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Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Barolo Boys, California Wine Month, Tasters Must Read and more

September 3, 2014 2 comments

Meritage time!

Let’s start with the answer to the wine quiz #112: Grape Trivia – Müller-Thurgau.

In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about the white grape called Müller-Thurgau.

Here are the questions, now with the answers:

Q1: Which country is not known to produce Müller-Thurgau wines:
a. Australia, b. England, c. Hungary, d. South Africa, e. United States

A1: South Africa. The rest of the countries make wines out of Müller-Thurgau

Q2: True or False: In 2010, plantings of Riesling in Germany were double in size compare to those of Müller-Thurgau

A2: False. Plantings of Riesling were barely exceeding plantings of Müller-Thurgau (it was even the other way around few years before – Müller-Thurgau was one of the most planted grapes in Germany).

Q3: Wine Spectator calls wines with 90-94 ratings “Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style”. True or False: There are Müller-Thurgau wines rated as Outstanding by Wine Spectator.

A3: True. However very few, but yes, there are Müller-Thurgau among Outstanding wines, with 92 been the highest rating.

Q4: Which one doesn’t belong and why:
a. Kerner, b. Müller-Thurgau, c. Scheurebe, d. Sylvaner

A4: Sylvaner. The rest of the grapes are the result of crossing between Riesling and other grapes.

Q5: True or False: There  are no sparkling wines produced from Müller-Thurgau

A5: False. All grapes are used today to produce sparkling wines, and Müller-Thurgau is no exception. According to the reviews, some of the Müller-Thurgau sparkling wines are very good.

When it comes to the results, this is something I was afraid of – nobody took the challenge. I can’t blame anyone – the grape, generally famous for its appearance in often insipid Liebfrauenmilch wines, doesn’t incite people to spend time researching information about it. Well, I will stick to my plan, nevertheless, and the next quiz will be about Pinot Blanc – start studying!

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

Barolo Boys are coming! Well, this might be a bit of a weigh announcement. Let’s try it again. The movie “Barolo Boys. The Story of a Revolution” is coming to the theaters near you. The movie, which took two years in the making, will profile a number of famous Barolo winemakers, talking about the winemaking revolution which took place on the hills of Piedmont in the 80s and 90s. The movie will open on September 26th in Italy, and will be showing at the beginning of November in New York. To wet your appetite, here is the preview:

Did you know that September is California Wine Month? Of course you don’t have to drink only California wines during the whole month of September, but on the second thought – why not? So many amazing wines coming out from California, one month will not be even nearly enough to get a clear picture of what wines California can produce. To celebrate California wines, there will be lots of special events in California and beyond – here is the link for you to read more about California wines and all the festivities around it.

Yes, Matt Kramer is one of my very favorite wine writers, and it is showing. Here is yet another reference to one of his articles. If you are serious about tasting the wines, this is a must article to read. I want to stress the difference between tasting wines and enjoying them. To say you enjoy the glass of wine, you really don’t have to dig into it, and try to figure out “texture”, “mouthfeel”, “midpalate density”, “fruit” and many other descriptors. Enjoying wine is pretty much a binary activity – you either enjoy it or not. For all of us who passionately pursues the geeky, technical side of wine, this article  is a godsend. Taking Montrachet as an example, Matt Kramer goes into the depth of explanations about texture, mouthfeel, ageability and many other elements which are near and dear to every oenophile’s wine geeky side. Don’t miss it – and I would even suggest reading it multiple times to let it all settle in.

Last one for today, a mixture of curious and borderline funny. As part of the 10 year anniversary of the movie Sideways (produced in 2004), the Merlot Taste-Off will take place on September 13th in Solvang in California – the town closely associated with the movie and one of the main characters, Miles, exclaiming “I’m not drinking no f*ing Merlot”. Here is the information about the event – of course you have to be in Solvang to take part in it. I wonder what Miles would say about it…

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

Weekly Wine Quiz #112: Grape Trivia – Müller-Thurgau

August 30, 2014 3 comments
Müller-Thurgau grapes

Müller-Thurgau Grapes. Source: Wikipedia

The 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,  and today’s subject is Müller-Thurgau.

Müller-Thurgau is a white grape which was created in 1882 by the Swiss botanist Hermann Müller, who lived in the area called Thurgau, hence the name of the grape. While Hermann Müller thought that he was crossing Riesling with Sylvaner to create Müller-Thurgau, DNA tests of very recent showed that instead of Sylvaner, the second parent was the grape called Madeleine Royale. Riesling, of course, needs no introduction, I would like to mention that Madeleine Royale is known to ripen extremely early, sometimes by the 22nd of July, the feast day of Mary Magdalene (according to Wikipedia), hence the name.

Müller-Thurgau was created to have the great qualities of Riesling, combined with the early ripening ability of ( then thought to be ) Sylvaner. The design worked quite successfully, and resulting grape became quite popular in Germany and many other countries – according to the 2010 data, it was still one of 15 most planted white grapes in the world. Müller-Thurgau is known for its pleasant flavor profile of peaches, apples and pears. The problem with the grape, however, is a low acidity, which generally leads to the flat, flabby wines. This is one of the reasons why Müller-Thurgau mostly used as a blending grapes and rarely becomes the star of its own. However, the grape has worldwide following among winemakers who swear by it and produce interesting wines worth drinking.

And now, to the quiz!

Q1: Which country is not known to produce Müller-Thurgau wines:
a. Australia
b. England
c. Hungary
d. South Africa
e. United States

Q2: True or False: In 2010, plantings of Riesling in Germany were double in size compare to those of Müller-Thurgau

Q3: Wine Spectator calls wines with 90-94 ratings “Outstanding: a wine of superior character and style”. True or False: There are Müller-Thurgau wines rated as Outstanding by Wine Spectator.

Q4: Which one doesn’t belong and why:
a. Kerner
b. Müller-Thurgau
c. Scheurebe
d. Sylvaner

Q5: True or False: There  are no sparkling wines produced from Müller-Thurgau

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

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