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Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, WTSO Magnum Marathon, Globalization!, #MWWC6 and more

December 11, 2013 9 comments

Barbera DamilanoMeritage time!

First, let’s start with the answer for the wine quiz #84, grape trivia – Barbera.

In the quiz, you were supposed to answer 5 questions about red grape called Barbera. Here are the questions, now with the answers:

Q1: Based on the latest DNA analysis, which well known Spanish grape appears to be a close relative of Barbera?

A1: Spanish grape Monastrell (known in France as Mourvèdre) appears to be a close relative of Barbera (but ohh so different).

Q2: What well-known grape became popular blending partner of Barbera as of late?

A2: As of late, Nebbiolo, a close neighbor of Barbera, is often used in the blends with Barbera to round up the resulting wine.

Q3: The new technique was introduced in making the wines out of Barbera in the second half of the 20th century, which helped to improved the quality of the wines. Which one do you think it was:

a. Malolactic fermentation, b. Fermentation and aging in the small oak casks, c. Carbonic maceration, d. Reverse osmosis

A3: b, Fermentation and aging in the small oak casks, seems to be the preferred method to tame the acidity and add some tannins to the resulting wine, making it also age-worthy.

Q4: Wine Spectator calls wines rated in 95-100 range Classic (the highest and the most prestigious category). True or False: there are no Barbera-based wines rated in the Classic category

A4: False. But I have to admit that Barbera is only marginally there, with just 2 wines having 95 rating.

Q5: Fill in the blanks: Barbera typically ripens two weeks later than _____, but at the same time it is two weeks earlier than ____.

A5: Barbera typically ripens two weeks later than Dolcetto, but at the same time it is two weeks earlier than Nebbiolo.

Talking about the results, Jeff, a.k.a. the drunken cyclist, answered all 5 questions correctly so he gets (again) the prize of unlimited bragging rights. Well done! I also would like to mention Alissa, who put the quiz upside down and instead of answering the questions in the quiz, asked me a very interesting question. As a “bonus question”, I would like to pass it on to you: “Outside of Asti is a place which pays homage to a man who helped with the unification of Italy, commercialization of Italy’s wine industry, and houses the first regional enoteca in the Piedmont region. Name it.” If you know the answer, don’t be shy and comment away!

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

First, don’t miss the WTSO Magnum Marathon tomorrow, December 12. Starting at 8 AM Eastern time, WTSO will be offering large format wines, at least 1.5L or more in size. The wines will be priced from $24.99 to $499.99/bottle, and the new wines will be offered every 30 minutes or sooner, if the previous wine will sold out. The new wines will be announced only on Twitter, follow @WTSO so you will not miss out.

Next, I came across a very interesting article by Mike Veseth of The Wine Economist fame, talking about Globalization of wine and food. Actually, his article in itself is already an aggregation of a number of other articles. It is definitely worth a few minutes of your time, so please head to Mike’s blog to read it.

Now, it appears that The Drunken Cyclist is definitely a star of today’s Meritage. In addition to correctly solving the quiz, he is behind two noteworthy events. First, as a winner of the Monthly Wine Writing Challenge #5 (#MWWC5) – Congratulations, Jeff! – he announced the theme for #MWWC6, which is going to be … Mystery. Sharpen your pencils, or may be flex your fingers, get your thinking cap/hat/fedora on and start writing. #MWWC6 Rules and regulations can be found here.

Second event is also a brainchild of TDC, and it is a secret Wine Santa project. The idea is to get all the bloggers (and readers) who is interested in playing a secret wine Santa by sending the wine to the completely unsuspecting recipient (and of course also getting the one him- or herself) to provide their address information back to Jeff, who will then randomly assign the aspiring alcoholics in pairs. All the rules can be found here, and if you are interested in participation, make sure to get back to Jeff not later than this coming Friday 12/13.

That’s all I have for you for today, folks. The glass is empty – but refill is on its way. Until the next time – cheers!

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