Wine Wednesday Quick Quiz Answers

Here are the correct answers for the Quick Quiz:

chef cutting meat


Women were not allowed to drink wine in Ancient (archaic period) Rome?


A number of ancient sources suggests that Roman women in the archaic period were not allowed to drink wine. Various theories have so far been proposed to explain this taboo, most of them assuming that it meant a complete alcohol ban, and relating it to the special role of women in the Roman family. However, a reconsideration of these theories, which takes into account the results of recent studies on the origins of wine consumption in Italy, shows that the archaic wine taboo had more to do with the nature of wine than with the nature of women.

The Graeco-Roman world excluded women from a number of public activities, such as certain religious rituals and sacrifices. Moreover, women could not participate in some aspects of private life, such as theatrical performances or sport games. Late Republican and Imperial written sources inform us that women in archaic Rome were not even allowed to drink wine. Although the prohibition relates to a domestic context, it seems surprising, given the role that women played in Bacchic cult, as well as considering that, during the Republican age, they were involved with ritual practices that required wine offerings to be made, for example to Lares and Penates or Liber and Libera. It is also interesting that wine was offered by women, though incognito (as it was called ‘milk’ and the wine jar a ‘honey-pot’), during the ancient ritual of Bona Dea. There are, therefore, those who argue that the taboo was not a real archaic custom but a creation of the Roman Republic which tried to shape ‘women into chaste and obedient wives and daughters’, and that it was likely to have been influenced by the Greeks.

Nevertheless, a number of scholars from the early twentieth century assumed that the literary evidence is reliable and that women were not allowed to drink wine, relating the prohibition to feminine weakness (wine drinking led them to adultery) or to the abortive properties of wine. These ideas – especially the relation between a wine taboo and adultery – continue to haunt much more recent research regarding the role of women in ancient Roman religious rituals. However, they do not stand up to critical investigation, as they do not explain why women were allowed to drink lora, passum, and other alcoholic beverages, or why drinking was commonly accepted during the Late Republican period, when adultery was still severely punished.

Other explanations of the taboo have focused on the nature of the wine that was forbidden rather than on the nature of women. For example, M. Gras noted that wine amphoras and other banquet utensils were found in female graves dated to the archaic period, which led him to the conclusion that only the consumption of temetum, meaning sacred wine, was forbidden to women, while drinking Greek οἶνος or Phoenician imports, as well as other beverages unsuitable for libations, was allowed. According to Gras, this prohibition disappeared between the eighth and fifth century bc, since it does not appear in the Law of the Twelve Tables, which is when imported beverages became common in Italy.

Quite the opposite interpretation of literary evidence has recently been proposed by Hemelrijk, who argues that ‘in the old days, wine was considered inappropriate for women except in a religious context’. However, this statement is based mostly on Servius, who claimed that women refrained from drinking apart from certain religious rituals. The source is obviously too late (fourth/fifth century ad) to be reliable for Roman archaic customs, which means that this explanation of the taboo cannot be accepted. Instead, it is worth considering a theory proposed by M. Bettini, who argued that the prohibition related to alcoholic wine (temetum), whereas all drinks called dulcia were allowed to women, because they were alcohol-free.

chef cutting meat


In which country can you find the Yarra Valley?

  • Australia
  • America
  • Chille
  • Spain

The Yarra Valley is the region surrounding the Yarra River in Victoria, Australia. The river originates approximately 240 km east of the Melbourne central business district and flows towards it and out into Port Phillip Bay.

Old Fashioned


Are there more wines sealed by corks or ​​screw caps?

  • Corks
  • Screw Caps

Corks were the first wine bottle seals to be invented and, still today, the majority of wine bottles are sealed with a cork. As a result, a lot of people believe that corks are the best possible closure for wine.

Science, however, boldly defies tradition. Researcher after researcher in the field of wine closures praises the qualitative seal of the modern screw cap.

Old Fashioned


In which country was the corkscrew invented?

  • England
  • China
  • Spain
  • France

The British probably first used corkscrews to open beer and cider, but it was also essential for wine, since at the time, England was more keen on bottle-aged wine than France or Germany.

In an earlier period, Roman wine had also been sealed with corks, but with a nub left poking out above the rim so people could grip the cork and remove it with their hands. The English practice of storing bottles sideways required stoppers with a tighter fit, as well as a tool for removing that cork when it came time to imbibe.

No one knows exactly when the first corkscrew was invented, but it likely developed alongside 17th Century improvements in glass bottle manufacturing. The first written reference to a corkscrew appears in a 1681 museum catalog that compares one rarity to “a Steel Worme used for the drawing of Corks out of Bottles,” implying that such a tool was commonplace at the time. Later, the term bottlescrew gained favor. An early barroom joke recorded in London in 1700 pokes fun at a Quaker for keeping a bible and bottlescrew in the same pocket.

Poet Nicholas Amhurst was the first to use the term corkscrew in print, including it in a 1720 poem. And even by then, the world didn’t remember who invented the tool:

“Forgotten sleeps the Man, to whom / We owe th’ invention, in his tomb, / No publick Honours grace his Name, / No pious Bard records his Fame, / Elate with Pride and Joy I see / The deathless Task reserv’d for me.”

Amhurst then recounted an origin story starring Bacchus, the god of wine, who appears to a priest in a vision, holding a bottle of champagne in one hand and a corkscrew in the other.

There’s no shortage of high-tech bottle opening tools on the market today. But that’s nothing new. Since its invention, there have been enough variations on the corkscrew to fill a thousand Skymalls. The earliest dated device is a French cage style corkscrew from 1685. The first official corkscrew patent was filed in 1795 by the English Reverend Samuel Henshall. He added a flat button of metal to the helix to make a firmer fit with the cork. Since then, hundreds upon hundreds of corkscrew patents have been filed, each with a slight twist on the classic screw.

Key innovations include German Karl Wienke’s ‘waiter’s friend,’ H.S. Heely’s winged Double Lever (the ‘jumping jack’ style), and Herbert Allen’s 1981 Teflon-coated Screwpull, a device stylish enough to be included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.



The second fermentation (key step to the wine getting its bubbles) in Champagne is started by?

  • The adding of Liqueur de tirage
  • The stacking and storing the wine in chalk cellars
  • The adding of dosage liqueur
  • There is only one fermentation when producing Champagne (this is a trick question)

The blended wine is put in bottles along with yeast and a small amount of sugar, called the liqueur de tirage, stopped with a crown cap or another temporary plug, and stored in a wine cellar horizontally for a second fermentation. Under the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), NV (non-vintage) Champagne is required to age for 15 months to develop completely. In years where the harvest is exceptional, a vintage (millesime) is declared and the wine must mature for at least three years.

During the secondary fermentation, the carbon dioxide is trapped in the wine in solution. The amount of added sugar determines the pressure of the bottle. To reach the standard value of 6 bars (600 kPa) inside the bottle, it is necessary to have 18 grams of sugar; the amount of yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is regulated by the European Commission (Regulation 1622/2000, 24 July 2000) to be 0.3 gram per bottle. The liqueur de tirage is then a mixture of sugar, yeast and still Champagne wine.

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The Team at The Wednesday Wine Club