Educating Peter

Excerpted from Educating Peter by Lettie Teague. Copyright 2007 by Lettie Teague. Reprinted by permission from Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

After months of lessons and many hundreds of glasses of wine, there was only one way to determine if Peter and I had truly accomplished what we'd set out to do: Peter would need to take a final exam. "I really don't think that's necessary," Peter protested nervously when I broached the idea. "Can't you just take my word for it? Or maybe take me out to dinner again? I don't only drink fatty Chardonnay anymore, and I'm not scared of almost any red wine-including Cabernet. I know how to volatize my esters and I've got invitations to visit about a dozen winemakers and to stay at their homes—isn't that more than any final exam would tell you about the progress I've made?"


1. A slope-shouldered bottle indicates that
   A. The winemaker has bad posture
   B. The wine will contain sediment
   C. The wine is a Burgundy bottle

2. When a wine is called "hot," that means
   A. It's been approved by Paris Hilton
   B. It has too much alcohol
   C. It's been stored at Peter's house
   D. All of the above

3. Phylloxera is the name of a
   A. Vine-eating louse
   B. Bruce Willis movie
   C. Spanish grape

4. When a wine "shuts down," it becomes
   A. Tannic
   B. Quiet
   C. Flavorless

5. Wine auctions are most often attended by
   A. Lawyers
   B. Lawyers
   C. Lawyers

6. Noble rot refers to
   A. The decline of the House of Windsor
   B. A beneficial grape fungus
   C. The flavor of a type of Sherry

7. Which of these grapes is not grown in Bordeaux?
   A. Cabernet Sauvignon
   B. Semillon
   C. Gamay Noir
   D. Sauvignon Blanc

8. Which one of these wine regions does not have a major problem with hail?
   A. Mendoza, Argentina
   B. Burgundy, France
   C. Bordeaux, France

9. Swirling a glass of wine releases aromatic compounds called
   A. Esters
   B. Ethels
   C. Ernestos

10. Aroma is an important component in a wine's personality. Which of the following is the figure estimated as its importance?
   A. 50 percent
   B. 80 percent
   C. 95 percent

11. A corked wine can be said to smell like
   A. Wet newspapers
   B. Wet dogs
   C. Wet grass

12. Which of the following grapes (almost) never spends time in an oak barrel?
   A. Riesling
   B. Semillon
   C. Pinotage

13. Which grape is the most planted in the world?
   A. Chardonnay
   B. White Zinfandel
   C. Cabernet Sauvignon

14. Barrique is the name of a
   A. French oak barrel
   B. French card game
   C. French vineyard measurement

15. A "green" wine is one
   A. Made from underripe grapes
   B. Made from organic grapes
   C. Made in Ireland

16. Which of the following châteaux is not a first growth?
   A. Margaux
   B. Haut-Brion
   C. Pétrus

17. The wines of the Left Bank of Bordeaux are made predominantly from which grape?
   A. Cabernet Sauvignon
   B. Cabernet Franc
   C. Merlot

18. Which Médoc subregion, or "commune," has more second growths than any other?
   A. St. Julien
   B. Pauillac
   C. Margaux

19. The Côte d'Or is a
   A. Gated community in Beverly Hills
   B. Region in Burgundy
   C. Region in Champagne

20. The French use the term manly when describing
   A. Château Latour
   B. Hermitage
   C. Jerry Lewis

21. A négociant is a
   A. French movie agent
   B. French grape buyer
   C. French château broker

22. What is the biggest problem facing Alsace winemakers to date?
   A. An excess supply of Gewürztraminer grapes
   B. Wines that are considered too sweet
   C. An excess of German tourists on walking trips

23. The chief defining attribute of Loire Valley wines is
   A. Acidity
   B. Tannin
   C. Color

24. Marsanne and Roussanne are names of
   A. Vineyards in France's Rhône Valley
   B. Grape varieties cultivated in the Rhône Valley
   C. The fourth and fifth Musketeers

25. RD on the label of a bottle of Bollinger Champagne stands for
   A. Ready to drink
   B. Recently disgorged
   C. The real deal

