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Wednesday Meritage – Wine Quiz Answer, Bordeaux 2012, Bottle Variations, Dishcrawl and more

April 24, 2013 8 comments

Meritage time!

Let’s start with the answer for Wine Quiz #55, Grape Trivia: Pinot Noir. In the quiz you were supposed to answer five questions about Pinot Noir grape – here are the questions with the answers:

Q1: Can you explain the source and meaning of the grape’s name “Pinot Noir”?

A: Pinot Noir literally translates as “black pine”, due to the grape cluster’s resemblance of the pine cone.

Q2: True or False: Burgundy has the biggest plantings of Pinot Noir in France?

A: False – Champagne has much bigger area planted with Pinot Noir

Q3: Match the wine/producer with its country/region:

A. Mt. Difficulty 1. Burgundy
B. Evening Land 2. New Zealand
C. Fleury 3. Champagne
D. Hamilton Russell 4. Oregon
E. Clos de Tart 5. South Africa

A: A2, B4, C3, D5, E1

Q4: Which major wine-producing country is literally unknown as a Pinot Noir producer?

A: Spain. There are literally no Pinot Noir wines coming out of Spain

Q5: From 1990 to 2010, annual Pinot Noir harvest in California increased approximately:

a. 2 times, b. 3 times, c. 5 times, d. 7 times, e. 9 times

A: According to the information you can find here, production of Pinot Noir went from 32,000 tons in 1990 to 147,732 in 2010 – thus correct answer is C, about 5 times.

Looking at the answers, it seems that everybody had no issues answering first 3 questions, but the last two proved to be more difficult. Nevertheless, we have 2 winners  – armchairsommelier and vinoinlove both answered all questions correctly, so they get unlimited bragging rights. Jeff at thedrunkencyclist gets honorable mention with 4 correct Google free answers, as well as RedWineDiva also with 4 correct answers. Well done!

By the way, what do you think the theme of the next quiz will be? I’m going along the lines of major grapes, so what do you think is next?

Now, to the interesting stuff around the grapevine. Let’s start from Bordeaux 2012, or En Primeur 2012 event which recently took place in Bordeaux. This event takes place in the Spring of each year in Bordeaux, and this is the time when Bordeaux wines of previous year are offered for the future sales, and prices for those future sales are set. En Primeur 2012 was different from most of the prior years’ events – first, because Chateau  Latour, one of the five famous First Growth producers, stopped participating in this events (from now on, they will only sell their wines when they are actually ready to drink, not the futures). Second interesting element – China’s appetite for Bordeaux is getting smaller, and now prices need to be corrected. Anyway, here is a summary by Jancis Robinson, offering her insight after attending the En Primeur 2012.

Now, I want to bring to your attention an interesting article about… bottle variations. No, I’m not talking about imperfections of the glass – I’m talking about the actual content, the wine, being different from bottle to the bottle. Here is the link – I think it is a very interesting reading.

Do you like beer? Yes, of course it is okay to like beer even if you are a wine lover. So if you like beer, here is an interesting site for you  – BrewGene. It is both a web site and an app, which will allow you to find information on the beer, see what the others think about it, get recommendations for similar beers and more – I think this is pretty cool, so check it out.

Last but not least, a couple of food events – sorry, they are really only local events, but I want to mention them in any case. Dishcrawl, which I mentioned in my previous Meritage post, just announced a new event on June 11th, which will be taking place in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. As of the time of this writing, there were still 17 tickets available – if you are local in the area, or plan to visit around June 11th date – don’t miss out. Here is the link to the web site for you.

Another food related event is Taste of Westport, which will take place on May 2nd from 6 pm to 9 pm. Here is the link with lots of information about the event, all coming from OmNomCT blog which is a priceless source of information about all things food and drink in CT – if you live in Connecticut or in a close proximity, and you are not following this blog, you have to correct this mistake immediately.

And that’s about all I have for you, folks. The glass is empty. Until the next time – cheers!

Wednesday’s Meritage – Wine Quiz Asnwer, Balance in Wine, Malbec Day, Food Happenings and more

April 17, 2013 9 comments

Meritage time!

