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Will Work For Wine

The Wine Century Club ~ I’m in. Are You?

“The Wine Century Club is for all adventurous wine lovers. If you’ve tasted at least 100 different grape varieties, you’re qualified to become a member. If you haven’t tried 100 different grape varieties, but are interested in the concept, you’re welcome to all of our events. Please join us in promoting the awareness of uncommon wine grape varieties.” [Logo is borrowed from their site.]

In a recent post I mentioned that I’m now shooting for tasting 100 different wine varieties. My long time PR colleague and friend Jim Caudill (Caudill & Company Communications) sent an Email to me, telling me that he’s also shooting for the same benchmark. I asked permission to talk bout him openly in this story, and he said, “Sure.” I also told him that I was going to be blogging about this, giving it the title, “Will Work For Wine,” because I’ll get to my goal a lot quicker with the help of my importer reader/friends. I don’t get out much to go track these wines down, but I know that there are those out there in cyber space who are willing to barter… Your wine for my story.

Since it takes me at least a few hours to write a blog (they average about five hours), it’s a good deal for all of us.

I like win-win situations. In this case, it’s wine-wine.

I told Jim that it could be really fun. We could have our own chapter. Jose, my partner in all things in life, is also very interested in this experiment. I suggested to Jim that we get together to taste anything sent to me, and we’ll do dinner with a tasting and food pairing. (I love to cook.) He’s in, so the wines will be getting more than one person’s opinion. Right now, we have a four person tasting panel, with Jim’s wife joining us, no doubt.

Sonadora (WannabeWino) was my inspiration for this one, having blogged about her reaching the 100 variety mark. Sonadora, Matt (her husband), Jose and I all had dinner at Chinois Asian Bistro a couple of weeks ago. She shared that they’re now headed to 200 varieties. This is an amazing task, honestly. Once you get past the recognizable cultivars (Chard, Merlot, and Cab), you’re headed into Furmint, Picpoul Blanc, Hondarrabi Zuri, and Schioppettino territory.

Sonadora also told me to visit David Coffaro, because he works with unique cultivars. He’s on my list of places to visit. He’s only a few miles from here. David and Molly Tcholakov are the original wine bloggers, journaling their wine days. Molly is the wife of Miro Tcholakov, a wonderful winemaker/friend.

So, I returned to Chinois Asian Bistro, my favorite restaurant in the world, this past Thursday night. My friend Chang Liow (chef,  proprietor, and Master Sommelier), Jose, and I were talking about Sonadora and Matt’s visit, and that she’s a member of The Wine Century Club. Chang was fascinated with the concept, and I told him how I’m going to blog about “Will Work for Wine,” because I don’t even know where to start to find some of these really obscure varieties… (Maybe that ‘s half the fun? I’ll let you know.)

Chang said, “Oh, I’ve got something for you,” and took off for a second. I have to tell you that I once wrote about Chang’s wine list, because it’s so outrageous. It was called, Chinois Asian Bistro ~ What Drives People to Steal Their Wine Lists? Chang has a superlative palate, and has a list with not only great regional wines, but it also reflects his global experiences and connections. For instance, Chang exports fine wines to China, Delia Viader’s wine being one of his brands. Chang is also a judge for wine competitions. He’s a great resource.

So, what had he gone off to get? A 2004 Benanti Rossodiverzella Etna  Rosso. Not one, but two new varieties were listed on the back of the bottle: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. It’s imported from Vino Bravo.

Well, thank you very much, Chang!

And, Chang is now also interested in The Wine Century Club. With his busy schedule at the restaurant, I doubt that he will be able to join us for dinner; however, I do see going to Chinois to taste with him for his thoughts, too. I know Jim would make time in his schedule to join us, continuing our adventure into obscure (for us) varieties.

Looks like we’ve got our first bottle, Jim. Let me see if I can scrounge up one more bottle for a good menu.

We’d love to have a white to go with this upcoming meal; but, as my mother used to say, “Beggars can’t be choosers.”

We’ll let you know how this one tasted. If it’s on Chang’s list, I know it’s going to be really great. That’s just the way he rolls.

By-the-way, if you’re visiting Sonoma County in the Healdsburg-Windsor area, and you love Asian fusion/Pan Pacific foods, don’t miss Chinois (186 Windsor River Rd, Windsor, CA 95492 ~ (707) 838-4667. It’s deliciously yummy. I have more options at Chinois than any other restaurant I’ve visited… and I’ve been to 41 states and four countries. I’ve been around cuisine a bit.