26. Barolo and Barbaresco are the names of
   A. Italian towns
   B. Italian grapes
   C. Both

27. Falanghina is the name of
   A. A white grape grown in southern Italy
   B. A Roman emperor
   C. An Italian vine disease

28. There are good Italian Pinot Grigio producers. Where can some of the best examples be found?
   A. Tuscany
   B. Alto Adige
   C. New Jersey

29. Which of the following terms is used to describe a young Rioja wine?
   A. Infanta
   B. Crianza
   C. Niñera

30. Which man does not make a Spanish cult wine?
   A. Alvaro Palacios
   B. Peter Sisseck
   C. José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero

31. A port lodge is
   A. Where port is aged
   B. Where retired seamen congregate
   C. Where port is sold

32. The German wine classification system, known as the Prädikat system, ranks German wines according to
   A. Grape ripeness
   B. Bottle price
   C. Pronounceability

33. The most important grape in Germany is
   A. Riesling
   B. Müller-Thurgau
   C. Sylvaner

34. Blaufrankisch is a
   A. Red grape grown in Austria
   B. Two-door German sedan
   C. Red grape grown in Hungary

35. The Barossa Valley is
   A. A western epic colorized by Ted Turner
   B. A winemaking region in Australia
   C. Ted Turner's ranch in Montana

36. Pinotage is a
   A. Red grape native to South Africa
   B. Red grape native to Australia
   C. Car built by Ford in the seventies

37. One of the most famous Cabernets made in Chile is
   A. Don Melchor
   B. Don Ameche
   C. Don Pedro

38. Bonarda is
   A. A red grape grown in Argentina
   B. The head of a crime family in Brooklyn
   C. A red grape grown in Mendocino

39. Which grape is not successfully grown in Oregon?
   A. Pinot Noir
   B. Gamay
   C. Merlot

40. The father of New York State wine is considered to be
   A. Dr. Julius No
   B. Dr. Konstantin Frank
   C. Dr. John

41. Which of the following is a Napa Valley appellation?
   A. Mount Eden
   B. Mount Veeder
   C. Mount Napa

Extra-Credit Questions

42. Which of the following is the wine made by Francis Ford Coppola?
   A. Rubicon
   B. Opus One
   C. Don Corleone

43. Martin Scorsese's favorite wine is
   A. Chianti
   B. Barolo
   C. White Zinfandel

44. If movies were ranked according to the Bordeaux classification system, which movie would be a first growth?
   A. Citizen Kane
   B. Basic Instinct
   C. South Park: The Movie

45. James Bond's favorite Champagne is
   A. Cristal
   B. Dom Pérignon
   C. Bollinger
   D. All of the above
   E. B and C
   F. A and C

Extra credit: Write a one-paragraph description of your favorite wine.

Answers to the Wine Quiz:
1.c; 2.b; 3.a; 4.c; 5.a,b,c; 6.b; 7.d; 8.c; 9.a; 10.b; 11.a; 12.a; 13.a; 14.a;
15.a; 16.c; 17.a; 18.a; 19.b; 20.b; 21.b; 22.b; 23.a; 24.b; 25.b; 26.a;
27.a; 28.b; 29.b; 30.c; 31.a; 32.a; 33.a; 34.a; 35.b; 36.a; 37.a; 38.a; 39.c;
40.b; 41.b; 42.a; 43.a; 44.a; 45.b


Quite respectably. Peter's score of 84 percent (answering 37 out of 45 questions correctly) meant he earned a solid B. "I don't feel bad about that," Peter said. "The only question I missed that really bothers me was the question on hail. Particularly since I spent so much time talking about it." Meanwhile, Peter's description of his favorite wine earned him an A.

"The Hermann Wiemer Riesling from the Finger Lakes region remains one of my earliest and most pleasurable experiences. To the nose, the wine provided a light, tickling sensation that promised great things to come. What it delivered on the palate was even better—a dry (not sweet or sickening as Riesling's reputation would have it) sense of dazzle with surprising fullness and flavor. It finished beautifully, leaving me with a feeling of celebration-the kind you get when you've sampled something extraordinary. A wine with a great start, middle, and ending struck me as exactly what a great movie should be as well—a completely satisfying experience."