Top 10 wine factsWine quiz
What was the name of the monk famous for his contributions to the Champagne making process?
Dom Pérignon. In 1718, Canon Godinot published a set of wine making rules that were said to be established by Dom Pérignon. Prior to blending he would taste the grapes without knowing the source vineyard to avoid influencing his perceptions. References to his "blind tasting of wine" have led to the common misconception that Dom Pérignon was blind.
Where is the Commandaria wine from? (probably world's oldest named wine still in production)
From Cyprus. Commandaria is an amber-coloured sweet dessert wine made in the Commandaria is made from sun-dried grapes of the varieties Xynisteri and Mavro. It represents an ancient wine style documented in Cyprus back to 800 BC. The name Commandaria dates back to the crusades in the 12th century.
What are these vintage glasses for?
Champagne. Legend has it the shape of the glass was modelled on the breast of Marie Antoinette. The broad surface area allows the champagne to lose its carbonation more quickly, making it not suitable for the current style of very dry champagnes. It therefore fell out of fashion except for traditional occasions such as weddings, where it is often stacked in layers to build a champagne tower.
Vin Mariani (doped with cocaine) had the greatest popularity ...
Among the crowned heads and popes. Vin Mariani was a tonic and patent medicine created about 1863 by Angelo Mariani. In 1863, Mariani started marketing a wine called Vin Tonique Mariani (à la Coca du Pérou) which was made from Bordeaux wine and coca leaves. Vin Mariani was very popular in its day, even among royalty such as Queen Victoria. Pope Leo XIII and later Pope Saint Pius X were both Vin Mariani drinkers. Pope Leo awarded a Vatican gold medal to the wine, and also appeared on a poster endorsing it.
What liquor is particularly famous for its durability? (samples from the Napoleonic era are still in use)
Madeira is a fortified wine made in the Portuguese Madeira Islands, off the coast of Africa. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine.
What does the number of puttonyos on tokaj wines mean?
The number of baskets of sweet grapes. Puttonyos is the unit given to denote the level of sugar and hence the sweetness of Hungarian dessert wine, called Tokaji (or tokay). It is traditionally measured by the number of hods of sweet botrytised or nobly rotted grapes (known as Aszú) added to a barrel of wine, but is now measured in grams of residual sugar. The puttony was actually the 25 kg basket or hod of Aszú grapes, and the more added to the barrel of wine, the sweeter the eventual wine. Measurement goes from 3 to 6 Puttonyos. A Tokaji made entirely from Aszú grapes is known as Eszencia.
What does the Latin phrase "in vino veritas" mean?
In wine, Truth. In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that means "in wine, truth", suggesting a person under the influence of alcohol is more likely to speak their hidden thoughts and desires. The phrase is sometimes continued as, "In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas", i.e., "In wine there is truth, in water there is health." Similar phrases exist across cultures and languages.
What was the special ingredient of Vin Mariani?
Cocaine. Vin Mariani was a tonic and patent medicine created about 1863 by Angelo Mariani, a French chemist who became intrigued with coca and its economic potential after reading Paolo Mantegazza’s paper on coca's effects. The ethanol in the wine acted as a solvent and extracted the cocaine from the coca leaves, altering the drink’s effect.
What is the meaning of the label "Reserva" on a Spanish wine?
Aged for at least three years. In Portuguese and Spanish wines, the requirements vary between regions, but typically, when used on a label "Reserva" means that the wine was aged for at least three years in the cask and bottle, at least one of which must have been in the cask.