Lesson 10: Dessert Wines

  1. Dessert wines are all sweet and the category includes still and sparkling natural wines as well as fortified wines.
  2. Botrytis-affected dessert wines made in California are modelled after Hungarian Tokai.
    False, modelled after French Sauternes and German late harvest Rieslings
  3. Botrytis cinerea is a widely occuring destructive disease organism that can attack grapevines and many other plants. 
  4. A typical disease cycle of Botrytis begins with the germination of spores that have overwintered in ______________ following ____________ and can produce shoots and leaves that look like they have been scorched.
    plant debris, spring rain
  5. Because they contain plenty of nutrients, the ______________ are the best site for Botrytis to multiply.
    grape berries
  6. A botrytis infection cannot develop in the fruit unless the skins of the grapes are first cracked or broken by some other agent.
    False, it can penetrate a grape's skin
  7. Which item is NOT a general vineyard condition or cultural practice that would encourage Botrytis growth on grape berries?
    removal of leaves to aerate the canopy
  8. The difference between a normal Botrytis disease cycle in which a grower could lose a large proportion of his crop and a limited infection that produces fruit suitable for making exquisite sweet wines is determined, in part, by ___________ but it hinges upon _____________.
    vineyard climate, soils, and cultural decisions; the proper pattern of fall weather
  9. A successful Botrytis infection requires limited fall __________ or a series of foggy days to initiate the germination of spores.
  10. When Botrytis grows on the surface of a grape it penetrates the skin enabling water to evaporate during a period of __________ weather. 
    warm, dry
  11. A successful Boytryis infection, from the point of view of the wine makers, if not the mold   is one in which the disease cycle is interrupted before berries are broken and secondary infections develop.
  12. In a typical Botrytis infection all the berries in a cluster become infected at the same time.
    False, goes from berry to berry
  13. Which grape varieties are most susceptible and which are least susceptible to Botrytis?
    • Most: Chenin Blanc, White Riesling, Zinfandels
    • Least: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon
    • Sauvignon Blanc is intermediate
  14. The change in sugar and acid composition following a Botrytis infection differs from the changes of normal grape ripening because acid and sugar both increase in concentration.
  15. Both growers and wineries feel that, for Botrytis infected fruit, the higher the sugar, the better.
  16. Why is harvesting Botrytis infected fruit slow?
    Each cluster must be smelled to be sure it doesn't have a secondary infection and handled carefully so it doesn't fall apart.
  17. The water evaporation that occurs in a vineyard successfully infected with Botrytis can reduce yields to as little as 1/3 to 1/2 of normal.
  18. Even though vineyard yields are reduced by a Botrytis infection, in the winery, the juice yield per ton of grapes is the same as for non-infected fruit.
    False, the yield of juice per ton is reduced to 75-90 gallons per ton.
  19. Fermentations of the high sugar juices of Botrytis affected fruit are hard to start and slow to progress.
  20. Botrytis affected wines made from ______________ are more likely to be aged in small oak barrels.
    Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon
  21. Although the cultivation of a vineyard can be modified to encourage or discourage the growth of Botrytis, a successful infection cycle has never been completed on harvested fruit.
  22. The concentrated alcohol used to fortify wines is called __________.
    wine spirits
  23. For ordinary fortified wines hot growing regions are beneficial for both high vineyards yields and high sugar content grapes.
  24. About ____ the fruit for dessert wine production goes to produce the alcohol for fortification, making the per ton yield of finished wine ________ gallons.
    half; 75-110
  25. More distinctive grape varieties- many from Portugal- and cooler growing regions are associated with this group of fortified dessert wines.
  26. Winemakers taste the fortifying alcohol and match it to the wine being made because ________________.
    Wine spirits can vary in their flavors depending on the starting wine and the method of distillation, and those flavors need to be compatible with the wine being fortified. 
  27. Which style of port takes on its important sensory characteristics during long barrel aging?
  28. Because producers of port must maximize color extraction during fermentation so that there will be enough color extracted by the time the must is fortified (after 24-48 hours to preserve a substantial amount of sugar), procedures have been developed to enhance color extraction. They include ___________ and _____________.
    Choose 2: double the freq. of pump over to 2-4 times a day, pump over continuously, heat the must or use red pulped varieties.
  29. What are two purposes for blending port?
    Ports of different sugar contents can be combined to give the desired final sugar concentration and varietal ports can be mixed to enhance complexity.
  30. Port production from Portuguese grape varieties is being done on a small scale in California- only a little over 200 tons of the most utilized variety were crushed in 1990.
  31. In California, ruby and vintage ports are aged in _________ barrels that do not contribute much wood flavor.
  32. Which type of sherry is oxidized in the absence of flor yeast?
  33. Sherries referred to as _____ will have 7.5-10% sugar.
  34. Light brown sherries made with flor yeast and ranging from dry to medium sugar are called by their Spanish name, ___________.
  35. Sherries are fortified before oxidation and their sugar content is adjusted afterwards.
  36. Oxidation without flor by __________ rather than aging for long periods in barrels is a common procedure for low priced sherries and inexpensive fortified wine products called "Malaga", "Marsala", and "Madeira".
  37. What do the processes of methode champenoise and sherry making have in common?
    Yeast autolysis during aging, varietal grap character not desired, blending to create a wine which is modified during a special aging, vintage to vintage variation is reduced by blending older and younger wines, both the processes originated in regions of climate extremes for grape growing
  38. The system for blending a new vintage of sherry with older wines so that variations from year to year are minimized is called a _________.
  39. The flavors of this group of fortified dessert wines are closest to those of their grapes: ____________
    The Muscats
  40. Dessert wines are served in ______ portions than table wines.
  41. Tasting dessert wines requires careful pacing because these wines are higher in alcohol content than table wines.
    False, only fortified dessert wines are higher. Strong flavors and high sugar is fatiguing to palate.
  42. When tasting dessert wines, take small sips to avoid palate fatigue.
    False, take big sips if you spit, more breaks
  43. You would expect a Sauternes-style California late harvest wine to be made from which grape varieties?
    Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon
  44. Color that extends all the way to the rim reflects deeper color intensity and is associated with greater overall flavor concentration and quality in ports.
  45. Why is it especially important to catch your first impressions when tasting port?
    Repeated sniffing alcohol will begin to interfere with your ability to smell
  46. What textures should you expect in a young port and an old port?
    • Young port: astringent because it possesses tannins for longevity
    • Old port: velvety smooth because the tannins have polymerized, softened the texture. Old ports have sediment on bottom.
  47. Compared to a glass of plain water, an alcohol solution should seem sweeter, smoother, heavier, and warm.
  48. Why do winemakers dilute wine spirits with water when they taste them?
    High alcohol content can interfere with taster's odor perception and diluting changes spectrum of perceptible odors. "new odor spectrum"
Card Set
Lesson 10: Dessert Wines