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Review questions from the book 'The University Wine Course - A Wine Appreciation Text & Self Tutorial' by Marian W. Baldy, PH.D.

True or False: In the earliest, ancient Mediterranean civilizations wine was the first drink of the common citizen.

False. At that time, wine was the drink of the priesthood and of the wealthy.

True or False: Scholars who have studied the origins of alcohol abuse agree that the American pattern of prohibiting exposure to alcoholic beverages until age 21 is one of the most effective ways to prevent alcohol abuse.

False. These scholars believe that the Italian pattern of introducing children to diluted wine at an early age in a family setting coupled with an overall social disapproval of drunkenness is one of the most effective ways to prevent alcohol abuse.

True or False: Demographic studies have shown that wine drinkers are better educated and earn more than non-wine drinkers.


At what blood alcohol concentration do most people perceive the maximum relaxation?


Wine provides about how many calories per four-ounce serving?


True or False: Although wine has a 4000-year history of therapeutic use, it is not considered useful in today's hospital settings in the U.S.

False. A survey of U.S. urban hospitals found that wine was used as an appetite stimulant, for its general therapeutic value, and as an aid to sleep in place of tranquilizers.

True or False: The people who should be most concerned about sulfites in wine are sulfite-sensitive, steroid-dependent asthmatics.


Medical researchers define moderate alcohol consumption as about how many four-ounce glasses of wine daily?

1-2 glasses daily

True or False: The research reviewed by Dr. Keith Marton showed that cardiovascular mortality increased with heavy alcohol use and that moderate drinkers have a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to non-drinkers.


True or False: Boffetta's and Garfinkel's study showed that at three or more drinks per day there is an increased risk of death for drinkers compared to non-drinkers, particularly for liver cirrhosis.


True or False: Although Dr. Marton's review of the research literature showed a 50% increase in breast cancer for moderate drinkers compared to non-drinkers, there are a number of reasons why our understanding of the relationship between moderate drinking and breast cancer is less certain than it is for cardiovascular disease.


True or False: About 90% of women who are active alcoholics during pregnancy will deliver a child who clearly suffers from FAS.

False. About one in ten of 10% of women who are active alcoholics during pregnancy will deliver a child who clearly suffers from FAS.

Briefly explain why women must weigh more than one risk when considering whether or not to drink.

Women have to weigh the increased risk of breast cancer against the cardioprotective effect of moderate drinking as well as possible effects on the fetus if they are pregnant.

True or False: Perception refers to an organism's immediate neurological response to a stimulus in the environment.

False. Sensation does that.

True or False: Sensory stimuli in wine are restricted to being either chemical or physical "activators".

False. Stimuli can also be thermal.

The smallest concentration of a wine component required for a taster to name it - "By jove, that's sweet!" - is called the _____.

Recognition Threshold

Refer to the label De Loach Vineyards Estate Bottled Russian River Valley Gewürztraminer 1987 Early Harvest. Given that "residual sugar 1.2% by wt" is about 1.2 grams per 100ml, this wine would taste sweet to

About 50% of people

True or False: Winetasting focuses on a relatively narrow range of existing colors.

False. In winetasting we take advantage of a large part of our capacity to distinguish a wide range of colors from yellow-greens to brick reds and purples.

True or False: Wine sensory components such as color which evoke pleasure in and of themselves are said to have a hedonic quality.


What sensory quality would not be expected from the clue "A white wine is very pale and nearly colorless?"

Intense fruit aromas

True or False: Overall quality in red wines is correlated with total color and pigment content.


True or False: Our appreciation of wines is mainly due to their odors.


True or False: Flavors are actually odors - or "in-mouth smells" - that reach our olfactory epithelium when we hold the wine in our mouths.


True or False: The maximum sensitivity of our sense of smell has been estimated at one part per 10,000.

False. It's one part per million to several parts per trillion.

True or False: It has been estimated that the average person an learn as many as 200 odors.

False. The estimates suggest we can learn about 1000 odors. Wine has about 200 odors.

