Wine Trivia Wednesday–Back to Champagne

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 advantages of a cold (first) fermentation? There are several advantages: helps retain fruit aromas (heat can result in “stewed” or muted aromas/flavors), can help prevent a “stuck” fermentation (excessive heat can kill the yeast), and can inhibit the growth of unwanted micro-organisms.

2. Why would you possibly want to prevent malolactic fermentation?  In brief, by preventing a malolactic fermentation, you retain a more vibrant acidity and fruit. Many wines will simply not benefit from a MLF–fruity wines such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris.

3. What is “Racking”? Racking is the process of moving wine from one barrel to another, leaving the lees behind. It is a method for clarifying the wine.
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!). I took this picture in Annecy, often called the Venice of France.
That means we have two winners this week: 8thestatewinery (in Hong Kong!) and Oenophilogical (who also reblogged the quiz–extra points!).

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 more questions I derived from the book:

the Dom Pérignon (1978) on the left remains the most incredible wine I have ever tasted.

The Dom Pérignon (1978) on the left remains the most incredible wine I have ever tasted (and the Clos du Moulin was no slacker).

1. In serving/consuming champagne, which of the following is considered rude?

  • Making a “pop” sound when opening the bottle in a restaurant
  • Pouring the champagne using two hands
  • Pouring less than a full glass
  • Putting the empty bottle upside down in the ice bucket

2. Which of the following is not true?

  • The traditional champagne flute was originally designed to capture any sediment in the bottom of the glass.
  • The champagne goblet, which is said to have been designed after the bust of Marie Antoinette, is also known as the “Hollywood glass”.
  • The best glass for tasting vintage champagne is a crystal flute.
  • The flute is the best glass to capture the bubbles.

Krug rosé.

3. Of the following, which is not a key element in sabrage?

  • Removing all the foil from the bottle.
  • Removing the cage (le muselet) and the capsule (la plaque du muselet).
  • Finding the seam of the bottle.
  • Having the bottle adequately chilled.
  • Striking the bottle with a short, slightly downward stroke.

4. True or False: The inside of champagne glasses work best if they are perfectly smooth.

5. True or False: Dom Pérignon is always a vintage champagne.


Extra Credit–where did I consume this bottle (that is a tough one!)? And where is the wine from?


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 Champagne, Trivia, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wine Trivia Wednesday–Back to Champagne

  1. 1) While a champagne bottle should never be “popped”, I don’t think it is considered rude. I have NEVER seen champagne poured with both hands. Turning it over when it is empty is simply a sign that it is empty and many high end restaurants so I doubt it is that. And pouring half a glass is actually correct but many Americans may find THAT rude. I will go with two hands.

    2)I will have to say that the flute is not the best glass for tasting as it is difficult to get your nose in one. And all the other points are true. But I have never heard anyone discuss this much. The given is that champagne is best served in one for a variety of reasons but I remember growing up with the “boob” glasses.

    3) I don’t think the bottle has to be chilled for the sabrage but it will be more drinkable if it is.

    4) It depends on how you feel about the bubbles. Some champagne connoisseurs prefer finer lighter, even fewer bubbles. The smoother the glass, the fewer the bubbles. I don’t think this is the American culture though.


    I have met few people who know more about champagne than I do so am rather impressed with your fun trival. I have held champagne parties discussing all kinds of champagne facts and trivia myself. I remember reading that you said it took 6.5 turns to remove the muselet but my experience (and I have counted it numerous times) is that it is six full turns – I can’t get the half and have tried since reading your blog, but maybe I am just used to doing it my way. :~D

    PS – Have you tried the Nathalie Falmet yet? Sorry if I missed that in another post. I only get to catch up once or twice per week. Thanks for writing this blog. I am really enjoying it.


    • Thanks for the great answers! I have not tried Falmet yet and I have looked! You said there is some in Ardmore, right?


      • They do carry it in Ardmore, but they also carry the N. Falmet Brut Nature which is not as good in my opinion. Making it more dry just takes away from all that yummy, creamy, toasty, yeasty… so be sure to buy the Brut and not the Brut Nature.


  2. oh forgot the extra credit question – it says right there it is from Vouvray – no idea where you drank it but it sure looks nice!


  3. That is the most beautiful picture!!!


  4. aFrankAngle says:

    Given the topic, count me out …. but at least I can learn from others. Great pic of the Venice of France!


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