Enjoying Life One Glass at a Time

January 2016 Wine Club
The 3rd Almost-Annual Merrill Ranch Wine Shuffle


There we were, facing down another winter of brutal snow storms, slate-gray skies and bitter temperatures. Oh, wait, that was the rest of the country!

Well, we did have to slog through the 3rd Almost-Annual Merrill Ranch Wine Shuffle wherein our membership challenged themselves with a quiz, wine identification and ‘guess the number of corks’ games. All of that while simultaneously participating in our normal Slosh n Nosh, featuring the best appetizers north of Nogales!

A bit of leftover dues and some unused monthly bucks left us with a nice stash to return to our members in the form of some nice prizes! We spread them out by table winners and individual winners.

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The Wines to Identify and the Corks to Guess


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Prizes, Prizes, Prizes…




The quiz, consisting of wine trivia questions and wine identification, proved to be quite a challenge. The high score was 60 out of 100. The quiz (with XXX’d correct answers) is reproduced below.





Trivia Questions for the 3rd Almost Annual
Merrill Ranch Wine Shuffle


1. What is the name of the large format that will hold 20 standard (750ml) bottles for wine?

a. Jeroboam
b. Methuselah
XXX c. Nebuchadnezzar
d. Rehoboam

2. What kind of wine is traditionally made from the pinot noir grape?

a. Beaujolais
XXX b. Burgundy
c. Bordeaux
d. Umpqua

3. When at a restaurant and a small amount of wine is poured to taste, the purpose here is to

a. see if you like the wine
b. make sure it is the wine you thought it was
XXX c. make sure the wine is not spoiled
d. to find out if it needs to be decanted

4. What is the dominant grape in Chianti wine?

a. dolcetto
XXX b. sangiovese
c. zinfandel
d. nebiolo
5. Reducing the grape crop yield usually does what for the resulting wines?

a. lowers the alcohol level
XXX b. intensifies the flavor
c. dilutes the fruit qualities
d. can disguise the characteristics of the grape type

6. By law the word “Reserve” may only be placed on which US made wines?

a. Rare vintages available only to select clients
b. Wines aged at least 10 years before being
c. released to the market
d. Wines from designated vineyards
XXXe. Any wine

7. How long does it take before a grapevine will bear fruit suitable for winemaking?

a. about 6 months to a year
XXXb. about 3 – 5 years
c. about 10 years
d. about 20 – 30 years

8. The Napa Valley Appellation accounts for what percentage of all Californian wine?

a. Approximately 52%
b. Approximately 37%
c. Approximately 15%
XXXd. Approximately 4%

9. What is the most planted red wine grape in Alsace?

a. pinot noir
b. gamay
c. cabernet franc
XXXd. blaufrankisch

10. I’m drinking Nerello Mascalese. Where is it likely to come from?

a. Piedmont
b. Lombardy
XXXc. Sicily
d. Le Marche

11. What is the difference between looking at a French wine and an American in terms of how it is labeled?

a. French wine is labeled in ml and American in ounces.
b. Only American wine is marked with the alcohol content.
c. American wine must have the dominant grape on the label.
XXXd. French wine is labeled by where it is made.

12. If champagne is sweet, it is because:

a. the wine is not allowed to complete fermentation.
b. very ripe grapes are used.
XXXc. sugar is added after fermentation is complete.
d. a sweeter grape variety is used.

13. Tiny crystal deposits in white wine are probably:

a. sugar
XXXb. tartrate
c. egg white
d. isinglass

14. A lot of people don’t know that:

a. Carmenere is a Bordeaux variety.
b. Brunello is actually Sangiovese.
c. Chianti is not a grape type.
XXXd. All of the above are true.


15. Which of the following are wineries that make OGP wine from Amador County?

a. Scott Harvey, Andis, Sutter Creek.
XXXb. Vino Noceto, Macchia, Andis.
c. Andis, Harold Scott, Renwood.
d. Renwood, Vino Noceto, Macchia.

16. The ‘methode champenoise’ might be associated with the following:

a. Pinot Noir, Brut, Spain, Seco
b. Noir de Blanc, Riddling, France
c. Secondary Fermentation, Brut, Fiddling
XXXd. Blanc de Blanc, Extra Dry, Riddling




We also had a little tribute to our unofficial member, Patti, who has been such a help to us through the months…


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And winners…

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And more winners…

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So, until the next go-round….


Lazy Susan

Cheers!