This year has been tough all round. Mostly when we look back on 2020 we’ll think of lockdown, face masks and social distancing and hope that we can soon consign that all to history. But there is one Coronavirus trend that we really hope continues: the virtual pub quiz.
Friends, colleagues and families up and down the country have taken to socialising virtually by taking part in quizzes, games and parties online, more often than not with a tipple in hand.
So we’ve done all the hard work for you and come up with some great wine facts that you can use in your next quiz to challenge and entertain your pals.
Q: What is the most planted grape variety in the world?
A: Cabernet Sauvignon
There are actually over 10,000 different varieties of Vitis vinifera (the species of grapes that is used to make wine), but only a few dozen have achieved worldwide acclaim. Many countries rely on local grapes, while others predominantly use the so-called international varieties that are grown all over the world.
Currently, the most widely grown variety is Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for around 7% of the total world vineyard area. Merlot comes in second, while the Spanish grape Tempranillo finishes off the top 3 after a surge in popularity in recent years. And for Chardonnay, this widely known grape variety is the most planted white grape - so you’d get half a point for this answer!
Q: Who invented Champagne?
A: Dom Perignon
The French will tell you that a monk by the name of Dom Pierre Perignon invented Champagne at the end of the seventeenth century. The famous quote “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” comes from Dom Pérignon, right when he was having the first sip of Champagne.
That being said, there’s also proven facts that the first ever sparkling wine was in fact discovered by an Englishman. Christopher Merrett first documented how to make sparkling wine in 1662 in a paper presented to the Royal Society, some 35 years earlier than his French counterpart. While not technically Champagne, his English sparkling wine was made using an incredibly similar method. So there you have it, just don’t tell the French!
Q: Which country produces the most wine?
Wine is produced in just about every country in the world, but production is dominated by some big players. The biggest wine producer is Italy, followed by France and then Spain, with the USA coming in fourth. These four are head and shoulders above the rest of the world, and together account for over half of the world’s wine production.
Q: Which country consumes the most wine?
A: The United States
In terms of outright consumption, the US is the biggest drinker of wine with nearly 35 million hectolitres of wine drank through the country every year.
Looking at the per capita figures it’s Portugal leading the way, followed by France. The UK isn’t doing so bad either with about 23 litres/capita a year.
However, if you want to really stump your friends and family, in actual fact the biggest wine drinkers per head are the tiny principality of Andorra (who put away an impressive 56.9 litres per head and the Vatican City (56.2 litres) who drink everyone else under the table.
Q: What is the most expensive wine ever sold? Extra point if you can guess how much in American dollars.
A: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti for $558,000
While you can grab a bottle for a fiver in the supermarket, there are some very special bottles that command astronomical prices. The most expensive wine ever sold fetched a whopping $558,000 at auction in New York in 2018. The 1945 bottle, from the highly esteemed Domaine de la Romanée-Conti in Burgundy, was one of only 600 bottles produced that year. It sold for 17 times its original estimate.
Q: What is a fear of wine called?
I know it’s hard to believe, but some people do have an irrational fear of wine and it’s called oenophobia. It can cause extreme anxiety and irrational behaviour in the presence of wine.
Q: What is a Critter Wine?
A: Wine label with an animal
Critter wines are denounced by some and revered by others, some people even collect them, but what exactly is it? Quite simply, a critter wine is a wine with an animal on the label. Once more commonly found on new world wines, it’s a phenomenon that stretches to all corners of the wine producing world.
Designed to appeal to a younger audience and inject a bit of fun into the world of wine, most of us can’t help but smile at a bottle with a cute label.
Q: What is a Nebuchadnezzer?
A: A 15L bottle of wine
While most of us are used to drinking out of a standard 750ml bottle of wine, there are a variety of different sized bottles, holding from as little as 187ml right up to a gargantuan 30 litres.
A Nebuchadnezzer (many of the larger bottles are named after biblical kings) holds an impressive 15 litres of wine, equivalent to 20 bottles and takes some careful pouring!
Q: Which two countries slugged it out at the ‘Judgment of Paris’ in 1976 and who won?
A: France vs the US, the US won
The Judgement of Paris was a wine competition held in Paris where top class Chardonnays and the best Bordeaux style wines from France and California were pitted against each other in a fight to the death (ok, not quite, but it did turn out to be very dramatic).
Ten French and one American judge marked the wines and to the surprise of everyone at that time, Californian wines took the top honours in both categories. It turned out to be a major event in the world of wine, bringing Californian wines to worldwide attention. In the years since, films have been made and books have been written about the event, adding to its legendary status.
Q: What wine related item was invented by Sir Kenelm Digby?
A: The ‘modern’ wine bottle
Ok, so this last one is quite hard, so we might want to give you a clue! Sir Kenelm may not be a household name, but he has probably made quite a contribution to your life…
He was a seventeenth century courtier and diplomat, and amongst other achievements and a rather colourful life, he is considered the father of the modern wine bottle.
His glassworks produced a bottle that was stronger than most and also due to its green or brown colour protected the wine inside from the light. Next time you enjoy a glass, remember to raise a toast to Sir Kenelm!
Now you’re ready to have some fun, just remember to pick out an awesome wine to accompany your virtual quiz! Start here with Winebuyers.