On Wine


Wine Quiz
Queen of Sheba, Joan of Arc and Other Wine Lovers

by Fred McMillin



Can you get an A on at least one part of this three part quiz?

Match the person (1-3) with the event (A-D) below.

Two correct = A, one correct = B.


Part One of Quiz

  • 1. Napoleon
  • 2. Joan of Arc
  • 3. Queen of Sheba
  • A. Switched from Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon.
  •      (Hint: When in exile.)
  • B. Liked bread dipped into red wine.
  •      (Hint: The wine was French.)
  • C. Planted a grape from the Muscat family.
  • D. Drank fermented honey instead of wine from grapes.
  • 1-A: Napoleon switched to Cab.
  • 2-B: Joan dipped her bread into wine.
  • 3-D: Sheba drank fermented honey.

Noah made wine from a Muscat.


Part Two of Quiz

  • 1. Ernest Weir
  • 2. Jacob Beringer
  • 3. Ernest Gallo
  • A. Killed when the tractor he was driving overturned.
  • B. Makes kosher wines. (Hint: In the Napa Valley.)
  • C. Was a basketball star at Gonzaga University.
  •      (Hint: Winery is in Lake County.)
  • D. Learned how to make wine and barrels in Germany
  •      before coming to Napa Valley
  • 1-B: Weir makes kosher wine.
  • 2-D: Beringer was from Germany.
  • 3-A: Gallo died in a tractor accident.



The basketball star is Jed Steele of Steele Wines.


Part Three of Quiz

  • 1. Genghis Khan
  • 2. Charles Darwin
  • 3. Charles Dickens
  • A. Was first to call aged port wine "tawny."
  • B. One of the first admirers of the wine made in Shiraz.
  • C. Reported that the first wine vines in New Zealand
  •      (planted by British missionaries from Austalia)
  •      were looking good. (Hint: On the good ship H.M.S. Beagle.)
  • D. Named Sauvignon Blanc Fumé Blanc.
  •      (Hint: Inspired by visit to France.)
  • 1-B: Khan liked Shiraz.
  • 2-C: Darwin saw vines in New Zealand.
  • 3-A: Dickens called port wine "tawny".

Sauvignon Blanc was renamed by Robert Mondavi.


We hope you got at least one B while contemplating the wonderful world of wine from Noah to Napa. Here is some good sipping while you are thinking.



California wines to enjoy while contemplating the answers:

  • Noah—Black Muscat-Elysium, Quady Winery, California, 2007, $20
  • Sheba—Raspberry Mead, Chaucer's Cellars, California, NV $15
  • Napoleon—Cabernet Sauvignon, St. Supery Estate, Napa Valley, 2003, $38
  • Basketball Star—Cabernet Franc Rosé, Steele Wines, Lake County, 2005, $15
  • Gallo—Pinot Noir, Gallo of Sonoma, MacMurray Ranch, Sonoma Coast, 2003, $17
  • G. Kahn—Shiraz, Little Boomey (Sutter Home), Australia, 2004, $8

And a Final Wine Smile

An affluent vintner's wife lost her Mastercard. When he was asked by a reporter why he had not stopped payment on the card, he replied, "Whoever found the card spends a whole lot less than my wife did."


Tasting: Edgar Vogt
Statistics: Ophelia Mercado


Fred McMillin

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He was voted one of the U.S.A's 22 Best wine writers by the Academy of Wine Communications. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.


Copyright © 2009, Fred McMillin. All rights reserved.


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