About The Author:

"Roger, The Wine Guy" is Roger Yazell, CWS. He is a member of the International Wine Guild and has had a long time admiration of wine. After careers in broadcasting, advertising and marketing account management, he explored his love of wine in hospitality, wholesale and retail sales. The intent of Roger's Grapevine is to share stories, history and information that will add to the reader's love, enjoyment and appreciation of wine and sake'.

Questions, requests for topics and comments are always welcome via email: rogerthewineguy@gmail.com.

(Note: The Wine Guy is currently undergoing chemotherapy and this blog will be on hiatus for the duration and into a recovery period. The Wine Guy is planning to celebrate his recovery with a trip to the two wine producing regions in Argentina and that should provide for some interesting new blogs. Meanwhile please enjoy the archives and feel free to email in the interim.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Try a Wine Trivia Quiz!

Though retired, The Wine Guy works part-time at wine retailing. It’s fun and keeps me in contact with a lot of elements of the wine-trade, most importantly, the consuming public. I regularly run into customers asking for help in hosting wine parties, tasting events and wine-club gatherings.

One of the most fun-filled activities at such gatherings is conducting a wine trivia quiz. Simply divide your guests into teams, hand out some preprinted quiz sheets and offer a prize (a bottle of wine to share) to the team with the most points. Your quiz should offer both puzzlers and easy to answer questions. It should also stimulate conversation and discussion about wine. Feel free to make up your own, or simply use The Wine Guy’s sample trivia quiz I’ve included as part of today’s blog..

Try taking the test yourself before looking at the answers below….I hope you have fun with it!

1. Which still red wine doesn’t like to be blended with others?
A. Malbec B. Sangiovese C. Pinot Noir D. Tempranillo

2. What wine producing country also is the largest producer of the olive oil?
A. Greece B. France C. Spain D. Italy

3. Which American President built a wine cellar under the White House and bought more than 20,000 bottles of European wine?
A. John Kennedy B. John Quincy Adams C. Thomas Jefferson D. Ronald Reagan

4. The vintage date on a bottle of wine refers to the year:
A. the wine was bottled. B. the grapes were harvested. C. the wine was released.
D. when the wine can be first consumed.

5. Zinfandel came into prominence in California and is often called California’s grape but it originated in Croatia. What European grape varietal is almost genetically identical to Zinfandel?
A. Tempranillo B. Trebbiano C. Primativo D.Negromaro

6. A Standard bottle of wine is 750ml, but wine comes in many sizes of bottles. Which is a correct name for a different size bottle of wine?
A. Magnum B. Jeroboam C. Piccolo D. All of these

7. Who sang and popularized the song “That Little Old Winemaker, Me”?
A. Tom T. Hall B. Dean Martin C. Roger Miller D. Robert Mondavi

8. Which President had wine at the White House poured from napkin-draped bottles in order to hide the fact that he preferred French to American made wines?
A. Lyndon Johnson B. Richard Nixon C. Bill Clinton D. George W. Bush

9. The oldest winery in North America still producing wine today is located:
A. in Florida B. in Mexico C. in Texas D. in Canada

10. Pinotage from South Africa is made from a hybrid grape that resulted from crossing Pinot Noir with:
A. Syrah B. Meritage C. Cinsault D. Grenache

11. Which of the following is NOT a popular wine grape in South America?
A. Torrontes B. Podkum C. Bonarda D. Carmenere

12. What is the most common blending grape utilized for Syrah based wines from the Northern Rhone Valley in France?
A. Grenache B. Viognier C. Mourvedre D. Malbec

13. A “punt” refers to:
A. the headstock from an oak wine barrel. B. the straw basket covering some flasks of Chianti.
C. the indentation in the bottom of some wine bottles D. a kick when you’re fourth and long in football.

14. “Soave” is which of the following:
A. an Italian red wine B. an Italian white wine C. an Italian sparkling wine
D. an Italian wine toasting expression

15. Which grape is considered to be the mostly widely grown grape in the world?
A. Chardonnay B. Merlot C. Grenache D. Cabernet Sauvignon

Always have at least one tiebreaker question that counts only if teams are tied after the quiz is scored. Here’s a great, fun tiebreaker:

Which French appellation has a law that forbids the landing of flying saucers in the region’s vineyards?
A. Bordeaux B. Cotes du Rhone C. Burgundy D. Chateauneuf du Pape

Now for the answers:

1. The answer is C. Pinot Noir. This grape has a lot of expressions in still red wine but doesn’t play (sic blend) well with other red grapes. There is a notable exception….Give extra credit to any team that points out that when peeled to make a white wine, Pinot Noir is often blended with others in making sparkling wines.

2. The answer is D. Spain    They do well at both!  (author's note:  I got called on this one after the quiz had been up almost two years!!! I originally had Greece which at one time actually grew the most olives but even that was incorrect at the time of posting because I was referencing info that was over a decade old at the time...poor research and my bad!)

