Wine Pairing Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

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1: Which type of wine is typically best paired with a creamy Brie cheese?

A: Champagne

B: Pinot Grigio

C: Cabernet Sauvignon

D: Shiraz

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The acidity in Champagne cuts through the richness of Brie, while the yeasty undertones complement its creaminess.

2: Heavy wines like Cabernet Sauvignon are best paired with which type of food?

A: Light salads

B: Delicate seafood

C: Robust red meat dishes

D: Fresh fruit

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The weight and body of Cabernet Sauvignon can match and complement the robustness of red meat dishes without overwhelming them.

3: What characteristic in food pairing is softened by protein-rich dishes like hard cheeses or red meats?

A: Sweetness

B: Acidity

C: Tannins

D: Alcohol content

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Proteins bind with tannins, softening their astringency and making tannic wines taste smoother and fruitier.

4: Which of the following wines would typically be considered a light-bodied red?

A: Barolo

B: Beaujolais

C: Shiraz

D: Zinfandel

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Beaujolais is known for its light body, making it a representative choice for light-bodied reds.

5: What dominant flavor is often associated with malic acid in wines?

A: Green apples

B: Butterscotch

C: Blackberries

D: Spices

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Malic acid often imparts a green apple flavor to wines, contributing to their tartness.

6: What is a potential effect of pairing a very sweet wine with spicy food?

A: Enhancing spiciness

B: Balancing the heat

C: Making the food taste sour

D: Decreasing acidity

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The sweetness in the wine can help balance and alleviate the heat caused by spicy food, creating a more harmonious flavor experience.

7: Which wine is best matched with a heavy cream sauce due to its fuller body?

A: Light Pinot Grigio

B: Crisp Sauvignon Blanc

C: Bold Chardonnay

D: Sparkling Prosecco

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: A bold Chardonnay, often full-bodied, matches well with heavy cream sauces due to its weight and richer flavors.

8: What is one main reason why acidity is important in wine and food pairings?

A: It enhances sweetness.

B: It stimulates appetite by mouth-watering.

C: It decreases the perception of body.

D: It balances bitterness.

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Acidity causes the salivary glands to produce mouth-watering, which can stimulate appetite and cleanse the palate.

9: Which classic pairing involves a light-bodied wine with a nutty, hard cheese?

A: Pinot Grigio with Parmigiano Reggiano

B: Brunello with Cheddar

C: Sauvignon Blanc with Stilton

D: Shiraz with Brie

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Light-bodied wines like Pinot Grigio pair well with the nutty flavors of hard cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano due to complementary textures and flavors.

10: What type of wine is typically recommended to pair with a fresh, tangy goat cheese?

A: Zinfandel

B: Riesling

C: Chianti

D: Malbec

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Riesling’s sweetness and acidity can complement the tanginess of goat cheese, providing a balanced tasting experience.

11: What principle relates to the saying “White wine with fish; Red wine with meat”?

A: Matching sweetness

B: Matching acidity

C: Matching weight

D: Matching tannin levels

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The principle of matching weight suggests heavy foods go with heavy wines, and lighter foods with lighter wines.

12: Which of the following best describes the “bridge ingredients” concept in wine pairing?

A: Using ingredients present in the dish to match the flavors in the wine.

B: Using random ingredients to test pairing.

C: Avoiding ingredients that are too similar to the wine.

D: Pairing wines solely on fragrance.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Bridge ingredients involve using flavors in the dish that are also found in the wine, thereby creating a flavorful connection between the two.

13: An example of a complementary pairing would be:

A: Pinot Noir with mushroom risotto

B: Sauvignon Blanc with spicy Thai curry

C: Shiraz with mint chocolate

D: Chardonnay with orange juice

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Pinot Noir and mushroom risotto both have earthy flavors which complement each other well.

14: Which wine characteristic is often accentuated by salty food?

A: Sweetness

B: Acidity

C: Tannins

D: Heat from alcohol

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Salt can accentuate the perception of heat from alcohol, making high-alcohol wines feel even hotter.

15: What is a key consideration when pairing sweet wine with sweet food?

A: Sweetness of the wine must be less than the food.

B: Sweetness of the wine must equal the food’s sweetness.

C: Sweetness of the wine must overpower the food.

D: Sweetness of the wine should be higher than the food’s sweetness.

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: To avoid making the wine taste thin and the food overly sweet, the wine’s sweetness should be higher than that of the food.

16: Which food pairing strategy is based on “opposites attract”?

