The following wine quiz just appeared in our LocalFlavor magazine. Thought some of you might enjoy taking it. Answers are appended to the bottom.

LocalFlavor: Wine Quiz

1. Zinfandel has long been regarded as California's own grape. It is, in fact, also known as:
a. Primitivo
b. Black St. Peters
c. Crljenak Kastelanski
d. Tribidrag
e. All of the above

2. Zinfandel was brought to California in the late 1800's by:
a. Itialian gold rush immigrants
b. Agoston Haraszthy
c. Paul Masson
d. August Sebastiani
e. None of the above

2a. Match the following grapes with their most common descriptor:
a. Cabernet Sauvignon 1. lilacs, road tar
b. Zinfandel 2. blackberry
c. Pinot Noir 3. melons, apples
d. Chardonnay 4. black currants, oak
e. Nebbiolo 5. lychee
f. Gewurztraminer 6. raspberry, blackberry
g. Syrah 7. black cherry, cherry

2b. Syrah in California, was once thought to be a warm-climate grape. But recent plantings of Syrah in very cool growing
areas produce wines that display a strong character of:

a. boysenberry
b. toasty oak
c. cracked black pepper
d. mushrooms
e. wet dog fur
f. gooseberries and cat pee
g. bacon fat

2c. New Zealand is most noted for their Sauvignon Blancs. They are often described as:
a. buttery, oaky fruit bombs
b. wet kitty liter
c. aspargras and new mown grass
d. gooseberries and cat pee
e. sea salt and grilled lamb chops

2d. California Viogniers are often on the ripe side and can best be described as:
a. pineappley
b. Dolly Parton-esque
c. earth and pear
d. alcoholic and fumey

3. Which of the following varieties is NOT grown in the Burgundy region of France:
a. Pinot Noir
b. Pinot Chardonnay
c. Aligote
d. Pinot Blanc
e. Sauvignon Blanc
f. Pinot Gris
g. Gamay Noir a jus Blanc
h. All of the above are permitted

4. For a US winery to make a red Meritage wine, it must:
a. Use the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot or Carmenère grapes.
b. Pay an annual fee to the Meritage Alliance
c. Age the wine only in French oak barrels
d. Present an affidavit to the Meritage Association that Robert Parker has given it a score of 90 or above.
e. All of the above

5. A white Meritage wine can only be made from the following grapes:
a. Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
b. Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Muscadelle du Bordelais
c. Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc
d. Semillon and Sauternes
e. Any of the above grapes

6. The first Syrah made in the USA was in 1974 by:
a. Walter Shug of Joseph Phelps Winery
b. Bob Lindquist of Qupe Winery
c. Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery
d. Craig Jaffurs of Jaffurs Winery
e. Adam Tolmach of Ojai Winery

7. Tazzelenghe, Schiopettino, Picolit Neri and Refosco dal Peduncola Rosso make red wines in what region of Italy:
b. Tuscany
c. Piedmonte
d. Colli Euganei
e. Friuli
f. Sicily

8. Orange muscat is a variety in which the grapes have a strong aroma of orange blossoms. It is grown primarily in:
a. California
b. Australia
c. Colli Euganei of the Veneto
d. Florida
e. All of the above

9. Orange wines, typically made in large amphorae, are white wines made like a red. These are found mostly in:
a. Republic of Georgia
b. Friuli
c. Slovenia
d. California
f. Florida
e. All of the above

10. Robert Mondavi is a legend in the US wine industry. He:
a. Established the first new, modern winery in the Napa Valley in 1966
b. Popularized the dry fermented, barrel aged Sauvignon Blanc with the name Fume Blanc
c. Established the Woodbridge Winery in 1979 near his birthplace of Lodi
d. Created the first partnership with a noted Bordeaux producer, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild,
and the Opus One Winery
e. All of the above

1.-e 2.-e
Zinfandel has been shown by DNA typing to be identical to Primitivo in Italy's Campania region and the old
Croatian variety, Crljenak Kastelanski. A month ago, an ancient leaf sample from a herbariam museum of an extinct
Croatian variety, Tribidrag, was found to also be identical to Zinfandel.
For many years, the legend was that a Hungarian immigrant, Agoston Haraszthy, brough back Zinfandel from his
foray to Europe to import new varieties to California. Recent research shows it was imported from Vienna to grow
in the hothouses of the East-Coast wealthy, where it was known as Black St.Peters. It then made its unknown way
across the country to California.

