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California Wine Quiz

More than 700 visitors took our California Wine Quiz, created by Allrecipes Food Editor Carl Hanson.

See how their wine knowledge stacked up!

1. What famous Hollywood movie director is also a California winemaker?

a. Mel Gibson  4%
b. Clint Eastwood  14%
c. Francis Ford Coppola  69%

d. Wes Anderson  2%
e. All of the above 11%

Francis Ford Coppola is correct. He even named a wine for his Academy Award-winning daughter, Sofia.

    2. True or False: California produces about 90 percent of all the wine made in the United States.

    a.  True  71%
    b.  False  29%

    It may be hard to believe, yet it's true.

      3. Which of the items listed below has NOT threatened California's wine industry at one time or anot

      a.  Phylloxera: very small insects that attack a wine vine’s roots  8%
      b.  Prohibition, which outlawed alcohol production in the United States  17%
      c.  The California Gold Rush, which sent California's vineyard workers rushing for the hills!  52%
      d.  The glassy-winged sharpshooter: a bug that spreads a disease that kills grapevines  23%

      Them 49ers were a thirsty bunch, and the Gold Rush actually led to a boom in plantings and winemaking.  Phylloxera struck California towards the end of the 19th century, Prohibition shut the legitimate wine industry down for a while, and the glassy-winged sharpshooter is a current threat.

      4. Which of the following is NOT a California wine region?

      a.  Napa Valley  .5%
      b.  Sonoma County  1.5%
      c.  Walla Walla  83%

      d.  Santa Barbara  15%

      Walla Walla is correct. A wine-making region in southeastern Washington State, the region has transformed from a "hidden treasure" to one of the Pacific Northwest's hottest wine destination spots. The town of Walla Walla is a charming, vibrant winemaking community, and the wines made here are second to none.

      5. The 1976 Judgment of Paris marks this important moment in California wine history:

      a.  When a California red wine and a California white wine shocked the wine world by taking first place honors against some of France's most esteemed wines in a blind tasting held in Paris. 43%

      b.  When noted English wine writer Paris Sutton Smithers declared California "the most important wine producing region in the world," stunning French producers into organizing a short-lived boycott of American products.  11%

      c.  When a notorious wine-tasting event held at the San Francisco Fairmont Hotel in 1978 went completely off the rails, resulting in an infamous night of drunken debauchery that shocked many of the guests, caused $250,000 in damages to the hotel and resulted in numerous fines and arrests for indecency and public drunkenness. Later, Judge Eugene "Paris" Moyers ruled that the promoters of the wine-tasting were liable for all damages. Sales of California wines nearly doubled as the sordid details unfolded in the media.  17%

      d.  When wine critic Robert Parker gave the first 100-point rating to a California red wine: the 1972 Paris Cove Cabernet Sauvignon.  29%

      Sacre bleu! It's true. A 1973 Stag's Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay were the big winners.

        6. In the movie Sideways, what grape varietal does Miles steadfastly refuse to drink as he tours Cal

        a.  Pinot Noir  15% 
        b.  Cabernet Sauvignon  9%
        c.  Sangiovese  9%
        d.  Merlot  50%

        e.  None of the above  17%

        Merlot is correct. However, here's a funny side note from an astute movie-going member of the Allrecipes staff: "In the movie, Miles says that the wine which turned him on to wines in general was actually a merlot."

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