A: Complement

B: Contrast

C: Fusion

D: Dissonance

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The contrast strategy pairs foods and wines with opposite traits, such as a crisp acidic wine with a rich, creamy dish.

17: Which historical pairing is known for matching strong cheeses with strong wines?

A: Parmesan with Chianti

B: Brie with Champagne

C: Asiago with Zinfandel

D: Roquefort with Sherry

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Asiago, a strong cheese, pairs well with Zinfandel, a robust wine with fruit tones, creating a bold tasting experience.

18: What element of wine is primarily responsible for its body or “weight”?

A: Acidity

B: Tannins

C: Alcohol

D: Residual sugar

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Alcohol levels contribute most significantly to a wine’s body or “weight,” with higher alcohol content generally meaning a fuller-bodied wine.

19: Why might a Sauvignon Blanc from California have a different body compared to one from the Loire?

A: Different grape varieties

B: Different climate conditions

C: Different fermentation vessels

D: Different pruning techniques

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Warmer climates, such as California, typically produce wines with higher alcohol levels and thus fuller bodies compared to cooler regions like the Loire.

19.2: Which style of wine is more suitable for pairing with light salads?

A: Heavy Syrah

B: Light-bodied Chardonnay

C: Robust Merlot

D: Hearty Zinfandel

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Light-bodied Chardonnay is delicate enough to complement the light flavors and textures in salads without overpowering them.

20: What characterizes a “classic” pairing in terms of regional traditions?

A: Matching foods and wines from different regions

B: Pairing modern wines with ancient dishes

C: Local wines paired with local cuisines

D: Wines with no geographical indication

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Classic pairings often arise from historical practices where local wines were naturally paired with the local cuisine of a region.

21: What wine characteristic can vegetables high in bitterness accentuate?

A: Sweetness in the wine

B: Acidity in the wine

C: Bitterness in the wine

D: Alcohol in the wine

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Bitter vegetables can accentuate bitterness in the wine, making tannic and more bitter wines seem harsher in comparison.

22: Which food is known for pairing well with a nutty, aged Parmesan?

A: Gruner Veltliner

B: Champagne

C: Barolo

D: Prosecco

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The complex flavors of Barolo complement the nutty taste and texture of aged Parmesan cheese.

23: Which modern trend in wine and food pairing began in the United States during the 1980s?

A: Emphasis on wine as an alcoholic beverage only

B: Pairing specific wines with specific dishes

C: Avoiding wine with meals

D: Drinking wine only on special occasions

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The trend of pairing specific wines with specific dishes and emphasizing wine as a dining component gained popularity in the 1980s in the United States.

24: Why might an acidic wine taste less tart when paired with an acidic dish?

A: They cancel each other’s acidity.

B: Acid multiplies in taste.

C: Acid burns the tongue.

D: The wine becomes sweeter.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The combined acidity of the wine and dish cancels each other out, making the remaining flavors more noticeable.

25: What wine would typically be a good match for a fish dish with a heavy cream sauce?

A: Sparkling Prosecco

B: Crisp Sauvignon Blanc

C: Full-bodied Chardonnay

D: Light Riesling

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: A full-bodied Chardonnay can complement and withstand the heavy cream sauce, creating a balanced pairing.

26: Which wine pairing adage has become somewhat dated due to modern winemaking?

A: Red wine with meat, white wine with fish.

B: Only drink wine before dinner.

C: Pair all wines with dessert.

D: Avoid wines with spicy food.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The variety of wine styles today means many white wines can be heavier than some reds, making the old adage less applicable.

27: What is an example of a region where lamb is traditionally paired with local red wines?

A: Bordeaux

B: Napa Valley

C: Tuscany

D: Champagne

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Bordeaux red wines are traditionally paired with local lamb dishes, showcasing a centuries-old pairing tradition.

28: Which type of cheese often pairs well with a sparkling wine like Champagne or Cava?

A: Hard Parmesan

B: Soft Brie

C: Blue Stilton

D: Aged Cheddar

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The acidity and effervescence of sparkling wines can cut through and enhance the rich, creamy texture of soft cheeses like Brie.

29: What is the main concept behind complementing flavors in wine and food pairings?

A: Pairing extremely different flavors

B: Combining similar flavors to enhance each other

C: Ignoring the flavors

D: Concentrating only on the wine’s sweetness

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Complementing flavors means pairing similar tastes to enhance and elevate both the food and the wine.

30: Why might a Gruner Veltliner be described as a light-bodied wine?

A: It has high alcohol content.

B: It’s made using oak barrels.