True or False: The sensory organ for the sense of smell is located at the top and rear of the nasal cavity and about 5-10% of the air reaches it in normal breathing.


What is the "retro nasal route"?

It's the passageway from the rear of the mouth and rear nasal passages to the olfactory epithelium.

True or False: We can only smell volatile molecules that can evaporate from the surface of a wine at the range of temperatures at which it is customarily served.


Which of the winetasting activities listed below is not done to enhance a taster's ability to experience the wine's odors?

Hold the wine against a white background

True or False: Winetasters may find that a wine's odors are stronger and more pleasant when they are experienced in the mouth as flavors rather than as odors entering the olfactory area in inhaled air.


Which taste quality is very rare in wines?


When is the mechanism of taste dependent on saliva?

To be tasted a solid substance must be dissolved in the saliva. Without saliva to dissolve the substances that produce taste stimuli, we could only experience touch sensations with our mouth.

Where are the papillae located that have very few taste buds in them?

On the tongue's top surface

True or False: We should question the accuracy of the taste bud map of the tongue because we don't taste sweet or sour or bitter or salty in just one place.


At a gross level we are most sensitive to which taste quality?


Which item on the list below is not perceived in wine with our sense of touch?


When the stimulus alcohol present in high amounts in a wine, you can expect to experience both a taste and a tactile sensation. These sensations are

sweet (taste), hot (tactile)

True or False: Adaptation is a change in sensitivity that occurs in response to different levels of stimulation. Winetasters learn to work with olfactory adaptation by resting 15-45 seconds between sniffs when evaluating wines.


True or False: An example of taste adaptation is the fact that we are unaware of the taste of our own saliva.


Refer to the label William Hill 1989 Willamette Valley Oregon Dry White Riesling. Which statement below is an accurate prediction of how you would expect this wine to taste and smell to most people?

Without perceptible sweetness and with an aroma which has an element that is like roses

True or False: PTC tasting is a well-documented example of how dramatically people can vary in their ability to taste something bitter and it accurately predicts a person's sensitivity to bitterness in wines.

False. PTC tasting does not predict a person's sensitivity to bitterness in wines.

True or False: Anosmia can refer to the loss of a person's ability to smell all odors and the term "specific anosmia" is used when someone cannot detect a particular scent but otherwise has a normal sense of smell.


The "Orange Juice Effect" is an example of

A taste modifier

You just served two glasses of De Loach Vineyards Estate Bottled Russian River Valley Gewürztraminer 1987 Early Harvest to a friend. One glass is colder and the other is warmer. When she taste them, the warmer wine will seem


True or False: The National Geographic Smell Survey found that olfactory sensitivity is reduced during pregnancy and that odor perception declines during aging.


True or False: Women are more able to learn to identify odors than men.


True or False: Blind tastings - in which the wines are identified only by a letter or numerical code - are designed to eliminate stimulus errors which occur when irrelevant criteria are used to judge wines.


True or False: Our ability to recall wine odors can be reduced by giving the odor a verbal structure, such as our associations with the odor and dictionary-style definitions.

False. Giving an odor a verbal structure, such as our associations with the odor and dictionary-style definitions, enhances our ability to recall its name.

True or False: The wine aroma wheel was designed to enhance the accuracy of communication about wine odors among members of the wine industry.


When judging the appearance of wines, the taster evaluates their


True or False: The higher the alcohol content of a wine, the thicker the streams produced when the wine falls back down the side of the glass after it is swirled.

False. The streams are thinner in higher alcohol wines.

In white table wines, this color is a sign that the wine has been exposed to too much air in production or has been bottle aged too long


True or False: Within the normal color range for white table wines, darker colors are associated with oak barrel aging and/or later harvests


True or False: Among red wines, a purple hue is associated with older, bottle-aged wines and the brick red hue is characteristic of young wines.

False. Purple wines are younger and get more brick red with age.

True or False: Because their detection and prevention is of central concern to winemakers, a very large number of off odors have been linked to particular diagnostic chemicals - such as acetic acid and ethyl acetate - which can be found by laboratory as well as sensory analysis.


