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:
- Bombino Bianco
- Coda di Volpe
- Cserzegi Fuszeres
- Feteasca Alba
- Folle Blanc
- Grenache Blanc
- Gros Manseng
- Hondarrabi Zuri
- Irsay Oliver
- Len de L’el
- Melon de Bourgogne
- Muscat Ottonel
- Pedro Ximénez
- Petit Manseng
- Petite Arvine
- Picpoul Blanc
- Seyval Blanc
- Trebbiano/Ugni Blanc
Red Wish list:
- Baco Noir
- De Chaunac
- Lladoner Pelut
- Malvasia Nera
- Maréchal Foch
- Nero D’Avola
- Picpoul Noir
- Pineau D’Aunis
- Plavac Mali
- St. Laurent
- Tinta Amerela
- Tinta Barroca
- Tinta Negra Mole
- Uva di Troia