C: It’s known for its crisp, refreshing taste with low alcohol.

D: It’s only produced in hot climates.

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Gruner Veltliner is often made to be crisp, refreshing, and light-bodied, with a lower alcohol content contributing to its lightness.

31: What is the role of a sommelier in the restaurant industry?

A: Cooking food

B: Designing menus

C: Making food pairing recommendations

D: Serving cocktails

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Sommeliers specialize in recommending wine pairings to enhance guests’ dining experiences.

32: What is a potential effect of pairing a dry sparkling wine with a very sweet dessert?

A: Wine tastes sweeter.

B: Dessert tastes saltier.

C: Wine tastes tart and weak.

D: Dessert tastes more sour.

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The dryness of the sparkling wine contrasts negatively with the sweetness of the dessert, making the wine taste overly tart.

33: Which classic pairing involves matching the acidity of tomatoes with a similarly acidic wine?

A: Cabernet Sauvignon with steak

B: Beaujolais with tomato-based salad

C: Shiraz with grilled lamb

D: Riesling with spicy food

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Beaujolais, with its acidity, pairs well with the tartness of tomatoes in a salad, allowing the wine’s fruitiness to shine.

34: Which of the following flavors is associated with tartaric acid in wines?

A: Peanut butter

B: Bitter

C: Buttery

D: Sweet

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Tartaric acid can impart a bitter flavor, which plays a key role in the wine’s overall taste profile.

35: What wine characteristic can grilled dishes accentuate?

A: Sweetness

B: Char and bitterness

C: Acidity

D: Lightness

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The char and bitterness from grilling can complement the tannins and potentially bitter elements in a robust red wine.

36: How do high-protein foods like red meat interact with tannins in wine?

A: They make tannins more pronounced.

B: They soften the perception of tannins.

C: Increase acidity.

D: Intensify sweetness.

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The proteins in red meat bind with tannins, softening their astringency and making tannic wines taste smoother.

37: What is a typical effect of alcohol in wine pairing with spicy food?

A: Increases the perception of heat.

B: Lowers bitterness.

C: Enhances sourness.

D: Reduces spice.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Alcohol can magnify the heat from spicy dishes, intensifying the overall perception of spiciness.

38: Which type of wine is generally considered medium-bodied?

A: Sauvignon Blanc

B: Syrah

C: Chianti

D: Port

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Chianti is often described as medium-bodied, balancing between lighter and heavier wines in terms of weight.

39: What principle does the statement “matching the body of the wine with the weight of the food” refer to?

A: Flavor pairing

B: Complementary textures

C: Weight matching

D: Alcohol level matching

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Weight matching involves pairing the body of the wine with the weight of the food to avoid one overwhelming the other.

40: In terms of wine pairing, what does the term “bridge ingredients” refer to?

A: Unrelated ingredients in a dish

B: Ingredients in a dish that have flavor affinities with the wine

C: Sweetening the wine to match the food

D: Adding acidity to the food

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Bridge ingredients are those present in both the dish and the wine, enhancing the harmonious flavors between them.

41: What type of cheese is best paired with a nutty, nuanced wine like Sherry?

A: Fresh Mozzarella

B: Gruyere

C: Blue Stilton

D: Aged Cheddar

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Aged Cheddar, with its depth and nutty profile, pairs well with Sherry, which has similarly nuanced and complex flavors.

42: Which principle explains why a wine with a higher tartness level might suit a tart dish?

A: Enhances sweetness

B: Cancels each other’s acidity

C: Balances bitterness

D: Increases alcohol content

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The tartness in both the wine and the dish cancels each other out, allowing other flavors to stand out more distinctly.

43: What is an example of a contrasting food and wine pairing strategy?

A: Acidic wine with acidic food

B: Sweet wine with sweet food

C: Earthy wine with earthy food

D: Crisp wine with creamy dish

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: A crisp and acidic wine contrasts with and cuts through the richness of a creamy dish, offering a refreshing palate experience.

44: How might grilling or blackening food help in wine pairing?

A: It accentuates the acidity.

B: It enhances the sweetness.

C: It adds a bitter char component.

D: It reduces wine’s alcohol perception.

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The bitter char created by grilling or blackening can complement the tannic structure of a robust wine.

45: Which type of wine would pair well with a tangy, fresh goat cheese?

A: Malbec

B: Riesling

C: Zinfandel

D: Brunello

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The acidity and sweetness of Riesling pair harmoniously with the tanginess of fresh goat cheese.

46: Why might a high-alcohol wine be challenging to pair with spicy food?

