Answer time! Let's see how well you did on this year's quiz.

1. What are the sensory characteristics of a "dumb" wine?

A dumb wine shows no more than a little (if any) fruit, plus some chocolate tannins and a kiss of sweet oak. The "nose" is closed. There is not much by way of aromatics or flavor. It needs time in the bottle to evolve.

2. What is the traditional wine to serve with cassoulet, the signature dish of the Languedoc?


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Cassoulet is accompanied by the texturous reds of the Minervois wine region near Carcassonne.

3. What red grape variety, planted in both the Loire Valley and Bordeaux , is known for its sweet herbal accents?

Cabernet Franc. The flavor profile is autumnal … full of twigs, dried leaves, wet tree bark, forest floor, tea and moss.

4. How are brandy, Cognac and Armagnac made?

All three are made by distilling wine.

5. Back in the 17th century, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc cross-pollinated to give us what grape variety?

Cabernet Sauvignon.

6. Who crafted the first fruit liqueurs, and why?

Liqueurs are reputed to be descended from herbal medicines concocted by the clergy during the Middle Ages. Back then, many infusions were herbal and used as health tonics.

7. A fruit liqueur has four ingredients; what are they?

Fruit, alcohol, water and sugar.

8. What is an appropriate wine to serve if there is sugar/sweetness in the dish you have prepared?

The rule of thumb is that if there is sugar in the dish, there needs to be sugar in the wine and at parity for the match to work. If the dish is sweeter than the wine, it will make the wine taste sour. If the wine is sweeter than the dish, no harm done.

9. What is vin gris?

Although vin gris translates as "gray" wine, it isn't exactly gray. It's pink and could rightfully be called rose. Gris de Gris or "gray of gray" is also a rose but is crafted from the "gris" or lighter pigmented versions of some dark-skinned grapes.

10. How many calories does the average 5-ounce glass of wine contain?