HomeAbout UsWine ReviewsArchivesAdvertiseContact Us


Wine Columns

Wine Reviews

WineReviewOnline on Twitter

Critics Challenge

Distillers Challenge

San Diego Challenge

Sommelier Challenge


Winemaker Challenge

WineReviewOnline on Facebook

WineReviewOnline on Instagram

Spring Wine Quiz
By Marguerite Thomas
Apr 13, 2022
Printable Version
Email this Article

1.)  In her “Wine Speed” Blog, what grape did Karen MacNeil describe as “a sibling of Grüner Veltliner, Chenin Blanc, Silvaner, and Verdelho, among several other grapes that originated in central France”?

2.)   Which grapes are sweeter—wine grapes or table grapes?

3.)   A recent article in Decanter found that one of the most universally appealing aromas to people around the world is

a.  Cork

b.  Vanilla

c.  Red wine

d.  Chocolate pudding

4.)   Several different studies around the world seeking to determine the most significant grape varieties for making wine have almost all come up with the same six grapes.  Considering that there are at least 1,368 grape varieties for making wine this consensus among wine educators and connoisseurs seems amazing.  Equally amazing is that three of the grapes are white and three red.  Which six grape varieties are included in the “Big Six”?

5.)   What is China’s most extensively grown wine grape?

6.)   What does the word “Merlot” mean in French besides a type of wine?

a.      High tide

b.     Religious woman

c.      Little black bird

d.     The name of a department in France’s Pyréneés region         

7.)   How many commercial wineries are now operating in England

8.)  What are Alvarinho and Lliorila?





1.)  Sauvignon Blanc

2.)  Wine grapes are sweeter than table grapes, with a brix content ranging from 24 to 26 compared to 17 to 19 for table grapes. (Brix is a measure of the sweetness of a liquid). This is important since sugar becomes alcohol during fermentation. Wine grapes are generally smaller than table grapes which results in a more concentrated taste. There are also more wine grapes on a vine which provides more concentrated flavor.

3.)  Vanilla.  Simply put, the aroma of vanilla in red wine is a related to oak aging. The study provided evidence that people share preferences for some smells (such as vanilla) regardless of cultural background.

4.)  Various wine connoisseurs have come up with their lists of the world’s most significant grapes (Cépages Nobles in French).  The white wines included in the “Big Six” include Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.  The red grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir.  (Occasionally the “Six” include “Merlot/Syrah”).  Also interesting is that while all six are considered international grapes they all originate from France.

5.)  Cabernet Sauvignon.

6.)  Merlot is a reference to the diminutive “merle,” or blackbird, which is known for its fondness for red grapes.  

7.)  England now boasts 165 commercial wineries and 500 vineyards (69% of the wines are sparkling, 31% still).

8.)  Two newly approved white grape varieties that are said to be well adapted to “environmental stress associated with temperature increases and shorter growing cycles.”

Read more from Marguerite:    Marguerite Thomas
Connect with her on Twitter at @M_L_Thomas