A: It decreases sweetness.

B: It magnifies the spiciness.

C: It reduces the food’s acidity.

D: It suppresses Tannins.

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: High-alcohol wines can amplify the heat from spicy dishes, creating an intense and overwhelming sensory experience.

47: What characteristic should you look for in wine when pairing with a nutty Parmesan?

A: Fruity

B: Sweet

C: Crisp

D: Nuanced and full-bodied

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: A nuanced and full-bodied wine will suitably match the rich, nutty flavors of Parmesan.

48: What fruit characteristic does high acidity in a wine usually enhance?

A: Butteriness

B: Bitterness

C: Sweetness

D: Tartness

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: High acidity in wine can make its fruit characteristics taste sharper, enhancing the tartness.

49: What type of wine is typically best for pairing with a fresh, soft cheese like Mozzarella?

A: Bold Shiraz

B: Full-bodied Chardonnay

C: Light Pinot Grigio

D: Robust Merlot

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Light-bodied wines like Pinot Grigio match well with the delicate textures and subtle flavors of fresh Mozzarella.

50: What does the astringency of tannins in wine primarily affect?

A: Acidity perception

B: Creaminess

C: Dryness in the palate

D: Sweetness balance

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The astringency from tannins often results in a chalky or dry feeling on the palate, particularly in the absence of proteins to soften it.

51: What characteristic of wine does “heat” typically refer to?

A: Acidity

B: Tannins

C: Alcohol content

D: Sugar levels

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: “Heat” in wine tasting refers to the burning sensation caused by alcohol content, influencing the perception of the wine’s body.

52: Which type of wine would be an ideal match for a dessert level sweetness (such as Sauternes)?

A: Bone dry wine

B: Off-dry wine

C: Dry sparkling wine

D: Sweet wine

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: A dessert-level sweet wine pairs well with very sweet dishes, matching their sweetness without being overwhelmed.

53: Which of the following is a classic complementary pairing?

A: Earthy Burgundian Pinot Noir with mushrooms

B: Sweet port with citrus salad

C: High-tannin Shiraz with creamy pudding

D: Crisp Sauvignon Blanc with red meat

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Earthy flavors in both the Burgundian Pinot Noir and mushrooms complement each other, enhancing the tasting experience.

54: Which type of wine is generally better suited to cut through the fattiness of a rich, salty dish?

A: Sweet dessert wine

B: Light-bodied rosé

C: High-acid wine

D: Tannic red wine

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: High-acid wines can cut through the fat, providing a refreshing contrast and balance to a rich, salty dish.

55: If a Chardonnay from a cooler region like Chablis is lighter in body, which factor contributes to this characteristic?

A: Higher alcohol content

B: Short aging process

C: Stainless steel fermentation

D: Oak barrel aging

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Stainless steel fermentation preserves the wine’s light, crisp qualities, unlike oak aging which can add heft and richness.

56: What is the main advantage of pairing a wine with a similar weight to the food?

A: Enhances sweetness

B: Avoids one overwhelming the other

C: Increases acidity

D: Balances bitterness

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Pairing wines with similar weight to the food avoids situations where either the wine or food overpowers the other’s flavors.

57: What is a prominent characteristic of a wine with high residual sugar?

A: Low acidity

B: High sweetness

C: Bitter aftertaste

D: Low alcohol content

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: High residual sugar results in a sweeter-tasting wine, making it suitable for pairing with desserts or balancing spicy foods.

58: What is the primary factor that makes a Sauvignon Blanc from California potentially heavier than one from the Loire?

A: Oak treatment

B: Regional climate conditions

C: Different grape variety

D: Fermentation method

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Warmer climates, like California’s, typically produce wines with higher alcohol content, contributing to a heavier body compared to wines from cooler climates like the Loire.

59: Which principle of wine pairing focuses on avoiding flavor conflicts by using matching ingredients in both the dish and the wine?

A: Flavor pairing

B: Weight matching

C: Bridge ingredients

D: Contrast strategy

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Bridge ingredients use similar or complementary flavors in both the wine and the dish to create a harmonious pairing.

60: Why might a wine with pronounced tannins be less suitable for a vegetarian dish without a high protein content?

A: Tannins become more astringent without protein to bind to.

B: Vegetarian dishes enhance the wine’s acidity.

C: Tannins make the dish taste sweeter.

D: Vegetarian dishes reduce the wine’s bitterness.

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Tannins in wine bind with proteins; without high protein content in the dish, they can be perceived as more astringent and drying on the palate.


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