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3rd Birthday Bash


The Wine Century Club celebrated its 3nd birthday on April 14th 2008 in New York City. The room was packed once again with some of the brightest minds, sharpest wits and most delicate palates in the wine world today. As could be imagined, the accompanying wines were outstanding. . .

Two incredible old oddities came from Tom Reagan: a Royal Oporto 1896(!) Vintage Port and a Wisdom & Warter NV (bought in 1945) Golden Cream Sherry. They truly fit the theme Unusual, Delicious and Slow!

Another favorite of the crowd was the 2006 Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli. Both Kathleen Lisson and Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg brought bottles of this truly remarkable New York State wine.

Sadly, one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the club couldn’t make it; Thom Perry passed away 2 months ago. He was responsible for many people joining the club, especially Thom’s fiancée Kathy Wertalik and friend Tom Reagan who both attended the party. We all raised a glass for Thom in his memory and honor.

Once again, the amazing Jeff Grossman brought his inimitable brand of contagious enthusiasm and charm all the while taking copious notes:

Impressions from the Century Club (third anniversary gathering) party:

1. Ewald Gruber NV? “Punkt Genau” – sparkling brut gruner veltliner from Austria’s Weinviertel; pleasant and crisp …Good (Gruner Veltliner)

2. Bonny Doon 2007 Albarino “Ca del Solo” – lemony, texture is a bit watery but there is a persistent finish …Good (Albarino)

3. Amesguren 2007 Getariarko Txakolina “Rubentis” – good zing but over a too-sweet candied flavor …Good (Hondarribi Zuri (white), Hondarribi Beltza (red)

4. JSC Corp year? Georgia White Dry Wine “Tsinandali” – Rkatsiteli and Mtsvane, moldy and bitter …Poor (ed: probably corked) (rkatsiteli and mtsvane)

5. S. Dona 2006 Gelber Muskateller – floral nose, of course; clean and crisp with a long finish …Good+ (Muscat Blanc)

6. Vino Graben 2004 Rumeni Plavec, Bizeljsko-Sremic region – the grape name means ‘yellow blue’; a tired white wine …Fair (Rumeni Plavec)

7. Joan d’Anguera 2002 Montsant “El Bugader” – decanted 2 hrs ahead; pretty nose, creamy in the mouth with fine tannins and a good finish; a little too much wood for my tastes …Good (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon)

8. Dr. Konstantin Frank 2006 Rkatsiteli – “Giggle Juice!”; crisp, bright, grapefruity, zingy …Excellent (Rkatsiteli)

9. Clos du Gravillas 2004 Minervois blanc “L’Inattendu” – complex honeyed nose, a little closed otherwise …Good+ (Grenache Gris)

10. Wisdom & Warter NV Golden Cream Sherry – According to Tom, this was purchased in 1945 and held safely from then till now; The paper strip for the store lists the phone number as “Templeton 8-7500” ! The wine is cloudy and brown; it is caramelly and sweet but not cloying; the acidity is quite soft; pleasurable …Excellent (Palamino)

11. Terredora Dipalo 2006 Falanghina Irpinia – a bit leafy, a little low in acid …Good (Falanghina)

12. Dr. Parce 1993 Collioure “Les Junquets” – probably a mourvedre blend; earthy, metallic (which I sometimes get from brett), something like an old Burgundy …Good+ (90% Syrah, 5% Roussanne, 5% Marsanne)

13. Dom. l’Aigueliere 1995 Montpeyroux – barnyardy, flavors of deepest mulberry and black raspberry; the finest furry tannins; nice secondary development …Excellent (Carignan, Syrah, Grenache)

14. Burlotto 2005 Pelaverga – zippy, lightweight, strawberry candy, wow …Excellent (Pelaverga)

15. Cascina Tavijn 2006 Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato – dark, vigorous, muted nose of fig and black raspberry, kinda closed tonight …Good (Ruche)

16. Plouzeau 2005 Gamay “Sans Tra La La” – clove, face-powder (ed: ?), fruity …Good (Gamay)

17. Royal Oporto 1896 Light Tawny Rich – After a protracted fight with the cork, Tom and I finally just push it in and use a screen when we pour. Another brown and cloudy wine, but it’s alive!: still fruity, brown sugar (but not caramel), chocolate and cocoa, just OMG wine …Excellent, Excellent, Excellent (most likely Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinta Roriz (syn: Tempranillo), Tinta Barroca, Tintã Cão, plus some others)

18. Black Rock 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon – varietally correct, nicely made …Good+ (Cabernet Sauvignon)

19. Black Rock 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon – less rich than its sibling, the wood is sticking out …Good (Cabernet Sauvignon)

20. De Silva 2006 Alto Adige Lago di Caldaro Scelto “Peterleiten” – lightweight and suave, a bit green? …Good (Schiava)

21. Yoakim Bridge NV Courrier Red – a blend of 04 cab, 04 merlot, 05 zin, and 05 petit sirah; interesting effort; would love to try this again in 5 years …Good (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Sirah, Zinfandel)

22. Marco Carpineto 2004 Lazio Rosso “Dithyrambus” – montepulciano and nero buono, bland …Fair (Montepulciano and Nero Buono)

23. Tenuta delle Terre Nere 2004 Etna Rosso “Calderara Sottana” – good acidity, shapely, bright cranberry flavors …Good+ (Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio)

24. Sabon 2001 Chateauneuf-du-Pape “Prestige” – this seems very soft, is something wrong? …? (Syrah, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Terret,
Counoise, Vaccarese and Muscardin)

