If you think the term malolactic refers to the milk you've refused to toss out the past two weeks in the refrigerator, then you must not have read From the Cellar the past year. Is terroir a breed of dog or wine term referring to the essence of a wine's origin? I hope you answered the latter or I'm going to cry in my scotch glass. Anyhow, it's that time of year again, when we retrace our moments behind the bar and take From the Cellar's Annual (Champagne) Pop Quiz. Let's top off the spit bucket and take a tongue-in-cheek spin to see if you've been paying attention, and ask questions about wine and spirits and how they work within your home entertaining experiences. Cheers!
QUESTION: What does "King Cab" refer to?
A) That new model of pickup truck that won all those J.D. Power awards.
B) That driver from the "Cash Cab" TV show that my kids obsess over.
C) The most prestigious of all red grapes, cabernet sauvignon.
ANSWER: C. Cabernet sauvignon is grown and produced the world over and is highly prized by collectors and wine fans. I'll pass on the steak sauce, but never chew on a rib-eye without a glass of king cab.
QUESTION: What is the common denominator of Beringer, Mateus and Lancers?
A) They make some of the most popular, albeit, somewhat sweet blush wines of all time.
B) They make some of the least popular, albeit somewhat sweet blush wines of all time.
C) They are all partners in a high-dollar law practice on Camelback Road.
Answer: A. Beringer from California and the others from Portugal have made popular inexpensive and easy-to-drink rosé wines for decades.
True or false: Hangar One is the proposed name of a new terminal at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Answer: False. Hangar One, based in California, produces some of the finest vodkas in the world in a variety of flavors. The terminal at Gateway has been remodeled to be more user-friendly, but there are no plans for a new terminal as of yet.
True or false: Jell-O shots have migrated from the frat house to the "phat" house, being served as upscale dessert digestifs.
Answer: True, dude. The lowbrow Everclear shots of your youth have morphed into top-shelf dessert courses that feature fresh juice and boutique spirits.
QUESTION: You're craving a grilled-chicken Caesar salad. What's the best pairing to go with it?
A) An outside table at House of Tricks in Tempe.
B) A date with The Mrs. and an outside table at House of Tricks in Tempe.
C) A bright sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio.
Answer: All of the above. The fine food and romantic setting of Tricks with a nice, clean, acidic glass of white works wonders with a grilled-chicken Caesar.
QUESTION: What are the characteristics of "extra añejo" tequila?
A) It's only poured by Rocky Point bartenders who shout: "You want some extra, Añejo?"
B) It's typically 100 percent blue agave tequila that features a smoky smoothness that calls for a snifter glass for sipping.
C) It's clear, cheap tequila that you make bulk margaritas with.
Answer: B. Extra añejo is a whole new class of premium tequila that requires that the spirit be barrel-aged for a minimum of three years.
QUESTION: What does "Dijon clones" refer to?
A) The chardonnay vines that were brought from the Burgundy region of France to Oregon during the 1970s.
B) The lip-syncing bit you attempt when those Grey Poupon commercials come on the air.
C) The scrapped "Star Wars" robots that shot mustard rather than laser beams.
Answer: A. It's true. Oregon State University technicians dubbed the first few vines "Dijon clones" when they arrived from Europe, and now Oregon is known for producing delicious, Burgundian-style chardonnay.
Got a wine- and spirits-related question you'd like to see addressed in this column? Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.