Time to Test Your Vinous Knowledge

School has been back in session for several weeks now, which means it’s quiz time.

Wine quiz time, that is.

Let’s test your knowledge of our favorite subject with five multiple-choice questions. (No essays necessary.) Good luck!


Q1. Some wines age better than others, evolving in the bottle rather than “losing their stuff.” Of the following three wines, which has the greatest ability to age?

a. White Zinfandel

b. Madeira

c. Sauvignon Blanc

Q2. How many glasses (servings) can you get from a standard (750-ml.) bottle of wine?

a. 2-3

b. 5-6

c. 8-10

Q3. Which United States President was the first to serve American wines at official White House dinners?

a. George Washington

b. Abraham Lincoln

c. Richard Nixon

Q4. Which grape variety is used to make Chianti, the popular red wine of Italy?

a. Zinfandel

b. Sangiovese

c. Primitivo

Q5. Wine glasses come in different shapes and sizes for specific reasons. Which type of wine glass should accommodate the greatest amount of wine?

a. White wine glass

b. Red wine glass

c. Champagne flute


A1 — b. Madeira. Of the three wines, this is the only one that’s fortified, and fortified wines typically have great aging ability. Madeira’s original home is Portugal, but it’s also made in the United States, particularly in hot-weather areas such as California’s Central Valley. It’s prized for its burnt-caramel flavor.

A2 — b. 5-6. Typically, wine is served in 4-oz. to 5-oz. pours, so with just over 25 ounces in a standard bottle, you can do the math. This is good information to have when planning a party (need we remind you that the holidays are just around the corner?) so you’ll know how many bottles to have on hand. By the way, the answer could have been C if one were planning to serve flights of wine, which typically call for smaller pours.

A3 — b. Abraham Lincoln. While Lincoln is remembered for a lot of things, his introduction of American-made wine to the White House probably is not one of them. Actually, it was Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, who gave the green light to uncorking U.S. wines at “The People’s House.” Something of a connoisseur, she believed that the best American wines were comparable to favorites from Europe, which had been stocked at the White House exclusively prior.

A4 — b. Sangiovese. Virtually all Chianti wines are blends of multiple red varieties. But in all cases, Sangiovese is one of those grapes, and in a vast majority of cases, it is the dominant grape.

A5 — b. Red wine glass. The Champagne flute is designed to accommodate streams of fine bubbles, and the white wine glass is designed to comfortably accommodate a 5 to 6-ounce pour. But the red wine glass is larger so that same 5 to 6-ounce pour can be swirled more vigorously — a process that aerates the wine, enabling it to “open up,” reveal its aromas and flavors, and be fully appreciated.

Yes, contrary to those multiple-choice quizzes we had to deal with back in school, every answer in this quiz was B. So if you answered B to every question… you get an A.

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Posted in Wine Buzz, Wine FAQ

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