• Dianne Ray


Wine Trivia Questions with Answers - Round 1

Over a period of time, starting from 3rd August 2021 I am publishing on social media, Facebook , Instagram and Google My Business, three wine trivia questions.

You will find the answers on my Blog www.dianneray.com Round 1 - 04/08/2021

Questions & Answers

Q.1: How many grapes go into a bottle of wine?

A: Generally speaking, every single bottle of wine is made up of 600-800 individual grapes. That’s about 10 clusters. Think about this in relation to the conventional grapes you buy in the supermarket. Most of these bags have 3-4 clusters inside them, meaning you’d have to buy 3 bags of supermarket grapes to yield one bottle.

Q.2: How old should an oak tree be to be used as a barrel for aging wine?

A: 40 years

Although some more facts about oak: Fact 1: There are more than 600 species of oak trees in the world. Adding to it, they live up to 1,000 years.

Fact 2: The first oak barrel was designed as far back as 350 BC.

Fact 3: Before oak, clay was used to store wine and spirits.

Fact 4: Red wines are aged for longer than white wines. A typical red wine is aged for about 1-2 years in an oak barrel before it is bottled to consume. White wines, on the contrary, are aged for a lesser time.

Fact 5: A French oak tree should be OLD enough to be a wine barrel. For a French oak tree to get qualified to be suitable for aging wine, it should be around 80-120 years old. You can make only 2 barrels from a tree as only 25% of the tree is fit to make barrels. This is because the oak is split here. While the case is different for an American oak tree. It can be serrated. Hence, more of the tree can be used. Also, American oak trees grow faster, thus can be used sooner.

Fact 6: Small barrels age faster than large ones. A wine takes less time to age in small barrels as compared to large ones because smaller barrels have a greater surface-to-volume ratio. A wine may take years to age in a larger barrel, but in smaller barrels, it will age in months.

Fact 7: Barrels are not 100% watertight. Professional coopers making barrels for vineyards and distilleries state that their task is incomplete if their barrels are not 100% watertight.

Fact 8: Some portion of the barrel’s content will evaporate. It is about 2-5% per year, but it can be more for smaller barrels.

Fact 9: You can reuse oak barrels for 100 years.

Fact 10: There are options to replace oak barrels. Stainless steel has come into the picture claiming freshness in the wine.

Fact 11: Hungarian oak is excellent for wine aging. I say this because Hungary sells around 40,000 barrels every year.

Fact 12: The size and age of oak barrels are important. The smaller the barrel, the higher its impact on aromas and flavors. New oak barrels give the strongest flavor to the wine. By reusing them, the wine gets less oak flavor. Ultimately, after some years, the oak barrels are left with no flavor. Winemakers choose neutral, fresh, or a mix of both depending on the intensity of the aromatic flavors they are intending to have in their wine.

Q.3: How long after planting is a grapevine ready to make wine?

A: It takes about 3-5 years for a grapevine to start bearing fruit that can be made into wine. After that, grapevines can usually bear fruit for another 40 years. Making wine is a long, slow process. It can take a full three years to get from the initial planting of a brand-new grapevine through the first harvest, and the first vintage might not be bottled for another two years after that.

You can book a Phillip Island wine tour on the following websites or contact Dianne on +61 408 034 080.

Dianne's Venture Tours - www.diannesventuretours.com.au Phillip Island Wine Tours - www.phillipislandwinetours.com.au Exceptional Phillip Island Area Tours - www.exceptionalphillipisland.com.au