In wine usage, ______ refers to the odors which come from the grape and ______ is used for smells that come from fermentation and aging in oak and bottle.

Aroma, Bouquet

True or False: For a wine to have perceptible varietal aromas requires a particular grape variety, proper growing conditions, and careful winemaking.


True or False: The term "flavor components" is used for the chemicals responsible for a wine's taste and tactile sensations.


True or False: A wine with inadequate body would be correctly described as flat.


What sensation would you expect in your mouth when the stimulus tannin in the wine is low or absent?


True or False: You are tasting two White Riesling wines. They are identical except for sugar content. Wine A has three times as much sugar as wine B. When you taste the two wines, you expect wine A to have more body than wine B.


True or False: Great wines are distinguished from ordinary wines by their greater complexity, harmony, and the power to stimulate the emotions.


True or False: Serious wine tasters do not smoke during tastings and do not come to them wearing perfume, after-shave, or with recently-brushed teeth.


The glasses for winetastings are not


This group of wines is served at the coldest temperature both in the restaurant and tasting laboratory:

sparkling and sweet wine

Which tasting order would place the second wine at a disadvantage?

sweet before dry

True or False: To inspect wine for a color, hold it up to a bright source of light such as a clear light bulb or candle.

False. To inspect a wine for color, hold it up to a white background.

True or False: Winetasters begin the olfactory stage of evaluating a wine by swirling the wine in the glass for 6 or 8 quick revolutions and putting their noses into the glass and taking 4 or 5 quick, deep sniffs.

False. Winetasters begin the olfactory stage of evaluating a wine by sniffing the wine without swirling and swirl 1-2 revolutions and sniff 2-3 times in the second stage.

True or False: Winetasters draw some air through the wine so that all their taste buds can come into contact with the wine and the tactile receptors in their mouths can sense its sweetness and tartness

False. Winetasters "chew" the wine so that all their taste buds can come into contact with the wine.

True or False: A winetaster who is evaluating the quality of a wine will take time to notice -among other things - if the wine has a lot of odors or flavors or just a few, how well the individual parts fit together, and if it pleases him or her.


True or False: Table wines are also referred to as natural wines and contain 14% alcohol or less.


True or False: A cone is a subgroup of a grape species and is distinguished from other clones by economically important hereditary traits such as its climactic adaptation.

False. A grape variety is a subgroup of a grape species and is distinguished from other varieties by economically important hereditary traits such as its climactic adaptation. Clones are "sub-varieties".

True or False: Varietal wines are made mainly from a single variety of grapes that should impart a characteristic aroma and flavor to the wine.


True or False: The wine type refers to a winemaker's characteristic way of combining and balancing the sensory features that distinguish a particular wine to create an individualistic expression of that wine.

False. Style refers to a winemaker's characteristic way of combining and balancing the sensory features.

True or False: You would expect a warmer glass of a wine to have more intense aromas compared to a colder glass of the same wine.


Which grape variety below would be most consistently used for premium wines rather than jug wines?


True or False: Weather refers to the generally prevailing weather conditions in a region - temperature, wind speed, rainfall, etc. - averaged over a series of years.

False. The definition is for climate.

The climate of the vineyard is called a


True or False: The degree to which a grapevine's foliage and fruit are exposed to light can determine the amount of distinctive flavor compounds in its grapes.


True or False: If the amounts of the chemicals responsible for the celery/fresh vegetable, herbaceous, or grassy character of Sauvignon Blanc are reduced, fruity flavors of grapefruit, pineapple, melon, and fig emerge.


According to the grape growers surveyed, which vineyard factor below does not promote grassiness in Sauvignon Blanc?

Less fertilization

True or False: When grapes ripen, they get bigger and softer, their green color fades, aromatic compounds increase, sugars increase, and both total acid concentration and acid strength increase.

False. Both total acid concentration and acid strength decrease.

True or False: For winemaking the most important sugar in grape juice is sucrose.

