Thanks to my reader Francesca, who just yesterday took her Level 3 written exam at theAIS Mantuawith whom I am chatting on Facebook right now and praising our favourite speaker, Bruno Piccioni (without taking anything away from all the others of course... but Piccioni is and always will be my food and wine legend! AIS examination questions level 3... to which I have now written a short reply! I would also like to remind you that to pass the exam you need to get straight to the point, there is no need to write lines and lines off topic... hence short and direct answers! Personally, I am convinced that there is no more effective study method than asking yourself questions and giving yourself direct answers! In the course just before the exam, we would get together in the evenings with Laura and Andrea to study questions from past exams... and they were wonderful moments, especially when we were practising tasting! And many of the questions you will read I created during the study phase: it helped me to focus and seek synthesis, a gift that - unfortunately - I never had! AIS examination level three questions arranged in toggles that you can open by clicking '+'. I thought this visualisation would be more convenient for you to study!

AIS Level 3 exam questions:

AIS examination level 3 questions/block 1

Write down the key areas and grape varieties in Chile.

White grape varieties: sauvignon blanc, chardonnay

Black grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, carmenère

Key areas: Rapel Valley, Colchagua Valley, Casablanca, Maipo

Write down the key areas and grape varieties in South Africa.
White grape varieties: chenin blanc, colombard, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay; Black grape varieties: cabernet sauvignon, syrah, pinotage, merlot Key areas: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Worcester, Constantia, Walker Bay Read more: South Africa
Cognac: production areas, grape varieties and type of distillation.

Cognac is an AOC wine distillate produced in an area delimited by a 1909 decree between the Departments of Cherente and Cherente Maritime 130 km from Bordeauxbetween the Limousin and Perigord hills and the Atlantic Ocean. The most widely used grape variety is theUgni blanc (Trebbiano)in a small part Colombard. The typical Charentais copper still is used for the double distillation.

1° DISTILLATION AT 95-100° for 8-10 hoursThe result is Brullis, a milky liquid with only 24-30 % ethyl alcohol.

2nd DISTILLATION AT 95-100° for 12 hoursThe heads and tails are discarded, keeping only the precious heart, clear and aromatic, with an alcohol content of 65-72 %.

Read more: Cognac, wine distillate (France)

What is the veil de flor?

is a veil that forms inside the barrel in Andalusian sherry. It indicates the layer of yeast that forms on the surface of these wines during fermentation. The flor forms spontaneously under certain winemaking conditions, thanks precisely to natural yeasts present in the region of Andalusia. In the production of sherries, on the other hand, to encourage the growth of flor yeasts, the slightly porous oak barrels are deliberately filled only about five sixths full with the young wine, leaving an empty space 'of two fists', and the cork is not closed completely. Flor yeasts prefer cool climates and high humidity levels.

Write the name of five distillates and the raw material of which they are composed.
Cognac - wine, Armagnac - wine, Calvados - apple, Rum - sugar cane or molasses, Vodka - grain
What is the pliers for?

The pliers are useful when serving sparkling wine is difficult because the cork is resistant and so (in order to avoid breaking it) you can use them to dislodge it inside the neck of the bottle.

Read more: Sommelier tools

What are the organoleptic sensations of beef tagliata with thyme? What wine would you pair with it?

To analyse the organoleptic sensations of the beef steak, thinking of medium cooking, immediately comes to mind the succulence induced meat (undercooked or medium-cooked favours chewing and thus also salivation) and then immediately afterwards I think of thearomaticity, bitterness and olfactory persistence of thyme. For this I would match an alcoholic wine to contrast the succulence of the meat, intense, soft and persistent to contrast the thyme sensations. Since I was recently in the Langhe, I would pair a Barolo!

Read more: Food and wine pairing sheet

I also recommend reading #WineDiary: 2 days in Barolo for wineries and restaurants with Mr Art & Wine

Describe the organoleptic sensations of the courgette and prawn risotto and match 3 wines.

In this dish, the sweet tendency of the prawns and the fattiness of the risotto's mantecata (butter and Parmesan cheese) are highlighted. A match by concordance can be a Metodo Classico Demi-sec, while a match by contrast can always be a Metodo Classico, but Dosage Zero.

What are the wine-growing areas of Tuscany?
Chianti Classico, Chianti, Carmignano, San Gimignano, Montalcino, Sant'Antimo, Montepulciano, Val di Chiana, val d'Orcia, Colli di Luni, Alpi Apuane, Candia, Colline Lucchesi, Bolgheri, Montecarlo, Isola d'Elba, Isola del Giglio, Val di Cornia, Val d'Arbia
Write the name of 10 Trentino-Alto Adige grape varieties.
gewurztraminer, schiava, lagrain, sylvaner, muscat, pinot noir, pinot blanc, pinot gris, riesling, chardonnay

AIS examination level 3 questions/block 2

List 10 grape varieties of Apulia.

aglianico, uva di Troia, bombino bianco, bombino nero, pampanuto, chardonnay, sauvignon, pinot bianco, pinot nero, verdeca, bianco d'Alessano, malvasia bianca

In which wine-growing areas is the Cannonau vine present in Sardinia?

