*Answers are at the bottom of this quiz.
1. Which insects likely play a crucial role in transmitting fermentation yeasts to grapes?
- A. Bees
- B. Wasps
- C. Moths
- D. Nematodes
2. Sherlock Holmes cracks part of the case in "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" by noticing the details of what wine-related object?
- A. A cork
- B. A corkscrew
- C. A wine glass
- D. All of the above
3. How many lakes make up New York’s Finger Lakes wine-making region?
- A. Seven
- B. Ten
- C. Eleven
- D. Twelve
4. Drinking tap water in between sips of wine isn’t a good idea, if you want to ensure that you don’t contaminate the taste of the wine that you’re drinking. Even small amounts of chlorine, present in most tap water, can do what to the taste of wine in your mouth?
- A. Diminish a wine’s fruitiness
- B. Make wines taste bitter and tannic
- C. Elevate the perception of the wine’s acidity and make it feel unbalanced
- D. All of the above
5. Drinking sparkling water between wines serves as an ideal palate cleanser, but drinking it between sips can cause what effects on the perception of a wine’s flavor?
- A. Enhance a wine’s sweetness and make it seem more tannic
- B. Diminish a wine’s sweetness and make it seem less tannic
- C. Make a wine seem more alcoholic
- D. Make a wine seem less alcoholic
6. True or False: Cream Sherry contains no cream.
- A. True
- B. False
1. Wine Quiz Answer: B. Wasps
Research form the University of Florence has shown that saccharomyces cerevisias, the yeasts largely responsible for wine fermentation, overwinters in the guts of wasp queens, who pass it on to her larvae when feeding them. Those wasps, when mature, also carry the yeast and can in turn impart yeast cells (which are not airborne, and thus require a proxy to move them) into grapes when they bite grape skins while on the vine, thus potentially playing a crucial role in wine fermentation.
2. Wine Quiz Answer: D. All of the above
In "The Adventure of the Abbey Grange" the famous detective notices that a half-drunk bottle of high-quality wine was opened using the short corkscrew a multiplex knife rather than a much longer corkscrew found in a nearby drawer, thus ruining the long cork (a sign of the wine’s potential high quality). One of three wine glasses at the crime scene also has a large amount of sediment in it, leading Holmes to surmise that there were actually less then three perpetrators drinking at the scene.
3. Wine Quiz Answer: C. Eleven
Despite their namesake, there are actually eleven Finger Lakes, whose name comes from their finger-like shapes (the result of ancient glacial activity), varying in depth from 300 to over 600 feet. Four of the eleven (Cayuga, Keuka, Canandaigua, and Seneca lakes) have the most prominent grape growing roles within the region.
4. Wine Quiz Answer: D. All of the above
Chlorine is a disinfectant, and can significantly diminish our perception of a wine’s fruitiness. This effect in turn increases our perception of a wine’s tannins (adding bitterness) and its acids (causing it to taste unbalanced). Fortunately, when this is caused by drinking the small amount of chlorine in tap water, the effect is temporary.
5. Wine Quiz Answer: B. Diminish a wine’s sweetness and make it seem less tannic
Just as it does for sparkling wine, the CO2 in sparkling water can have a drying effect on any wine you’re drinking at the same time, primarily by reducing our perception of the wine’s overall fruitiness. CO2 can also have a softening effect on tannins, the bitter elements imparted by a wine’s seeds and skins.
6. Wine Quiz Answer: A. True
Cream Sherry’s name comes not from its lactose content (there’s none), but instead references its signature richness, which is the result of combining the dry Oloroso style with sweet wine made (the latter traditionally from Pedro Ximénez grapes).