False. The most important sugars in grape juice are glucose and fructose.

True or False: The amount of sugar in grape juice is estimated by measuring its density in units called "degrees Brix," which correspond to the percentage by weight of sugar in the juice.


If you were buying Chardonnay grapes for your winery, what composition listed below would you like them to have?

22.9 degrees Brix, .80 total acid

Why can grapes from two vineyards with the same hot daytime temperatures have different acid compositions?

On cool nights the grapes need less energy and use up less malic acid. Locations with cooler nighttime temperatures produce fruit that is higher in malic acid than that produced in sites where it stays warm all night.

True or False: The weakening of acid strength during ripening is more important for wine quality than is the decrease in the total amount of acid, because wines with stronger acid strengths have brighter colors, require smaller amounts of sulfur dioxide to protect them, and more easily resist spoilage.


True or False: Refractometers are used to estimate degrees Brix of a properly collected vineyard sample and can also be used to measure the disappearance of sugars during fermentation.

False. Hydrometers can do both of these measurements.

This winemaking step ideally involves only breaking the skins of the grape berries to allow the juice to flow out without any damage to the seeds or stems.


The mixture of skins, seeds, stems, juice, and pulp produced when the skin of the grape is broken and the juice flows out is called


True or False: Sulfur dioxide is added at the crusher to slow down the growth of microbes that can spoil wines and to protect the juice from reactions with oxygen that can lead to both browning of pigments and deterioration of aroma and flavor.


A typical sulfur dioxide in wine would be ______.

35-125 parts per million

True or False: Sulfur dioxide is only added once during winemaking, at the crusher-stemmer.

False. Sulfur dioxide levels are monitored throughout winemaking and small amounts are added whenever they are needed.

True or False: For premium wine varietal wine production skin contact means that the chilled must is pumped into a tank to sit for several hours.


True or False: Free-run juice has more sugar and less acid and tannin than press-run juice because press juice is extracted at higher pressures from must containing a higher proportion of stems, skins, and seeds.


True or False: Grappa can be produced when press juice is fermented and then distilled.


True or False: Modern premium winemaking equipment allows the extraction of about 135-185 gallons of juice per ton of grapes. This is made up of about 3 times as much press-run juice as free-run juice.

False. It's (about) three times more free-run than press-run.

True or False: The grape solids in the must are called pomace.


True or False: A juice with about 20 degrees Brix will yield a wine with about 10% alcohol through fermentation by yeasts, primarily from the genus Saccharomyces.


True or False: Because carbon dioxide gas is produced during fermentation, fermentation tanks are equipped with one-way valves that allow CO2 to escape while preventing air from entering.


True or False: Wild yeasts are not used by most wineries because they can produce off odors and typically stop fermenting at around 6-9% alcohol.


Why does the degrees Brix not drop much during the early stages of a white wine fermentation?

The degrees Brix does not drop because at this stage; while the yeast cells are metabolizing with the aid of the dissolved oxygen in the grape juice and increasing in number, they have not consumed enough glucose to change the density of the juice.

What additional evidence of yeast growth and metabolism besides the drop in degrees Brix do wineries measure during the active stage of fermentation?

Another indication of the increased fermentation activity of the yeasts in addition to the rapid drop in degrees Brix is the warming of the fermenting juice.

True or False: A stuck fermentation is one that cannot be started.

False. It's one that stops by itself before all the glucose has been used up.

Which procedure listed below would you not expect to be done before fermentation of Chardonnay?

Cold stabilization

A probable fermentation temperature for premium quality white table wines would be about ______ degrees Fahrenheit.


True or False: Wines of 2-3% residual sugar can be made by slowing down their fermentations before all the sugar has been used up by chilling them at about 4-8 degrees Brix and then centrifuging to remove the cold-inactivated yeast.


True or False: Sediments in wine tanks are called lees.


You are having dinner at a friend's house and drinking a delicious bottle of white wine. You pick it up and notice that the label says "CALLAWAY Vineyard and Winery 1990 'CALLA-LEES' Chardonnay. 'IN THE CLASSIC SUR LIE STYLE'. Your friend asks you what "the classic sur lie style" means. You explain...

