regular, non-fortified wine. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone, as Matt Kramer, probably my favorite wine writer, shared his excitement about Douro wines in his feature column in Wine Spectator. I wouldn’t help anyone by trying to recite what Matt Ktramer wrote about the Douro wines, so I would highly recommend you will read his article on your own – it is definitely worth your time. But I would gladly accept any comments you might be willing to share on the subject – please don’t be shy.
And we are done here. The glass is empty – but the refill is on its way! Cheers!