Monday, November 15, 2010

The WSET / ISG Challenge Number 3: Valpolicella

Today we put the tricky one first. If you got it right, give yourself a pat on the back because Frank was being downright devious. And if, like me, you’re always on the lookout for some interesting new pairings, here are a couple that surprised me from Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page’s exception book What to Eat with What You Drink: curries, eggplant, and quiche. Naturally pastas, pizza, and prosciutto are high on the list.

Now here come the answers.

Which of the following wines is made from the same grapes as Valpolicella?

a. Barolo

b. Barbaresco

c. Barbera de Alba

d. Bardinolino

Answer: D. This one is a little tricky. Barolo and Barbaresco use Nebbiolo only. Barbera de Alba is given away with the Barbera, a grape grown in the Piedmonte region of Italy – as are the Barbaresco and Barolo. Barbera is used in Valpolicella up to 15%, but Barbera de Alba does not use the other varieties used

in Valpolicella. Bardinolino (shown right) is in the Vento region as is Valpolicella and all the permitted grapes are the same as Valpolicella.

Which is not a grape used in the production of Valpolicella?

a. Corvina

b. Verdicchio

c. Rondinella

d. Molinara

Answer: B. This one should have been easy. Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara are grapes permitted in this DOC. Corvinone, which at one time was considered to be a clone of Cornina, is another allowed variety. Molinara is considered the lesser of the varieties and is no long a mandatory component for Valpolicella but is allowed. Verdicchio, however, is a classic white grape and thus not used in Valpolicella. FYI: Verdicchio is also a wine region in Marche of central Italy.

FYI: These are actual practice questions from Frank’s WSET and ISG studies. Let us know how you’re enjoying them and using them.

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