If you were quoting Chapter 3 directly, you would say, "in some cases, most commonly for Chardonnay, the winemaker may want to add a yeast character similar to champagne bouquet to the wine and will allow the wine to remain in contact with the yeast for weeks or months; this is called sur lie aging"

True or False: The malolactic fermentation reduces the acidity in the fermenting grape juice and finished wine because it converts the malic acid from the grape juice to lactic acid, which is less tart.


What additional changes occur in wines that undergo the malolactic fermentation?

In addition to reducing acidity, the MLF causes other organoleptic changes: it produces gas and causes the wines to be less fruity and to have transient cheesy off odors, but it also allows them to develop greater complexity - including a buttery flavor - with aging.

True or False: The malolactic fermentation is most often used to reduce the acidity of warm-region or warm-to-hot-season grape juices.

False. The MLF is used in cool-regions or cool-seasons.

True or False: It is critical for winemakers to control the timing of the MLF to be sure that it is completed before bottling.


True or False: Because most of the world's white table wines emphasize the aroma of the grapes and the MLF reduces fruitiness, most winemakers take precautions to prevent the MLF altogether in these wines.


The process of transferring wine from one vat containing lees to another vat which is clean is called:


If wine can be made perfectly clear simply with settling and racking, why do few wineries rely on these methods?

Wineries do not use these slower, "natural" methods because the wine would be too old for contemporary tastes by the time it reached the market.

True or False: In filtering, the wine is forced through media that vary in "tightness" from those that trap and remove just the very largest particles (chunks of grape skins) to those that take out tiny malolactic bacteria.


True or False: Fining is a clarification process that is used as much to alter other important organoleptic properties of wines as to clarify them.


True or False: Fining agents (such as gelatin and egg albumen) react with the specific wine components (tannins in this case) that are to be removed and form particles that can be removed.


True or False: A wine is neither heat- nor cold-stable if it becomes cloudy when exposed to high temperatures and it forms crystals when subjected to temperatures around 32 degrees F.


True or False: Making sure wines are microbiologically stable is designed to prevent gassiness and the development of off odors and flavors from bacteria and yeast growth during barrel aging.

False. Microbiological stability is designed to prevent cloudiness as well and also to avoid undesirable changes other than off odor and flavor such as drop in the acidity of a hot-region wine. It is also very (more, actually) important to prevent changes in the bottle than in the barrels. Problems that occur when the wine is in the barrels can be fixed. After the wine is bottled, they cannot be remedied.

True or False: Sterile filtration followed by aseptic bottling are key strategies in creating microbiological stability.

True, even when other measures are taken as well.

True or False: Because vinegar bacteria can spoil wine only in the presence of oxygen, winemakers minimize air contact with wines in bulk storage.


True or False: Because nearly all white table wines are valued principally for their youthful, fruity characteristics, the vast majority of white wines are aged in neutral containers only for as long as it takes to clarify and stabilize them. Only a tiny minority of the world's white wines are candidates for aging in oak containers.


What three things happen when wines age in oak barrels?

Three things happen: alcohol and water evaporate through the sides of the container, concentrating the wine; some oxygen dissolves in the wine, allowing oxygen-dependent maturation reactions to occur slowly; and substances - color, odor, and flavor components and tannins - from the wood are extracted into the wine.

Why has oak become the traditional aging container for wines?

Oak has become the traditional wood for aging premium wines because the trees are large enough to make wine containers of useful sizes, the wood is tight-grained, strong, and resilient and can be worked into the curved shapes needed for barrels, and the flavors extracted are desirable in wines.

True or False: American oak barrels will impart more oak or vanilla flavor to wines than will European oak barrels.


True or False: For winemaking, oak from the forests of France is all pretty much the same.