Boy, is the glass full today… I got a lot of stuff to share, hopefully your glass is big enough.

First things first – here is the answer for the wine quiz #54, Grapes trivia – Merlot. In this quiz you were supposed to answer five questions related to the Merlot grape:

Q1: Merlot was named after a: A. town, B. person, C. bird, D. song

A: C, bird. The name “Merlot” comes after French “Merle”, which means “young blackbird” – the play is on the similarity of the color of Merlot grape and the bird.

Q2: Name the movie where Merlot was dissed on uncountable number of occasions

A: Sideways

Q3: One of the grapes from the list below was assumed to be a Merlot – but it was not. Do you know which grape was mistaken for the Merlot? Bonus question – name the country where confusion took place: A. Mourvèdre, B. Carignan, C. Carménère, D. Cinsault

A: C, Carménère – for a while, some of the wines produced in Chile were thought to be made out of Merlot – until 1990s, when genetic studies were conducted and concluded that the grape thought to be Merlot actually was Carménère.

Q4: Some place, some time ago, Merlot successfully crossed (by accident) with Cabernet grape, and formed a new grape which produces pretty unique wines. Can you name that grape?

A: Caberlot – a very unique grape growing in Tuscany, a cross of Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Wine is called Il Caberlot and produced by Il Carnasciale, only in magnum bottlings

Q5: Chateau Petrus in Pomerol, France makes some of the very best (and most expensive) wines in the world, and those wines are 100% Merlot. Then there is another 100% Merlot wine, made in another country, which is considered a successful competition to Petrus and done very well against it in a number of blind tastings. Can you name that wine?

A: This was definitely a controversial question, where more than one answer was expected. The wine I had in mind was legendary Masseto, a super Tuscan produced by Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia, but Tua Rita Redigaffe and Le Macchiole Messorio (also Super Tuscan wines) are equally qualified – all three made out of 100% Merlot and can give Petrus good run for the money.

Thus EatwithNamie becomes our champion, as she correctly answered all five questions, but thedrunkencyclist gets honorable mention with 4 correct answers out of 5. Great job and enjoy your unlimited bragging rights!

Now, to the interesting stuff around the net!

As you know, I’m a little REALLY obsessed with the concept of balance in wine, where all the taste components – acidity, tannins, fruit, alcohol – are in full harmony, and none of them stands out more than another. I remember once reading an article about “harmony points” in taste of the wine, and then for the long time I couldn’t find it again. So finally I spent time and found a lot of interesting reading materials evolving around the concept of “balance”. Here are two articles (first link and second link) regarding the reverse osmosis process which allows you to achieve precise alcohol content in wine, which seems to be completely changing the perception of balance – as an example, exact same wine tastes completely different at 13.5%, 14.1% and 14.5% alcohol. I think these articles are worth reading. On related subject, here is a link to the article from the Wine Spectator, talking about balance in wine – be sure to read through the comments section, there is a lot of interesting polemics among professionals and not.

Today is 3rd annual World Malbec day! Did you have your glass of Malbec yet? If you did not, don’t worry, you can still celebrate in style. Here is the link to the Malbec celebration events around the globe.

Now, a few words about food. First, here is an interesting article about five foods which can rev things up in the bedroom, coming from the Eat and Sip in the City blog. One out those five foods sounds a bit surprising to me – but read the post first, I wonder what you would think.

I also want to bring to your attention a series of events called Dishcrawl – you can buy a ticket for a certain date and time, which allows you to take a “tasting tour” of a group of restaurants located in close proximity to each other. You don’t know what restaurants you are going to until 48 hours prior to the event, so there is an interesting surprise element here. Tickets are reasonably priced – here is an example of the event in Greenwich, CT, which is unfortunately sold out – but you will get the idea.

And one more food-related note. The Capital Grille, one of my favorite restaurant chains, is starting their Spring $18 three course lunch – I took the advantage of these events in the prior years, and it definitely worth your attention.

That is all I have for you for today. The glass is empty. Until the next time – cheers!

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