Answers to the First Vinesse Vinous Trivia Test

close-up-photo-of-man-wearing-black-suit-jacket-doing-thumbs-684385The wait is over. It’s time to see how well you did in the first Vinesse Vinous Trivia Test…

  1. For a wine to be labeled with a varietal name (Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, et al), it must consist of a minimum percentage of that grape variety. What is that percentage?

Answer: 75%. That’s the rule in the United States. Other countries have different rules regarding labeling, including the use of specific terms. But here in the States, if you see the word “Merlot” on a wine label, you can rest assured that at least three-quarters of the cuvee is Merlot.

  1. There are gods of wine in both Roman and Greek mythology. Of Dionysus, Bacchus and Vinus, which is not a god of wine?

Answer: Vinus. The Greek god of wine is Dionysus, while the Roman god of wine is Bacchus.

  1. When you see the letters NV or N.V. on a wine label, what does it mean?

Answer: Those initials stand for non-vintage. That said, what they really mean in terms of the wine inside the bottle is multiple-vintage — a wine that is made from the juice of more than one harvest season. This type of blending is common in making Champagne and other sparkling wines.

  1. “Mouth-feel” is a common term among winemakers and wine judges. What can you determine by how a wine feels in your mouth?

a) body

b) color

c) aroma

Answer: We determine a wine’s color with our eyes and its aroma with our nose, so the answer is a) body. This is the sense of texture both on the tongue and as the wine coats the mouth. Lighter-bodied wines tend to be more refreshing, while fuller-bodied wines make great companions to rich foods.

  1. When you see the word “Superiore” on a bottle of Italian wine, does it infer that the wine is made from grapes grown in a single vineyard, is a limited-edition bottling made with specially selected grapes from a single growing area, or has a higher level of alcohol?

Answer: Although its name would infer that the wine is a level above “normal” or “average,” an Italian “Superiore” simply is a wine with a higher alcohol level. That alcohol level is reached by using grapes that were left on the vines longer and, thus, able to attain higher sugar levels; it’s the sugar that converts to alcohol.

  1. If you’re hosting a party with a buffet dinner — featuring lots of dishes and flavors — which variety of red wine should you definitely plan to have on hand?

Answer: Without question, Pinot Noir. Red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel can have tannin levels that make them difficult to pair with food, whereas Pinot Noir typically has lighter tannins which are much more food-friendly.

  1. Although wine contains sulfites in trace amounts, it serves an important purpose. What is that purpose?

Answer: They act as a type of preservative and prevent a wine from re-fermenting.

  1. When pairing a blush wine with food, should you think of it more like a white wine or more like a red wine?

Answer: Blush wines don’t project much color because they’ve had very little contact with the grape skins. That means they won’t have the level of tannins you’ll find in red wines… and that they are more similar to white wines as food-pairing partners.

  1. Of viticulture, viniculture and vinology, what is the name for the study of winemaking?

Answer: Viniculture. This is what future winemakers study when learning their craft. Those who plan to own their own wine estates also are wise to learn viniculture, which is the study of grapevine cultivation.

  1. What color grapes are Zinfandel and White Zinfandel made from?

a) red

b) white

c) both red and white

Answer: Red. Even White Zinfandel is made from red grapes. Its lighter color derives from allowing the wine to stay in contact with the skins for only a limited amount of time.

Well, how did you do? If you got nine or 10 answers correct, consider yourself a Vinesse Vinous Trivia expert. If you got seven or eight correct, keep reading this blog and you’ll soon be an expert. And if you got six or fewer correct, don’t worry about the trivia and just enjoy the wine.

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