2a. a-4 b-6 c-7 d-3 e-1 f-5 g-2
These variatal characteristics don't always match these descriptors. They are often a function of the soils and
growing conditions (terroir). But, in general, these are the descriptors most commonly used.

In the last ten yrs, Syrah has been planted in very cold climes, like the extreme Sonoma Coast, Petaluma Gap,
Santa Lucia Highlands, Carneros, and Santa Rita Hills. These wines often display aromas of cracked black pepper,
sometimes fresh cracked white pepper, a more subtle pepper overtone. The bacon fat descriptor is sometimes found in
California Syrah, but is usually a product of the oak barrel treatment. Bacon fat is often found in Norther Rhone
Syrahs, but here it is a product of the terroir, not the oak treatment.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs display a range of characteristics, but "cat pee on a gooseberry bush" is probably
the most common descriptor. However, they can occasionally be on the stinky side and kitty litter is an apt description.

2d.- b & d
California Viogniers tend to exceed 14% alcohol, which can sometimes make them seem hot and fumey, a bit like
finger nail polish remover. These are also often described by California Rhone fans as Dolly Parton Viogniers,
always accompanyed by the appropriate hand gestures.

A bit of a trick question. Sorry. For many years, Chardonnay in California was labeled as Pinot Chardonnay. But
the Chardonnay variety is NOT a member of the Pinot family. So, there is NO variety known as Pinot Chardonnay.
Though you can buy a Pays d'Oc wine labeled as such (D'amilhac Pinot Chardonnay). Gamay Noir is grown in the
Beaujolais region, which is legally a part of the Department of Bourgogne. There is a small planting of Sauvignon
Blanc in the St.Bris appellation. A blend of Pinot/Gamay is permitted and sold as bourgogne passe-tout-grains.

4.-a & b
The Meritage Association (now Meritage Alliance) was formed in 1988 to promote wines that used a traditional
blend of Bordeaux grapes. It is pronounced to rhyme with "heritage". Carmenere and Malbec have virtually vanished
in Bordeaux, and very little is planted in California. But Carmenere has become very popular in Chile, which now has
the world's largest plantings.

Most US white Meritage wines are simply Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, with neither variety representing more than
90% of the blend. Muscadelle is very little planted in California except for some very old vineyards that still
exist, where it was then known as Sauvignon Vert.

Walter Shug (now of Shug Winery) made the first California Syrah from a badly virused Napa Valley Syrah vineyard
owned by the Christian Brothers. Gary Eberly made the 2'nd Syrah in 1977 at Estrella River Winery. In 1982, Tolmach
and Lindquist made the first truly great California Syrahs, from Eberle's Estrella River Vineyard grapes in Paso Robles.

These are all indigenous varieties of Friuli that make some very interesting wines. Though the international varieties,
Merlot and Cabernet are heavily planted, the native varieties produce the most interesting wines. Tazzelenghe is known
as the "toungue ripper" because of its extremely high tannin and acid levels.

Known in Italy as Fior d'Arancio, probably the best example is the Alpianae from Vignalta. Interestingly, the owner,
Lucio Gomiero, is known as the "king of radicchio" and grows some 80% of the world's supply, mostly in the Salinas
Valley of California ( Mostly, orange muscats are made as a dessert
wine, or occasionally, a sparkling wine.

In the technical sense. There are a few wines made in Florida from oranges, but not very good. Orange wines are
made from grapes in the other listed places. It is an adaptation of the ancient Georgian technique of fermenting
grapes and aging with extensive skin and lees contact in large terra cotta amphorae buried in the ground in a slightly
oxidative manner, giving them an orange color. There is some interest in the technique in California, but no amphorae
have yet been imported or made here.

Robert Mondavi was one of the icons of the California wine industry. He tirelessly promoted the consumption of
fine California wines with good food and great friends.

Edited by TomHill (09-04-2011 21:15:28)