Cannonau is the most widespread black grape variety in Sardinia, and is produced in Ogliastra, Barbagia, Nuorese and Baronia.

From which grapes is DOC Bonarda dell'Oltrepò Pavese obtained?
  • Croatina 85-100%
  • Other recommended black grapes 0-15%

This question came to me precisely because two days ago I was with an almost new customer of mine in Oltrepò Pavese 😀 a thought for Federico in short!

Can you indicate which vines are used to produce Barco Reale di Carmignano?
Sangiovese (50-80 %) Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon (10-20 %) Canaiolo nero, Canaiolo bianco, Malvasia bianca lunga, Trebbiano Toscano (0-10%)
Define harmony and indicate the scoring scale and values.

Harmony is the set of evaluations given to wine and is positively assessed by the satisfaction of two fundamental requirements:

  1. consistency of the characteristics of the various wine examinations;
  2. high level of wine quality.
Rating scale:
  • HARMONIC: all the characteristics assessed during the 3 examinations of the sensory analysis combine perfectly;
  • Slight discrepancy of one or more characteristics assessed during the 3 examinations of the sensory analysis;
  • LACK OF HARMONY: Clear discrepancy between the characteristics assessed during the 3 examinations of the sensory analysis.
What are the most important natural vin doux? In which areas are they produced?

The Languedoc-Roussillon area is known for its natural sweet wines or vin doux naturel made from Muscat d'Alexandre and Muscat à Petits Grains grapes. The best known are Muscat de RivesaltesMuscat de LunelMuscat de FrontignanMuscat de Mireval and the Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois.

How do high temperatures affect a wine?

The serving temperature is fundamental in a wine, so much so that it completely influences the taste assessment. The higher temperature accentuates softness and the perception of aromas.

Read more: Wine service

Define the sensations of oiliness and fatness and write down two food-wine pairings.
  1. UNTUOSITYrefers to vegetable oil. While fat is something solid, the unctuous note is something liquid that makes the tongue veiled and insensitive. It is given by the presence of oil or liquefied fats such as melted butter (simultaneously giving the sensation of fatness and unctuousness). If there is no vegetable oil and no other liquid fats in a preparation, we cannot have this sensation! For example, sliced beef with a drizzle of oil on top is unctuous and succulent... a tannic and alcoholic wine would be perfect, so I would say a Valpolicella Ripasso (quite vivid tannins and guaranteed degree!).
  2. GREASE: solid fats, i.e. those that give a solid perception between tongue and palate. Butter and lard give that doughy sensation in the mouth because they do not melt immediately. Chocolate also tends to be so because it almost always contains at least 30 % of cocoa butter which is responsible for that doughy note that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, leaves in the mouth after swallowing. Dark chocolate and Barolo Chinato make a wonderful couple! Try it to believe 😉
Read more
Write down three foods with a bitter tendency and match them with three wines.
  • Tagliatelle with truffle -> dry white muffato (softness, persistence, intensity)
  • Carne alla brace -> Sangiovese Superiore Riserva (softness, persistence)
  • Filet with herbs -> Barolo (smoothness, persistence, intensity)
What are the characteristics of barrique wines? How does the barrique affect the wine?

Through very slow oxygen exchanges, the wood imparts variations in colour, perfume and taste to the wine. The colour warms up, turning garnet for reds and deep gold for whites, and the bouquet acquires evolved scents with notes of fruit in spirit, solvent, fur, coffee, butter, vanilla, dried fruit, cocoa and tobacco. The taste becomes softer and more balanced as the acids partly transform and combine while the young tannins in the skins change their structure, polymerise and precipitate.

Read more Maturation and ageing

AIS examination level 3 questions/block 3

Define the olfactory quality of a wine and write down the scale of values.

Olfactory Quality is the synthesis of intensity and olfactory complexity.

  • EXCELLENTA wine with a particularly elegant bouquet, endowed with great intensity and a wide range of odour nuances.
  • END: wine with a good to excellent perfume, refined and with good intensity.
  • FINE ENOUGH: wine with a fairly pleasant aroma, of fair to good quality with discrete intensity and variety of odours.
  • LITTLE END: wine with a bouquet bordering on mediocrity and lacking in pleasantness.
  • MUNICIPALITY: wine with a poor bouquet and lacking any merit, which may have flaws.
Define the concept of minerality and use a wine or grape variety as an example.

Minerality is the set of olfactory sensations attributable to certain stones, minerals and metals. Some tasters classify sensations of sulphur, tar, smoke and burnt rubber as mineral scents. Others associate it with salinity, which is typical of wines produced in vineyards close to the sea or in any case under the strong influence of sea breezes... but it is not to be confused with the wine's sapidity.