Here’s my white wish list:

  • Airén
  • Aligoté
  • Arinto
  • Arvine
  • Assyrtiko
  • Auxerrois
  • Avesso
  • Bacchus
  • Bical
  • Bombino Bianco
  • Bourboulenc
  • Bual
  • Catarratto
  • Chasselas
  • Clairette
  • Coda di Volpe
  • Cortese
  • Corvina
  • Cserzegi Fuszeres
  • Delaware
  • Erbaluce
  • Falanghina
  • Feteasca Alba
  • Fiano
  • Folle Blanc
  • Friulano
  • Furmint
  • Godello
  • Grechetto
  • Greco
  • Grenache Blanc
  • Gros Manseng
  • Hárslevelü
  • Hondarrabi Zuri
  • Inzolia
  • Irsay Oliver
  • Kerner
  • Len de L’el
  • Loureiro
  • Macabeo
  • Malagousia
  • Marzemino
  • Mauzac
  • Melon de Bourgogne
  • Muscadelle
  • Muscat Ottonel
  • Negroamaro
  • Parellada
  • Pedro Ximénez
  • Petit Manseng
  • Petite Arvine
  • Picpoul Blanc
  • Pigato
  • Prosecco
  • Rkatsiteli
  • Roditis
  • Savagnin
  • Savatiano
  • Scheurebe
  • Schönburger
  • Sercial
  • Seyval Blanc
  • Silvaner
  • Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc
  • Verdejo
  • Verdicchio
  • Vermentino
  • Vernaccia
  • Vidal
  • Vignoles
  • Vilana
  • Welschriesling
  • Xarel-Lo
  • Zinfandel/Primitivo
  • Zweigelt

Red Wish list:

  • Aleatico
  • Alfrocheiro
  • Baco Noir
  • Baga
  • Blaufränkisch
  • Bobal
  • Bonarda
  • Brachetto
  • Canaiolo
  • Catawba
  • De Chaunac
  • Dornfelder
  • Fer
  • Frappato
  • Freisa
  • Gaglioppo
  • Graciano
  • Grignolino
  • Grolleau
  • Kadarka
  • Lagrein
  • Lladoner Pelut
  • Malvasia Nera
  • Maréchal Foch
  • Mavrodapne
  • Molinara
  • Negroamaro
  • Nero D’Avola
  • Norton
  • Picpoul Noir
  • Piedrosso
  • Pignolo
  • Pineau D’Aunis
  • Plavac Mali
  • Portugieser
  • Refosco
  • Rondinella
  • Ruché
  • Sagrantino
  • Saperavi
  • Schiava
  • Schioppettino
  • St. Laurent
  • Teroldego
  • Tinta Amerela
  • Tinta Barroca
  • Tinta Negra Mole
  • Uva di Troia
  • Xynomavro
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8 Responses to “Will Work For Wine”

  1. Jo says:

    Yesterday, with Clark Smith and Dan Berger, both of these gentlemen are also interested in The Wine Century Club… It interesting how quickly people gravitate toward this concept, when they’re informed.

  2. Loweeel says:

    Jo, you haven’t had Charbono?!?!?! You’re missing out! Some ProducerS (Summers, Foley, Turley) make a nice Charbono. It’s *SO* underrated and delicious.

    To knock out a bunch of white grapes, try a white CdP. And I think you’ve already had a bunch of the grapes on both lists if you’ve had more than a few bottles of white, tawny, and ruby/vintage/lbv port.

  3. Jo says:

    Loweeel, Have have indeed tried Charbono.

    Silly me. Sally Ottoson’s of Pacific Star, years ago.

    Oops… Gone from the list, along with Verdehllo.

    That many wines to taste, an oversight on my part in formatting.

  4. Ok Jo, not to be devil’s advocate here, but don’t you have to taste the wine varietal by itself to have it count? and shouldn’t you have to blog about it for it to really really count?

    Well it’s all good fun any way you do it! Enjoy and let us all reap the benies!

  5. Loweeel says:

    Gwendolyn, not according to the rules of the Century club. There’s not even a minimum threshold. (and it’s hard enough to find confirmation that some grapes are even used in blends — it would be even more difficult, if not impossible to get to 100 grapes of 100% non-blended wines. Where would you draw the cutoff?)

  6. Jo says:

    Loweeels’ right, Gwendolyn. The rules are to have tasted it in a blend is good enough for them. I dare say, that most wines – most especially the reads – are in blends. It’s hard to find 100 percent Cabernet, for instance. Zinfandels – many of them – are given back bone with Petite Sirah. (Very little age ability, otherwise.)

    their rules are to taste them – somehow. It’s all the merit system, so hopefully we play the game according tot he rules.

    This is why I’ve put it out there. By doing this, I’m already on my way to new varieties, and gathering stories as I go along.

  7. Very cool Jo! We’re actually working on forming a Willamette Valley chapter up in OR, and hosting bi-weekly tastings at a local wine bar. You can check out our site: http://www.willamette100.com. I’ve worked on my personal list a couple times, and think the closest I’ve come is 93. I’m starting fresh with our new group though, so I’ll look forward to hearing about all the fun grapes you find/try as well. Good luck! xoxo Ryan

  8. Jo says:


    Always a breath of fresh air!

    I’ll keep you informed, and I’ll visit your site, too.

    Maybe Jim Caudill, Chang Liow, Jose and I are becoming a North Bay Chapter? I’m throwing in Dan Berger and Clark Smith, too, because they were just intrigued, when I told them about this concept.


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