Wine Trivia Wednesday–6/5/2013

It is Wednesday again and it is time for another installment of Wine Trivia Wednesday. Before we get to this week’s quiz, we need to get to the answers from last week:

  1. What are the two most common ways to prevent a wine going through malolactic fermentation? You can prevent malolactic fermentation through either the addition of SO2 (Sulfur Dioxide) or through cold stabilization. You can also introduce additives to kill the bacteria, but this is not as common as the first two.
  2. Other than the stylistic changes to the wine (e.g., flavor profile), what is the main advantage to having a wine go through malolactic fermentation? The answer I was looking for here: It serves to stabilize the wine–otherwise it still might happen in the bottle and then you will have a real mess on your hands. It also can help to make a wine more approachable (drinkable) sooner.
  3. Almost all red wines go through malolactic fermentation, with a couple of notable exceptions. Can you name a red wine that does not? Beaujolais Nouveau and Lambrusco are the two I know of, perhaps there are more (I actually got this question, and answer, from Wes Hagen on a recent visit to Clos Pepe).
  4. Bonus Question (that has nothing to do with wine): Where was the picture taken? The photo was taken (by me) in front of the Notre Dame cathedral in Chartres, France. Even if you are not even slightly religious and find yourself in Paris, jump on a train to Chartres and visit the cathedral–it is amazing (and even better if you ride a bike there–watching the cathedral grow on the horizon from many miles out).

Well, we had one winner: the armchairsommelier. Both Damon at and Gabe also gave stellar responses, so they get a shout out as well.

On to this week’s quiz.

I have been re-reading Richard Juhlin’s book, 4000 Champagnes, to help prepare for my trip to Champagne in a couple of weeks as a Tour Guide with Blue Marble Travel. Juhlin’s book is an absolutely fantastic resource for Champagne, but it is also loaded with great information about wine in general (the new version of the book 8000 Champagnes is due out in November, so if you were looking to get me a gift….). Here are a few questions I derived from the book:

1. What are the advantages of a cold (first) fermentation?

2. Why would you possibly want to prevent malolactic fermentation?

3. What is “Racking”?
4. I thought I would continue with my own little “Tour de France” with another picture for a bonus question. Where did I take this picture? Hint: it is not in a wine region, but it is in France (a bit harder than last week!).
Have fun with the quiz–answers next week!

About the drunken cyclist

I have been an occasional cycling tour guide in Europe for the past 20 years, visiting most of the wine regions of France. Through this "job" I developed a love for wine and the stories that often accompany the pulling of a cork. I live in Houston with my lovely wife and two wonderful sons.
This entry was posted in Malolactic Fermentation, Travel, Trivia, Wine and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Wine Trivia Wednesday–6/5/2013

  1. wineismylife says:

    What picture? 😉 Guess I got here too quick.


  2. Charlotte says:



  3. thekatiecash says:

    I don’t know where it is… but it’s stunning!


  4. gabe says:

    cold stabilization is the process of supersaturating a wine with cream of tarter to precipitate out potassium bitartrate crystals that would otherwise form during refrigeration. while it is a common practice for white wines that are not put through ML, it does not actually prevent ML from occuring.


  5. PSsquared says:

    That photo is gorgeous.


  6. My first guess on the photo was Colmar. But after re-reading the question, I ruled that out since Alsace is definitely a wine region. 🙂 Also the mountain in the background didn’t really seem right, so I moved to toward the Alps. How about Annecy – “the Venice of France”?

    As for the wine questions – I’m a wine drinker, not a wine maker. But I believe the term racking is also used in beer making where the wine/beer is moved from one container to another leaving the lees/trub behind to help clarify the product and prevent off flavors from developing. The fermentation questions are above my pay-grade, so I’ll leave those to someone smarter than me. 🙂


  7. 1. Cold fermentation preserves the delicate aromas and flavors of white wines. This is why white wines are fermented at lower temperatures than red.
    2. Obviously some white wines do not benefit from malolactic (sauvignon blanc in some cases, for example), as you’d want to keep those more fresh green aromas. Not sure if that’s what you’re looking for!
    3. Racking is the process of separating the wine from its lees after sur lies aging or batonnage.
    4. Photo is unbelievably gorgeous, have no idea where it is! Looks like the “Venice” of France! Must be a town in the Alps or another mountain range judging from those peaks in the back!


  8. Oenophilogical says:

    I’ve not done this before. But throwing caution to the wind, my answers are –

    1. Cold (First) Fermentation – is thought to allow for more color in a red wine, different (better) aromas, and softer/less bitter tannins. I believe it’s become popular in the making of Pinot Noir.

    2. Preventing Malolactic Fermentation – preserves some of the tarter flavors prized in some white wines and helps maintain a higher acidity level.

    3. Racking – is moving the wine from one barrel to another during fermentation using gravity (not a pump) which draws the wine off the sediment.

    4. Photo – I believe your photo is from Annecy.


  9. Blogarhythms says:

    Reblogged this on Oenophilogical and commented:
    What a great idea! The Drunken Cyclist has been doing these Wine Triva Wednesdays for awhile. I only recently started reading them, and have found them entertaining and highly informational. As I make clear, I am a wine enthusiast not a sommelier, so I have plenty to learn. This week was the first time I decided to give the answers a go. And, yes, I did do some web searching to find the answers. What better way to learn? Anyway, I’m enjoying this weekly quiz series. I hope you do,too.

    BTW, I tried my hand at the answers for the first time this week. And I didn’t read the other responses before I posted mine. lol


  10. aFrankAngle says:

    I agree with whoever is right.


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