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Lists the main grape varieties and key areas in Burgundy.
White grape varieties: Chardonnay, Aligoté Black grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Gamay Key areas: Chablis, Côte d'Or, Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais, Beaujolais
List 10 Veneto DOCs.

DOC: Arcole, Bagnoli, Bardolino, Bianco di Custoza or Custoza, Breganze, Colli Berici, Colli Euganei, Corti Benedettine del Padovano, Gambellara, Garda, Lessini Durello, Lison-Pramaggiore, Lugana, Merlara, Montello - Colli Asolani, Monti Lessini or Lessini, Piave, Prosecco, Riviera del Brenta, San Martino della Battaglia, Soave, Valdadige Terradeiforti, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Venezia, Vicenza, Vigneti della Serenissima or Serenissima.

Can you name at least 10 DOCs in Piedmont?

DOC: Alba, Albugnano, Barbera d'Alba, Barbera del Monferrato, Boca, Bramaterra, Calosso, Canavese, Carema, Cisterna d'Asti, Collina Torinese, Colline Novaresi, Colline Saluzzesi, Colli Tortonesi, Cortese dell'Alto Monferrato, Coste della Sesia, Dolcetto d'Acqui, Dolcetto d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Asti, Dolcetto di Ovada, Fara, Freisa d'Asti, Freisa di Chieri, Gabiano, Grignolino d'Asti, Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese, Langhe, Lessona, Loazzolo, Malvasia di Casorzo, Malvasia di Castelnovo Don Bosco, Monferrato, Nebbiolo d'Alba, Piedmont, Pinerolese, Rubino di Cantavenna, Sizzano, Strevi, Terre Alfieri, Valli Ossolane, Valsusa, Verduno Pelaverga.

Question in homage to my dear friend Fabio Carisio, Mr Art & Wine *_*

Name 4 wines from the#039;hors d'oeuvre to dessert from'Umbria.
Appetiser: Torgiano sparkling wine DOC First: Montefalco DOC Second: Torgiano Rosso Riserva DOC Sweet: Montefalco Sagrantino passito
Write down the characteristics of the ideal wine cellar.
  1. stable temperature between 11° - 15°;
  2. pebble and gravel floor compacted with soil to help maintain the correct humidity;
  3. relative humidity of the environment around 65 - 70%;
  4. north-facing room;
  5. Careful lighting, with low-power sodium or shielded lamps and never neon, in order to avoid defects such as so-called light taste and other oxidative processes;
  6. foods with intense and penetrating flavours and aromas should not be stored;
  7. boilers and burners must not be placed in the room;
  8. avoid persistent noise and vibration.
Describe the food-wine pairing by concordance and give an example.

Matching by concordance means that each characteristic of the food must be matched in the wine. For example a dessert with a passito wine.

Describe the combination by contrast and give an example.

Pairing by contrast is based on the principle of finding a balance between food and wine. An example is pairing a particularly fresh wine such as a Franciacorta DOCG (Metodo Classico) with good freshness and acidity with a mousse of mortadella (fattiness) or with raw salmon au naturel (sweet tendency).

What are the taste-olfactory differences between the Classical Method and the Martinotti Method?

The first big difference is in the use of grape varieties: the Metodo Classico is produced with non-aromatic grape varieties while the Martinotti Method is produced with aromatic grape varieties. This gives a first big difference to the nose: the scents of the Metodo Classico are more complex and derive from the yeasts with notes of butter, bread crust... while those of the Martinotti Method are those proper to the grape variety used. On the palate, the first difference is the tactile sensation of tingling carbon dioxide: in the Metodo Classico the effervescence is less aggressive due to the smaller, finer bubbles, whereas in the Martinotti Method the effervescence of the coarse bubbles is often more annoying. On the nose as well as in the mouth, the Metodo Classico is more complex and persistent.

Describe the'effervescence of a wine.

Effervescence results from the presence of carbon dioxide in a wine. This colourless and odourless gas has the property of emphasising the aromas and hardness of the wine (and plays a fundamental role in its balance) and leads to a tactile sensation that produces the typical tingling sensation, more or less marked depending on the method used to produce it.

List 5 grape varieties suitable for sparkling in autoclaves (Charmat method)

Moscato, Glera, Brachetto, Malvasia, Albana, Lambrusco

Thanks to Francesca, I too was able to do a review that will be really useful... since I have promised myself between the end of the year and the beginning of next year to start the course for become an AIS taster. Then I would like to become AIS rapporteur for sparkling wines, dessert wines and fortified wines... who knows what the future holds! What is certain is that I will always do my best to help you pass the ais third level exam!

If my AIS exam questions were useful for you to revise write to me in a comment!

See you soon,


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