Wine Wednesday Quick Quiz Answers
Here are the correct answers for the Quick Quiz:
QUESTION 1 ANSWER
What fungus grows on ripe grapes, and is desirable for making certain sweet wines?
- Botrytis (Noble Rot)
- Crown Gall
- Pourriture Noire
- Saccharum Rhizobium
Botrytis or ‘Noble Rot’ is a type of fungus that shrivels and decays wine grapes. Believe it or not, there are winemakers who cross their fingers for rotting grapes, because of a few amazing things that happen.
Botrytis cinerea (aka ‘Noble Rot’) is a type of Ascomycota within the Funghi kingdom. Other ascomycetes include the antibiotic penicillin, Stilton blue cheese and the fungus responsible for athelete’s foot. Botrytis cinerea can occur on fruits, vegetables and flowers – imagine a moldy strawberry. However with wine, it’s considered a good thing. Wines such as Sauternes from Bordeaux; Tokaji Aszu from Hungary, and Spätlese level German Riesling all are made from ‘Noble Rot’ grapes.
‘Noble Rot’ basically does two things to wine: it intensifies the sweetness level and adds flavour complexity.
‘Noble Rot’ causes grapes to dehydrate while maintaining the sugar levels. More wine grapes are needed to make the same amount of juice and thus the juice has higher sugar content. Dessert wines made from Noble Rot grapes are more viscous and sweeter, some even have higher alcohol content.
Sommeliers often use the words ‘honey,’ ‘beeswax’ and ‘ginger’ to describe the flavours that botrytis adds to wine. This could be because Noble Rot wines often have higher levels of a special aroma compound called phenylacetaldehyde. This compound is also commonly found in buckwheat and milk chocolate.
QUESTION 2 ANSWER
What is Lees?
- Deposits of dead yeast or residual yeast and other particles
- A type of fruit that grows in tropical regions, such as South America, and is used to sweeten Stein wines
- Small metal balls used in the maceration machinery (grape crushing) to help reduce friction and wear between moving parts
- Algae commonly used in the fermentation process
Lees are deposits of dead yeast or residual yeast and other particles that precipitate, or are carried by the action of ‘fining’, to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and aging. The same while brewing beer at a brewery is known as trub – the same from secondary fermentation of wine and beer are the lees or equally, as to beer only, dregs. This material is the source for most commercial tartaric acid, which is used in cooking and in organic chemistry.
Normally, the wine is transferred to another container (racking), leaving this sediment behind. Some wines (notably Chardonnay, Champagne, and Muscadet) are sometimes aged for a time on the lees (a process known as sur lie), leading to a distinctive yeasty aroma and taste. The lees may be stirred (French: bâtonnage) for uptake of their flavour.
The lees are an important component in the making of ripasso, where the leftover lees from Amarone are used to impart more flavour and colour to partially aged Valpolicella.
QUESTION 3 ANSWER
What is the name of the river that divides Bordeaux into the Left Bank and Right Bank regions?
- Gironde Estuary
The Gironde estuary is a navigable estuary (though often referred to as a river) in southwest France and is formed from the meeting of the rivers Dordogne and Garonne just downstream of the centre of Bordeaux. Covering around 635 km2, it is the largest estuary in western Europe.
Named after the French département Gironde, the Gironde estuary is approximately 75 km long and 3–12 km wide. It is subject to very strong tidal currents and great care is needed when navigating the estuary by any size or type of boat.
QUESTION 4 ANSWER
What grape is Beaujolais (a light red or, less commonly, white burgundy wine produced in the Beaujolais district of South-Eastern France) made from?
- Pinot Noir
Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc. It is a very old cultivar, mentioned as long ago as the 15th century. It has been often cultivated because it makes for abundant production; however, it can produce wines of distinction when planted on acidic soils, which help to soften the grape’s naturally high acidity.
QUESTION 5 ANSWER
What is Malolactic Fermentation?
- A process that converts sharp malic acid into softer, more palatable lactic acid
- A process in which bacteria is used to turn wine into brandy
- A type of distillation used in the production of Red Wine, in which the wine is heated and condensed to remove impurities
- A technique used in glassblowing to strengthen Champagne bottles
Malolactic conversion (also known as malolactic fermentation or MLF) is a process in winemaking in which tart-tasting malic acid, naturally present in grape must, is converted to softer-tasting lactic acid. Malolactic fermentation is most often performed as a secondary fermentation shortly after the end of the primary fermentation, but can sometimes run concurrently with it. The process is standard for most red wine production and common for some white grape varieties such as Chardonnay, where it can impart a “buttery” flavor from diacetyl, a byproduct of the reaction.
The fermentation reaction is undertaken by the family of lactic acid bacteria (LAB); Oenococcus oeni, and various species of Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. Chemically, malolactic fermentation is a decarboxylation, which means carbon dioxide is liberated in the process.
The primary function of all these bacteria is to convert L-malic acid, one of the two major grape acids found in wine, to another type of acid, L+ lactic acid. This can occur naturally. However, in commercial winemaking, malolactic conversion typically is initiated by an inoculation of desirable bacteria, usually O. oeni. This prevents undesirable bacterial strains from producing “off” flavors. Conversely, commercial winemakers actively prevent malolactic conversion when it is not desired, such as with fruity and floral white grape varieties such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, to maintain a more tart or acidic profile in the finished wine.
Invite someone to sign up. It’s FREE!
If you know anyone who you think would enjoy receiving the Quick Quiz, send them the following:
I’m sending this because I think you’ll really enjoy it. Tap the link to register and receive The Wednesday Wine Club Quick Quiz every Wednesday morning (it’s free to join and play) : https://taplearngo.com/wine
WEDNESDAY WINE CLUB
NOTE: Click on the GREEN + sign on your row to see all the data for you
Feedback for Mario?
If you’ve got anything you’d like to say to Mario, regarding this week’s quiz, this is your moment. Go for it….
See you on the next quiz. In the meantime, keep on learning as you go
The Team at The Wednesday Wine Club