The following is an article I write regularly for Brighton community newspaper the Whistler:
Are you Brighton’s biggest Wine Brain?
One of the drawbacks of being a professional wine tour operator is the occasional wine “ know it all” whose pleasure is derived from scoring points off fellow travellers, myself as tour leader (obviously a fun target) and sometimes even, most embarrasingly of all, our host vignerons. The only way to manage these disrupters is either to humour them into boredom or to have a sufficient fund of wine minutiae up your sleeve to return service with an ace.
So how do you measure up on the wine knowledge front? My Christmas quiz should give you a fair benchmark as to whether you are the wine buff equivalent of a Babycham or a Dom Perignon.
There are 21 questions in three categories according to difficulty…Liebfraumilch, Beaujolais and Petrus. Good luck!
Level 1 Liebfraumilch
- In which country is Soave made?
- What colour grape is the Gamay?
- Is Rioja matured in American oak or Spanish oak?
- What black fruit flavour is most commonly associated with Cabernet Sauvignon?
- Can black grapes be made into white wine?
- Which white grape variety has led the current growth of wine exports from New Zealand?
- As wine ferments sugar is converted to alcohol- what is the other by-product of the process?
Level 2 Beaujolais
- Which of the following are fortified: Canadian Ice Wine, Sauterne, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise?
- Which grape variety makes Bandol rosé?
- Where in France would you expect to find a Sylvaner?
- In Malolactic fermentation is the lactic acid turned into malic acid or vice versa?
- Which South African wine producing estate exported superb dessert wine into Europe in the 18th century?
- What soil type is common to the Chablis as well as the English South Downs wine producing areas?
- What does QmP stand for on a German wine bottle?
Level 3 Petrus
- Over which famous Bordeaux wine did Jancis Robinson disagree violently with an American wine critic?
- Name the alledged favourite champagnes of Winston Churchill and General de Gaulle respectively?
- Name the main grape variety that makes the Hungarian dessert wine Tokaji?
- Who was the founder of Chateau Beaucastel whose name is used for their top cuvee?
- Which is the native country of the vine species Vitis Riparia?
- Which wine-producing nation has never suffered from the Phyloxera louse?
- Name the Californian wine that “beat” top french bordeaux to the top slot in a famous blind tasting held in Paris in 1976?
Mail your answers to me, Philip Reddaway, at email@example.com. Anyone achieving a full house qualifies for an immediate 10% off our 3 day wine holidays or day tours and a free magnum of Chateauneuf du Pape on arrival. The answers will be published in the next issue of the Whistler alongside my usual article.