Too many would-be wine tasters feel they “don’t know enough” about wine to participate. Relax, it’s not like you’re going to have to take a test—except when it’s time for Swirl’s annual go-back-to-wine-school quiz, that is. It’s easy this year—all questions are based on the Pacific Sun’s wine, beer and spirits columns from the past year.
1. Inspired by Calvados, local makers are making:
A) Hard apple cider from Gravenstein apples
B) Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Sangiovese
C) Vodka aged in French oak
D) Apple brandy distilled from Gravenstein apples
2. True or False: Riesling from Australia is usually a sweet dessert wine.
3. A wine called a “claret” is most likely to have which combination of grapes in the blend?
A) Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc
B) Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc
C) White Zinfandel and Pinot Grigio
D) Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre
4. Drive up to Gustafson Family Vineyards, taste both Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling, and enjoy the view from high above:
A) Dry Creek Valley
B) Spring Mountain District
C) Napa Valley
D) Lake Hennessey
5. Match each IPA/juicy IPA with the brewery:
A) Thru the Haze 1. Sonoma Springs
B) Pulp Fission 2. Bear Republic
C) Juicy in the Sky 3. 3 Disciples
6. Picture round: This spring we visited a sculpture garden in the Carneros wine region. Which winery?
A) Robert Mondavi
B) Paradise Ridge Winery
C) The Donum Estate
D) Domaine Carneros
7. Choose all the right words for one point: Sonoma Distilling Company makes a (rye/vodka) with (peat/cherrywood) smoked grain in their new copper still from (Poland/Scotland).
8. How many of Sonoma County’s 62,000 vineyard acres are certified organic?
A) More than 35,000
B) At least 15,000
C) About 6,000
D) Less than 2,000
9. True or false: Vineyard operators are required to stop using the controversial herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in order to be certified Sonoma Sustainable.
Answers: 1) D; 2) False; 3) A; 4) A; 5) A-2, B-3, C-1; 6) C; 7) rye, cherrywood, Scotland; 8) D; 9) False
9 points, méthode champenoise; 7-8 points, metodo Italiano; 5-6 points, pét-nat; 4 points or less, fizzle.