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Are You A Wine Whiz Or A Wine Fizz? Take This Saucy Quiz -- To Learn More Than Your Waiter Knows About Ordering Wine!

May 28, 2008
Mouthwatering Irresistible. Romantic. Satisfying. All those words describe WINE, one of life's most exotic AND familiar pleasures.

For millennia, wine has been a delicious part of dining, celebrating and socializing worldwide It's been the focus at festivals... a cornerstone of countless religious rituals ... an important tradition for toasting newlyweds... indispensable to launching ships... even a staple for sealing multimillion-dollar deals and even sending-off loved ones at funerals. And when connected to "women and song," it's synonymous with joy itself.

No wonder millions of people want to know more about seeking, selecting, savoring and storing their favorite fermented elixirs.

And what do YOU know about wine? What mysteries, histories and properties do you have yet to discover? What would it be like to have a working knowledge -- even expertise -- that would allow you to order wines like a pro or host lavish wine parties (often on a budget)? Or to rank among the "Semi-Sommelier" types who create their own wine cellars?

Take this quiz to learn how you rank on the "wine fizz to wine whiz" scale. Along the way you'll get key information that's sure to increase your wine know-how in time for your next wine experience!

Wine Quiz
"Nothing about wine trivia is ever trivial."

WINE TASTING TERMS and TRUTHS -- know the wine lingo!

1.> Balance. In the wine world this:

a. Involves how you hold your glass.
b. Means the wine has all its components in sync.
c. Refers to the point at which a wine drinker might become tipsy.
d. Is the way in which wine will complement the food served.

2.> Complex A wine is specifically called "complex" if it:

a. Goes well with many different types of meals, from picnics to banquets.
b. Has layers and nuances of flavors, often achieved through aging.
c. Is popular in various forms worldwide (and not associated with one country or culture).
d. Was originally developed by a large wine-growing family, village or region.

3.> Wines, though liquid, are often called "crisp" because:

a. They have good taste and acidity without excessive sweetness.
b. They go best with crispy foods.
c. Of the special way they're aged.
d. They are always sparkling.

4.> "Dry" wines:

a. Always leave your mouth dry.
b. Are the opposite of sweet.
c. Are wines no longer in vogue by most wine drinkers.
d. Are only ever one color.

5.> A wine's "finish":

a. Means how it coats the glass.
b. Refers to the last sip in a glass.
c. Is the wine's aftertaste.
d. Refers to the last glass from a wine bottle or cask.

6.> "Oaky" flavor or aroma -- resulting from a wine's aging in oak barrels -- is sometimes described as:

a. "The Italian way."
b. "Magnifique."
c. "Vanilla."
d. "Un-charred."

7.> Tannins, which cause those "puckery" mouth sensations, are found:

a. Mostly in red wines.
b. In all wines except red.
c. Only in very very old wine, almost at a vinegar stage.
d. A sign of cheap wine.

8.> These are meaningless terms for wine:

a. Leathery
b. Polished
c. Lustrous
d. All of the above answers are correct.

9.> A varietal is:

a. A wine named after a grape variety.
b. A wine named after an individual.
c. A wine named after a group of people.
d. A wine named after an historical event.

10.> These are red wines:

a. Merlot and Malbec.
b. Chardonnay and Riesling.
c. All of the above.
d. None of the above.

11.> White wines traditionally go with:

a. Fish and chicken.
b. Only vegetarian meals.
c. Dinner -- never lunch.
d. Lunch -- never dinner.

12.> People who know wine will know that YOU are also in-the-know about wine:

a. If you hold your wine glass directly under the bowl.
b. If you hold your wine glass in the center of the stem.
c. If you hold your wine glass very low on the stem.
d. Only if you DO NOT "swirl" your wine.

13.> When studying wine, all these senses are important. But your most revealing sense would be:

a. Taste
b. Sight
c. Smell
d. Touch

14.> The only really good wines:

a. Are very expensive.
b. Come from Europe.
c. Are the ones you have enjoyed and will buy/order again.
d. Are hard to find.

15.> When is 'National Wine Day' observed?

a. Mid-January, in connection with post-holiday celebrations and the New Year.
b. Late May, synonymous with Spring.
c. September 20 and harvest.
d. December 1, when most casks are opened for the winter.

Bonus TRUE OR FALSE Questions Related to Wine:

16.> All wines taste the same, no matter what you're eating.
17.> You need at least $1,000 to create a proper wine cellar.
18.> Red wine should never be chilled.
19.> Toasting with an empty glass is okay in an emergency, but it's considered bad luck to toast with your water glass.
20.> When someone toasts YOU, never sip along with the crowd.

Read On for the Answers--and visit our website for even more tips on wine wisdom!

#1. b. A well-balanced wine has all its components (acid, alcohol, fruit, tannins) working well together.
#2. b. A complex wine has many layers and nuances of flavors.
#3. a. Good taste with acidity. That's the correct answer.
#4. b. Not sweet.
#5. c. Aftertaste
#6. c. Vanilla
#7. a. Mostly in red wines.
#8. d. All of the above. Other irritating, pointless wine-tasting terms include "brawny" (that's a paper towel brand!), "animated" (think Minnie Mouse), and "taut" (perhaps an athlete's abs, but NOT wine!).
#9. a. Named for a grape variety.
#10. a. Merlot and Malbec. Any others named are white wines.
#11. a. Fish and chicken, at any time of day, with or without veggies.
#12. b. To be more in-in-know about wine, always hold your glass as low as possible on the stem. And swirling is recommended!
#13. c. Flavor is really 75 percent smell! Aromas are key!
#14. c. Wine is fine for you if YOU like it -- no matter how much it costs, where it originated, and whether it's uncommon or prevalent!
#15. b. May 25 is National Wine Day, but wine lovers say "The day of Wine" lasts all year long!

True/False Answers:

16. = FALSE! Various accompanying food flavors and tastes, such as salty or buttery or spicy or sweet, greatly influence the taste changes you'll experience with wine.
17. = FALSE! A very impressive wine cellar can be created with a mere $140.
18. = FALSE! That is a myth. Red wine can certainly be served chilled.
19. = TRUE!
20. = TRUE! To do so would be self-congratulatory and in bad taste. And be sure to stay seated!
About the Author
Sisters and wine experts Barbara Nowak and Beverly Wichman are speakers, restaurant reviewers, wine-tasting facilitators and corporate trainers. Their latest bestselling book is THE SAUCY SISTERS' GUIDE TO WINE. (615)790-7240 (Nashville); saucies@saucysisters.com; http://www.saucysisters.com
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