"100 Bottles of Wine on the Wall, 100 Bottles of Wine..."
I was intrigued when I read a few months ago in the Washington Post's weekly wine column by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page about the existence of the Wine Century Club. The concept is simple: download a checklist of wine varietals, try 100 of them, send it your completed checklist, and get a certificate designating you as a member of the Wine Century Club, (bragging rights included at no charge.)
I figured that in all of the classes and tastings I have held, as well as the courses and trade and consumer tastings that I have gone to, reaching 100 varietals would be a piece of cake. Well, it was not as easy as it sounds. Luckily, blends count, so drinking a lot of Cotes du Rhone, Ports and Spanish reds helped with the total. And I went back through some of my tasting notes and discovered some wines that I forgot I had tasted (guess they weren't that memorable...). There is a spot to write-in other varietals, so some of the grapes I have tasted in VA wines (where I live now) as well as in PA wines (where I am from originally) added a few to my list.
A few weeks ago, I sent in my completed checklist--I made sure that it included a few over 100, just in case there were any discrepancies...and today I was excited to see my certificate come in the mail! The included letter says that only 3.3% of those who download the application actually complete it and turn it in, and while there are only currently a few hundred members of the Club, the eventual goal is to surpass the number of subscribers of Robert Parker's Wine Advocate--currently 40,000.
For more information and to download the checklist, visit their website.