False. Winemakers find significant differences in oak from various forests in France: the trees in the warmer Limousin forest produce a more open-grained wood that contributes oak extract to wines relatively quickly, while slower-growing trees in the more central forests of Nevers and Troncais produce tight-grained woods that give up their flavors and tannins to wines more gradually.

True or False: Larger barrels will impart more oak character to wines than small barrels.

False. Smaller barrels give wines more oak flavor.

Under which aging conditions will the components of the wine in a barrel become concentrated?

The barrels are stored in a relatively dry environment such as an above-ground warehouse in California.

Describe the aging regime you would use for White Riesling or other wine to which you want to add very little or no oak flavor.

Such wines are either aged in stainless steel tanks or large, typically oval-shaped oak barrels of 500-2000 gallons capacity.

You are going to make your mark in the wine world by creating a rare style of dry Chenin Blanc with a lot of oak character. What aging regine would you use?

You could begin by fermenting Chenin Blanc in juice in oak barrels and add more oak by aging the wine for several months in new 60-gallon American oak barrels.

True or False: Many California wineries have found that oak chips or oak structures added to wines in stainless steel tanks can satisfactorily duplicate all aspects of the barrel aging process and are much cheaper.

False. Even though these alternatives add oak character to the wines, they cannot have the same effect on a wine's other sensory properties because they will not be concentrated by the evaporation of water the way they can be in wooden cooperage.

True or False: There are certain conventions based on flavor and structural compatibility that are followed by many producers when making varietal blends. For example, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are often blended.

False. Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are more often blended.

True or False: The bottle shape and color are chosen for a particular wine based on the traditional shapes and colors used in the European wine. Clear Bordeaux bottles are often used for Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon varietal wines.


True or False: Corks come from the bark of an oak, Quercus Suber


True or False: The date that bottles in the case were filled is stamped on the box. This is useful for estimating the approximate drinkability of wines without vintage dates.


You have been hired by Château Prestigious Wine Cellars to project their cash flows in the first year of operation. Based on your extensive knowledge of the white wine making process, you calculate that the first income from the sale of their oak-aged Chardonnay wines could come at about _______ months after the harvest.


You lost your job when Château Prestigious Wine Cellars folded because its first year cash flows were gobbled up by the owner's high-living son-in-law. Luckily, you have been hired by the neighboring wine cellar, Chateau Very Ordinary, and asked you to project their cash flows. Based on your extensive knowledge of the white wine making process, you calculate that they could expect to first earn income from the sale of their Jus' Plain Mountain Chablis wines about ______ months after the harvest.


True or False: Blends are typically made the same day as the wines are bottled.

False. Blends are made well in advance of their bottling dates to allow flavors to marry and to provide time to correct any unforeseen problems.

True or False: California's coastal wineries store bottled wines an average of four months at the winery until they are released for sale.


White item on the list is not part of "the best possible aging conditions" for bottled wines?


True or False: The best wines will improve indefinitely after bottling if kept under the proper conditions.

False. Sadly, all wines will improve only up to a certain point and then deteriorate - except for the publicity that they can bring their buyers.

Pick the worst wine on this list for bottle aging:

White Zinfandel

True or False: For premium white varietal grapes grown in California, cooler growing regions produce wines with greater aging potential.

True - and for other areas too, not just California.

What changes would you expect when white wines age in the bottle?

You can expect increased complexity and moderated tartness.

True or False: California wineries use sensory evaluation in quality control and the average tasting situation involves five tasters examining no more than 10 to 30 wines per day.

False. The average tasting situation, involves five tasters who examine 30 wines per day in one to three sessions.

Which components of white table wines 1. originate from the grapes; 2. are fermentation end products; and 3. are developed during agin?

1. color, sugar, acidity, varietal aroma and flavor; 2. alcohol and carbon dioxide; 3. malolactic fermentation and/or oak barrel and/or sur lie-aging flavors

What winemaking steps would you use to make a Sauvignon Blanc without grassiness?

Harvest at 22 degrees Brix or above, no skin contact, ferment in barrels and at warmer temperatures, age in oak sur lie, and blend with Sémillon or Chardonnay.

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