"I was always thinking of games that I was playing…"

by Katie Pizzuto on April 26, 2010

in Celebrations/Festivals,Wine

May 8th, which is only 2 weeks away at this point (didn’t we just celebrate the new year?!), marks the Wine Century Club’s 5th birthday. For those of you that live under a bone-dry rock, the Club’s only membership prerequisite is that you’ve tasted at least 100 different grape varieties—no yearly dues, no application fees. My kind of club. Earning its acceptance was easily the most fun I’ve ever had in my wine-soaked life.

In honor of the “Big 5,” I’m asking that everyone raise a glass on May 8, but not just any glass, because that’s too simple a request for winos. Hop over to the Wine Century Club Website, download the grape variety list/application in their membership section, find something you’ve never had (hopefully something you can barely pronounce), and HUNT IT DOWN. Step outside the fucking pinot-chard-cab bubble and fill your glass with something new, something interesting, and hopefully something delicious. Then come visit your gracious host and let me know what you had…and it had better be a doozie! Consider the gauntlet officially thrown.

In addition, Gonzo reader and fellow blogger Don, of Beer & Whiskey Brothers, recently asked how my New Year’s resolution was going. The goal: to taste wines in 2010 that represent each letter of the alphabet, but not by the mere winery name…by their personalized names, which not every wine has. Most wineries slap their names on a label and add the grape variety(ies) and/or the appellation. The majority don’t bother to actually baptize the wine with a name, making my task a little harder than that of others who decided to join me in the challenge but took the easy (winery name) way out. Below is my list so far—I’m more than half way there.

Feel free to throw out names of wines that’ll help me complete the list and I’ll do my best to hunt them down. And please, don’t be a fucking wiseass and offer up some rare $500 wine I’ll never get my hands on. Remember, I’m still unemployed!

A – “Apogee” (L’Ecole No. 41)

B –

C – “Command” (Elderton)

D – “Doyenne” Syrah (DeLille Cellars)

E – “Este” (Bodegas Alto Almanzora)

F –

G – “Gipsy Legend” (Chateau Virant)

H – “Heaven on Earth” (Stellar)

I –

J –

K – “K Syrah” (K Vintner)

L – “Le Pousseur” (Bonny Doon)

M – “Mes Trois Amours” (Ledson)

N – “Novateur” (Fortress)

O – “Orchis Mascula” (Dom. Ferrand)

P – “Perigee” (L’Ecole No. 41)

Q – “Question Mark” (Katarzyna)

R – “Ratafia” (J Winery)

S – “Sal’mon” (Salomon Undhof)

T – “Tantalus” (Elderton)

U –

V –

W –

X –

Y –

Z –

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linsey April 26, 2010

8th May is a great day to have a birthday – I should know I have been doing it for nearly 42 years hehehe.


2 Linsey April 26, 2010

make that nearly 43 years 🙂


3 Don April 26, 2010

15 down 11 to go! I never expected you would get as far as you have. I’ll be looking for wines with names. I didn’t even consider that, I thought you would be doing it by winery names. So, I’ll be on the lookout. I wonder if there is a Zebra or an x-ray wine?


4 Katie Pizzuto April 26, 2010

@Linsey…Wish you were here to celebrate, but there’s always next year!

@Don…gee, thanks for the optimism and confidence 😉 Glad I surpassed your expectations, LOL. X should be the big challenge…much harder than Z, I think!


5 Linsey April 26, 2010

Yeah me too!

Anthony has already told me ur having a family BBQ tonight – so I’m jealous.


6 JN April 26, 2010

Here are few…

Bouteille Call by Bonny Doon (wine based…)
Freakout by Luna Vineyards
French Connection by EOS
Insignia by J Phelps
Sin Zin by Alexander Valley Vineyards
Syrcab by BR Cohn
Valeriano by Jacuzzi
Zaruzuela by Murrietta’s Well
Zeta by Zardetto

Well, I’d better get back to work…



7 Katie Pizzuto April 26, 2010

Sweet! Thanks mysterious J! I actually just realized I had an “S” last week that I overlooked so will add that to the list now.


8 castello April 26, 2010

For Z I would recommend this blend from David Caffaro in Dry Creek Valley.

ZP2C (98 cases estimated to be bottled)
Estate Grown. “The Bottom of the Barrel” Equal Amounts of All Barrels $22.00


9 JN April 27, 2010

Focusing on the harder letters…

White Flowers (Sparkling Riesling) by Pacific Rim
Cuvee William (a little pricey?) by Deutz

and a stretch for the “X”

Ex Umbris by Owen Roe



10 Katie Pizzuto April 28, 2010

OOOh, haven’t tried the White Flowers and that sounds yummy! I get a feeling X will be the last letter to get filled. I’ve suddenly realized that between you and Ed (Castello) you guys are sending me all California wines…what’s wrong with you people?!? LOL. 🙂


11 David J April 28, 2010

Hi, Katie! I travel with the Century checklist, think I’m vewwy vewwy cwose, if not actually there. Sun.May 9 is birthday for Brenda, daughter of la novia Argentina de my buddy Lucas with whom I just reconnected after a dozen years– she’ll be working at Paumanok w/her BF over the Summer, preparing for Junior year in Paris, balancing French Lit & wine! So i don’t even know what this is leading to…clutching at straws in my so-called middle-aging life…


12 Katie Pizzuto April 28, 2010

So happy to see you come around…it’s been a while! Raise a glass of something off-beat and uncommon in honor of both the club’s birthday and Brenda’s!!


13 David J April 28, 2010

Have you had any wine from the Canary Islands? Got a white & a red from Lanzarote I need to google, a red from Valle del Orotave in tenerife that’s (100%?) Listán Negro…


14 Katie Pizzuto April 29, 2010

No, David, but it’s funny when I took a certification course in Spanish wine they touched on the wines of the Canary Islands but they didn’t have any as part of the tasting flights…I was disappointed! Where did you get those? I’d love to try some.


15 David J April 29, 2010

Chambers Street. I can get another couple bottles, &/or try to coordinate where a couple of the people it might be nice to share with can get together?


16 Coupe 60 May 4, 2010
17 Katie Pizzuto May 4, 2010

But is the name technically “RED X”? Cuz if it is, it won’t count…I think we should ask the winery 🙂


18 Julius May 5, 2010

“Julius” (Henschke)


19 Julius May 5, 2010

“Unity” (Fisher)


20 Katie Pizzuto May 5, 2010

Wow, again, it’s really interesting that everyone’s suggestions, other than Julius’ “Julius” are from California. Do the Europeans not name their wines as much as we do, maybe?!? Five of the ones on my list are from other countries…a third of them. Weird.


21 Julius May 5, 2010

Here’s one from Italy:

“Fiulot” (Alberto Prunotto)

it’s a Barbera d’Asti that’s available all over the place, even at the WL (@ $12.98)


22 Julius May 5, 2010

“Belleruche” (Chapoutier)

$10 Cotes du Rhone (at WL)


23 Katie Pizzuto May 5, 2010

How’s about I just stop in and you can take me from aisle to aisle, stocking up on all missing letters, Julius?! LOL. I’m overdue for a Library trip anyway.


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