09/09/09 — whites for the wine century club

By Jesse on September 7, 2009

Last week, a couple of members were asking about the Wine Century Club. If you weren’t there, here’s a quick rundown of what it’s all about: the Wine Century Club is an informal organization of wine drinkers who have each tasted 100 or more varietals (grape types) in their lifetime. Becoming a member is easy: you simply make a list of 100 different grapes you’ve tried, and what the wines were called. Then you send in your list, and you get a certificate to hang on your wall. Truly badass. (For more information, check out the Century Club website.)

This week, we’re going to be helping out any of you who have any interest in joining this prestigious organization by holding a tasting of relatively obscure white grapes. Even if you never intend to drink 100 varietals, this tasting is going to be an awesome opportunity to get outside the box and drink some unique and rare grape types that you won’t typically find on the grocery store shelves or on average wine lists.

What wine should I bring? You can bring any white wine, as long as it’s not one of the following ten extremely common white grapes:

1) Sauvignon Blanc
2) Riesling
3) Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
4) Viognier
5) Sémillon
6) Roussanne
7) Marsanne
8) Gewurztraminer
9) Muscat
10) …and the most common of all, Chardonnay

WTF, Jesse? That’s like every grape ever. Why can’t I bring one of those? Because there are so many other amazing white grapes out there that are just begging to be tried! You can’t live your life with just ten socks, or ten foods, or ten friends, so why should you limit yourself to ten grapes?

The possibilities are truly endless. You could bring a Spanish white — an Albariño from Rias Baixas, or a Verdejo from Rueda, for example. Or what about a Grüner Veltliner from Austria, or a Scheurebe from Germany? If you want to go Italian, you’ve got tons of options: Arneis, Pinot Bianco and Traminer, for example, or any of the tasty whites we tried two weeks ago, like Fiano and Vermentino.

If you want to go French, how about a Chenin Blanc from the Loire, a Pinot Blanc from Alsace, or an Aligoté from Burgundy? Or what about an Ugni Blanc from down south? Speaking of south, why not go to Argentina and get a bottle of that impetuous grape Torrontés? You truly can’t go wrong when you get outside your comfort zone. (Unless your wine sucks. But don’t worry, it won’t!)

We’ll be meeting at Nick’s place in West LA. The RSVP system functions like this: if you want in, you click on this link and tell me so (don’t forget your full name, e-mail address, and a cute message conveying to me your intentions). If you’re denied entry due to a meeting exceeding capacity, don’t worry — you’ll be at the top of the list the next week.

Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, go out and find yourself a bottle of white wine from outside your comfort zone… or bring a $10 donation, if you prefer. See you Wednesday night!