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The Life of Wine

Well, it’s that time again. Another year is nearly in the bag and it’s all flown by so quickly. Christmas is now upon us and it is also the end of another 12 issues of Citylife in which I have been lucky enough to be allowed to bang on to readers about stuff vaguely related to wine. This festive month I have therefore decided to put together a Christmas quiz to see if both of you were paying attention. Here goes.

• Earlier this year the French shouted a lot about the total collapse of their wine tradition after a Chinese businessman bought a small property in Burgundy. But what have the Americans just done to rile our Gallic chums?

a. They have announced they are to start selling US wines in Europe with the French word ‘chateau’ on the label.

b. They said they will refuse to help France if another World War erupts unless all GIs are guaranteed a bottle of something tasty in their packed lunch.

c. They have invented a clever new hat design that will render the beret obsolete.

• What is most wine made in Thailand actually made from?

a. A gooey paste shipped halfway around the globe in the belly of a tanker then mixed in a vat in Bangkok with whatever is left over from the last batch of whatever the hell Sang Som is made from.

b. Angel dust sprinkled across barrels of liquid ambrosia and blessed by the very gods themselves.

c. Grapes.

• Women are considered better wine tasters because?

a. It is generally accepted by scientists that women old enough to reproduce have a better sense of smell than men, and a sense of smell is all important when saying clever stuff about wine.

b. Women look lovely in pretty dresses.

c. They just are. Alright?

• The most expensive bottle of white wine ever sold was recently purchased by a man called Christian Vanneque. It was a bottle of Chateau D’yquem 1811 and was picked up for £75,000. Where would you have to go to see this treasure?

a. Bali. He bought it to show off in his new restaurant there.

b. You can’t. He realised how much he had actually paid for it and drank it in a fit of pique.

c. Google it.

• According to scientists, women tend to get more pissed than men while drinking wine because:

a. Scientists say they have less of a certain enzyme with a convincingly scientific name that helps to metabolise alcohol.

b. They look great in pretty dresses.

c. Real men drink beer.

• According to Prince Charles’ website, what does the heir to the throne like to do with wine?

a. Fill up his Aston Martin with it.

b. Talk to it.

c. Lightly drizzle it over Camilla.

• Why do we feel drunk after drinking a bottle of wine?

a. Scientists aren’t actually sure. There are many hypotheses, but it is something to do with the tiny ethanol molecules being able to reach the places other molecules can’t, stimulating endorphin production, and then giving us a temporary lobotomy.

b. Wine doesn’t get me drunk and I’ll fight/dance with anyone that says different.

c. Girls are so pretty in their pretty dresses. I wish I had a pretty dress. Everyone deserves a pretty dress. I need a Mike’s burger…

• A new American wine named If You See Kay (see what the clever marketing people have done there?) has caused a bit of a stir in New Hampshire because the authorities are worried that:

a. Children entering liquor stores to use the loo will see the label and explode on working out what it (sort of) spells.

b. Children frequenting liquor stores are more interested in the Wild Turkey and not a $20 bottle of cabernet.

c. Children hanging out in liquor stores might actually just tell us they don’t have a fucking clue what the label is trying to say anyway.

• A gentleman in China has just discovered what could be £10 million worth of Chateau Lafite Rothschild in a derelict house he owns. If invited to have a few glasses, you should:

a. Politely decline, there is something a tad suspect about such a discovery in a country where Lafite is the most revered of the first growths, where around 70% of all Lafite sold is fake, and where fake wine is endemic and potentially harmful.

b. Accept. It says Lafite on the label! Ask your host to pass the cork screw and dig in.

c. Tip the lot into a swimming pool, light up the barbeque, and invite the neighbours round.

• The Daily Mail publishes contradicting wine facts backed up by scientists almost daily. What did experts say were the benefits/disadvantages of a bottle of antioxidant rich red for breakfast?

a. Nothing. Absolutely nothing of any worth. So please ignore everything about wine in that rag that starts with ‘Scientists have concluded that…’

b. Wine makes you more cunning when trying to evade the police.

c. Where can I get a job making up bollocks about wine?

Well, there we are. If you were inclined to answer ‘a’ for any of the above you were on the right track and get five stars of Bethlehem and a jingle bell for paying attention. If you decided on any of the other answers, well, you probably need to ask someone the truth about Father Christmas.

Happy Christmas, all.