Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tri-Centennial Notes & a New Task

I've got to admit that, at times, I look at the number of wines that have made it to The List and I wonder what the heck I've gotten myself into. It's going to take awhile to hit 2001 Bottles. Ain't it?!

With all the holiday festivities, hitting the 300 mark sort of snuck up on me. However, I guess it was rather fitting that we opened #300 at our Christmas Dinner. I just didn't fully realize it at the time. I knew we were close but I wasn't aware of the actual bottle at the time. Hence, we didn't have any fanfare or celebratory photo.

I took a bit of a look back over The List to see just what we've been drinking and it's no surprise that we've opened way more local BC bottles than we have of any other region. We popped 125 BC corks, with the next closest region being Australia at 43. We've finished off bottles from 15 countries so far and the others that have seen ten or more are Italy (33 - which is a bit of a surprise to me), France (25), Spain (14 - thanks in part to the Tyrant's fondness for new wave Spain), US (14 as well, with 11 of those coming from California), and Argentina (12).

Of the 300 bottles, 171 have been red, 98 white, 9 sparkling, 7 rose, 6 fruit, 5 dessert or icewine and 4 fortified.

We drink a lot of blended wines, but out of the straight varietal wines we've shared, the most visited grapes have been Shiraz (26), Merlot (18), Pinot Noir (13), Cab Sauv (12) and Malbec (8) among the reds, with the most quaffed whites being Riesling (19), Pinot Gris (18), Chardonnay (10 - a bit of a surprise for us since we don't usually reach for a Chardy), Sauvignon Blanc (9) and Viognier (6).

With this recap being at hand, I came across an intriguing website the other day for the Wine Century Club. To become a member, all (he snickers as he writes "all") you have to do is drink 100 different varietals during your wine adventures. The website states that only 3% of the people that download a checklist actually send back a completed application. Having taken a look at their checklist, we've obviously hit a lot of the more popular - and most available - varietals, but I couldn't help thinking that, following a reading of their list, I've never heard of a number of the grapes listed.

It might be quite the task - but definitely a fun one to take on. The one saving grace is that the requirements allow you to count a varietal when it is included in a blend. I wonder if it would even be possible to drink 100 grapes as strict varietal wines. How often can you expect to come across a wine made of 100% Macabeo or Muller Thurgau?

I'm only going to count varietals that have appeared in wines on the List, but I was able to count approximately 65 varietals already. The remaining 35 will no doubt be a lot tougher to locate. With 1701 more bottles to add to The List though, I figure we should be able to accomplish the challenge.

Looks like 2010 should be a good year for a glass of wine or two.

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