Monday, November 22, 2010

The WSET / ISG Challenge Number 4: Beaujolais

Hopefully by now you’ve got a bottle or two of your favourite Beaujolais in the cellar and a glass or two poured.

If you haven’t read I’ll Drink to That by Rudolph Chelminski (shown lower right), now might be the perfect time to treat yourself. In the chapter on the origin of the annual release festival, Chelminski takes reader on a romp through the history of what began as a race between two English gents and evolved into an international craze: be the first person to bring a bottle of primeur Beaujolais from France to London. Here’s another excerpt.

“Other non-Brits horned in on the act, making The Run into an international event. Most notable were a Danish Formula One driver who ran a load at top speed from Saint-Amour to the premises of a Copenhagen wine merchant, and a Dutch team promoting Holland cigars by moseying down to the Beaujolais country in a horse-drawn wagon, handing out free smokes along the way.

The foreigners were mere amateurs of absurdity compared to the Brits, though. A team from Milton Keynes invaded first Belgium and then France with a load of British wine called Hambledon. (The Belgian part went all right, but at the French border two hours of palavers and the intervention of a senior French diplomatic official were required to let them through.) Another team, my favourite, whose origins and purpose were obscure, made The Run in a white Bentley Continental with a flashing blue police light mounted on the roof, while wearing gorilla suites.”

What more can we say? Now check out how you did on yesterday’s questions.

How many villages in Beaujolais have the right to call their wines Beaujolais Villages.

a. 10

b. 37

c. 39

d. 96

In total, 96 villages can produce Beaujolais, however only 39 of them have the right to append their name to the label, thus becoming Beaujolais Villages which accounts for approximately a quarter of the region’s production. Then there are the 10 Beaujolais Crus. Gamay makes up about 98% of the plantings in Beaujolais.

Which is not a Beaujolais Cru

a. Morgon

b. Saint Amour

c. Moulin a Vent

d. Fixin

The 10 Beaujolais Crus (from north to south) are St. Amour, Chenas, Julienas, Moulin a Vent, Fleurie, Chiroubles, Morgon, Regnie, Brouilly, and Cote de Brouilly (shown left) . Fixin is in the Cote de Nuits in Burgundy.

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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