3. The answer is C. Thomas Jefferson. He grew grapes and made wine on his Virginia estate but he loved the French wines, a hangover (no pun intended) from his days as Ambassador to France from the Continental Congress.

4. The answer is B. when the grapes were harvested. A non-vintage wine will include grapes from multiple harvests. That occurs frequently in ports and sparkling wines but some others, as well.

5. The answer is C. Primativo. It is a virtual genetic twin and has many of the same characteristics. However the terroir and wine making in Italy results in a somewhat different but thoroughly enjoyable wine.

6. The answer is D. All of these. Magnums are 1.5 ltr, Jeroboams range 3 to 4.5 ltr and Piccolo is used in Italy to describe 187.5 ml bottles.

7. The answer is B. Dean Martin. Mrs. Wine Guy has the song on one of her Dean Martin albums.

8. The answer is B. Richard Nixon. Lyndon Johnson was the first President to have only American made wines served at the White House. Nixon didn’t want to publicly overthrow the practice but he loved French wines. He didn’t get the nickname “Tricky Dick” Nixon for nothing, did he?

9. The answer is B. Mexico. The winery is called Casa Madero and production there dates to the late 1590’s. They make a very respectable Merlot and a Merlot-Nebbiolo blend that The Wine Guy enjoys.

10. The answer is C. Cinsault. This grape was called Hermitage in South Africa thus the name Pinotage to the newly created varietal.

11. The answer is B. Podkum. Podkum is a grape varietal developed to grow in the tropical lowlands of Thailand, a country that has a rising wine industry and is one of the leaders in “New Latitude” wines.

12. The answer is B. Viognier. Grenache and Mourvedre are commonly blended in Syrah but mostly in wines from the Southern Rhone Valley (it’s o.k. to throw one or two trick questions). Viognier is one of the few white grapes that behaves well when blended with reds and even the Australians are utilizing it as a blending finisher in their Shirazes.

13. The answer is C. the indentation in the bottom of some bottles of wine. (Also found in the bottom of many decanters) It is thought by some to be a tradition holdover from the days of glass blown bottles and by others to be utilized in trapping sediment. Sommeliers and waiters love it as a great place to put their thumb for one-handed pouring and twisting of a bottle of wine.

14. The answer is B. an Italian white wine. This wine hails from the Veneto region of Italy and Gargangea is the informing grape. It’s dry, crisp, and meant to be drunk very young. It has sometimes been almost lacking in flavor but recent expressions with care to some good blending and moderate use of oak have produced some excellent value priced wines.

15. The answer is C. Grenache. Cabernet Sauvignon is the world’s most consumed varietal but Grenache is grown in more places and appears in the greatest number of wines. It finds its way into a lot of wines as a blending and finishing grape. It finds its best expression as a dominant or single grape in many of the wines from Spain.

Extra Credit Question:
The answer is D. Chateauneuf du Pape. The law was passed in 1954 during the beginning of the UFO craze. To the best of my knowledge, there’s never been an arrest made.

Hope you had fun with the quiz. If you use it at an event at your house, drop a line to rogerthewineguy@gmail.com and let me know how your guests enjoyed it.


  1. We will probably use some of your questions for our upcoming party -- thanks so much! If we forget to get back to you with feedback, we apologize in advance. I'm sure all will enjoy them.

  2. #4 correct answer should be B, which is the true answer for "when the grapes are harvested" and not C, "when the wine is released".

    1. Brucklyn: Nice catch on the typo! This post has been up for almost 2 years and has had well over 7,000 visitors and you were the only who caught that, while I gave the correct answer verbally, I had typed the wrong corresponding letter of the alphabet. Great proofreading job and thanks for keeping me honest!

      The Wine Guy

  3. Question 12 you have Voignier listed as B. ON your answer you say it's A.

    We are doing a Wine cruise and these are great for a bit of Trivia for our group.

  4. Hello! Going to use these at our Winetasting party tonight. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for this fun quiz, Although just wanted to mention that for #2, Spain is the largest olive oil producer. Greece probably produces about 10-15% of the world's olive oil.

  6. Q15: most grown in the world is Airen and not listed...it is grown in La Mancha Spain.

  7. I am familiar with Arien, it makes a very nice white wine and represents 30% of all the grapes produced in Spain. To the best of my knowledge, the last time it was ranked number one in the world (and that by acreage planted) was 2004. Note that my quiz was written in 2010. the most current rankings I can remember showed this grape as number 3 in terms of acreage. Your comment, however, points out one of the difficulties in a good wine quiz. The answers may be fleeting in their accuracy due to the rapid and volatile changes in the wine world. Also do we rank by acreage planted, number of vines planted, tonnage produced or wine produced? Each one of those criteria will produce a different number one answer. Also do we include those grapes which are are almost exclusively food grapes but which are marginally used in wine production? If so, the Thompson white seedless would probably be the hands down winner. as with most things, hind sight is 20-20...question 15 looked like a good one to include when I wrote the blog, but may not necessarily be a great one to include in a wine quiz used over a period of time.