Are You Smarter Than a Wine Expert?

Last Friday, to kick-off the Winter wine season, our wine experts put on a trivia night here at The Collective Wine Company. It was a great chance to come together, sample some of our favourite wines from across Australia, and test our wine knowledge. However, while everyone did pretty well on the night, there were five questions that stumped even our most seasoned experts. So test yourself, and your friends, with the questions and answers below. 

Question 1: A natural process, when you take white grapes, press them and then leave them on their skins with the seeds for up to 4 days, with little sulphur added result in wines know as?

Question 2: What does a Baume or Brix measure?

Question 3: It is common Australian grape growers apply sunscreen to the grapes and vines to prevent sun damage. True or False?

Question 4: Which grape showed significant growth as the result of the 2004 movie “Sideways”

Question 5: Which Variety is Eden Valley Best Known for?

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Often referred to ‘skin contact’ or ‘macerated wine,’ orange wine is made using white-wine grapes in a red-wine style of fermentation. Whilst it is very popular in the Mediterranean, orange wines can be quite hard to find from Australian wine producers. However, fans of both red wines and white wines should do their best to track one down. Orange wines sit closer to red wines in the taste spectrum, but they are a rich, honey colour. So for those lucky wine fans who are lucky enough to find one at a cellar door in Australia, they’ll find that drinking orange wine is one of the wine world’s truly great experiences. 

Answer 2: Sugar Content

By using an eyepiece known in the industry as a ‘refractometer,’ Australian winemakers measure the sugar content of their grapes; also known as – the percentage of brix. 

This pocket-sized device allows a winemaker to decide whether or not the wine grapes are ready for harvest, as well as how much alcohol the grapes are likely to produce. 

Question 3: Yes! Australian winemakers apply sunscreen to their grapes.

If you’ve ever been sunburnt after only a short time under the Australian sun, then you’ll understand the damage that it could inflict upon a fragile Shiraz grape during Summer. Too much heat can cause juicy wine grapes to shrivel or burn. So Australian winemakers now apply a type of sunblock to their vines. However, unlike the oily, greasy creams we apply before going to the beach, winemakers apply a product that is mostly made from white clay to keep their grapes sun safe. 

Question 4: The 2004 film ‘Sideways’ caused an increase in the sale of Pinot Noir.

In Sideways, Paul Giamatti’s character ‘Miles’ has such an affinity for Pinot Noir, that it almost becomes it’s own character in the film, and it’s fame lead to new sales for Pinot Noir, worldwide. In fact, the increased demand for Pinot Noir was so clearly linked to the film, that it is known referred to in the wine industry as “The Sideways Effect.”

Answer 5: Australia’s Eden Valley is best known for Riesling. 

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Here at The Collective Wine Company, we love all varietals of wine from Eden Valley. However, with it’s cool climate, and rich soils, it’s the perfect place to grow fruity and vibrant Riesling grapes. If you’d like to try one Eden Valley’s famous Rieslings, our Artiste South Face Riesling is a perfect starting point, and a wonderful accompaniment to spicy seafood. 

Roberta Marchesini