25. Dom. Monte de Luz 2006 Tannat “Carquera” – buttery and smooth but fruitless …Fair (Tannat)

26. Dom. Martinho (Q. do Carmo) 2002 Alentejo – bland …Fair (Aragonez (syn:Tempranillo), Alicante, Castelão, Trincadeira, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah)

27. Grgich Hills 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon – varietally correct, not as woody as I feared it would be …Good (Cabernet Sauvignon)

28. Santomas 2005 Big Red Reserve – from Slovenia, really really dark refosco, big black fruit, I like it …Good (Refosco)

29. Chignin 2006 Vin de Savoie “Anne de la Biguerne” – varietal jacquerre; it’s whispering in a room full of shouting wines …Fair (Jacquerre)

30. Stadlmann 2006 Zierfandler – another indifferent white …Fair (Zierfandler)

If you tasted all 30 wines, you would have had 44 different grape varieties!

As Jeff said, it was a room full of shouting wines so it was difficult for the more subtle ones to shine. Bear this in mind just in case you think your wine got a poor rating. Personally, my Dithyrambus got robbed!!! 😉

In the fiercely contested blind tasting competition, Angela Romano edged out Rodolphe Boulanger for top honors. She took home an official Wine Century Club shiny spittoon.

The blind tasting wines and delicious Gruner Veltliner bubbly were all supplied by LeNell’s – thank you for the excellent wines and for gracing us with your company, Lenell!

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3rd Birthday Party

It’s time again for the Wine Century Club’s annual party in New York City. It looks like a great event this year as fellow Centurian Jimmy Carbone is letting us use his restaurant – Jimmy’s No. 43 – as our clubhouse for the evening. Jimmy’s No. 43 was just awarded a Snail from the Slow Food Association which means everything is local and organic in addition to being delicious. His rising star young chef, Philip Kirschen-Clark (formerly of WD-50) will be preparing a variety of small plates for a wine pairing extravaganza. There will be a variety of vegetarian and fish options among the small plates for our veggy and pescy members.

BYOB a bottle of something interesting, delicious and possibly slow.


Jimmy’s No. 43

43 East 7th Street Downstairs
New York City

Time: 7 PM

Date: Monday, April 14th

Cost: $75 includes tax, tip and a glass of bubbly.

RSVP: Please purchase tickets in advance at

Our 3rd Local Chapter: Hendersonville, NC!


I am happy to announce the formation of The French Broad Chapter of the Wine Century CLub organized on January 12 at Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar. Twenty wine enthusiast met to elect officers and sample ten wines. Two members are already recipients of the Wine Century Award. Keith Dalbec was elected President, Jere Dabbs Vice-President and Nan Jennings Secretary. The group will meet every other month to expand their appreciation and joy of wine.

Varietals tasted included Palamini, Louriero, Trexadura, Godello, Albarino,Torrontes, Bourbelanc, Grenache Blanc, Roussane, Viognier, Encruzado Assyrtico, Xynomavro, and Chambourcin.

White Wines:

NV Valckenburg Madonna Sparkling Riesling, Germany

2005 Vina Reboreda White Blend, Ribiero, (Spain)
Varietals: Palamino, Loureira, Treixadura, Godella

2003 Seniorio de Cruces Albarino, Rias Biaxas, (Spain)

2005 Santa Julia Torrontes, Mendoza, (Argentina)

* Perrin Reservé White Blend, Côtes du Rhône, (France)
Varietals: Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc, Roussanne, Viognier
Vintage not shown on bottle, on website, vintage is shown on separate sticker. Blend differs by vintage.

2003 Quinta des Roques Encruzado, Dão, (Portugal)

2006 Sigalas Assyrtiko, Santorini, (Greece)


2006 Crios de Susana Balbo Rosé of Malbec, Mendoza, (Argentina)


2004 Boutari Naoussa Xynomavro, Greece

2005 Westbend Vineyards Chambourcin, Yadkin Valley, (North Carolina)

The Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar is located in Hendersonville, NC in the French Broad River Valley, 20 miles south of Asheville. If you would like pictures forwarded we would be pleased to send them,

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The French Broad Chapter of the Wine Century Club will meet March 8 at La Riserva Ristorante on Main Street in Hendersonville.  The Wine Century Club is dedicated to helping others to expand their experience with wine by eventually tasting at least one-hundred different types of wine grape varietals.  At the initial meeting held at Blue Water Seafood and Wine Cellar officers were elected and members tasted 16 different varietals.  Many of these were new to many members. Those who achieve the goal receive a Wine Century Club Certificate free of cost.

Call La Riserva to make a reservation.  Mention the Century Club.  The meeting is from 5-7PM.  Bring an interesting bottle to share, preferable two bottles of the same, in case attendance is large.  You will be charged a fee to cover the cost of the antepasti and setup.  La Riserva is at 342 N. Main.  The phone number is 692.6636.

Alternative Varieties in Australia

Hi Guys:
In case you don’t get Grapegrower & Winemaker Magazine, or are too busy to read it, please find attached the latest article on Alternative varieties.
I hope you enjoy it, and with a bit of luck I might see some of you in Mildura on the 10th of November.

Wine Industry Consultants
In: Exports, Marketing, Label designs,
Logistics, Packaging,
Production Efficiency Assessments.

Phone/Fax: +61 8 8382 4920
Cell/Mobile: +61 408 801 795
Postal Address: P.O. Box 1050
Morphett Vale. South Australia. 5162

MWCC – Member The Wine Century Club

DC Area Fundraiser

Wine Century Club member Susanne Kuehne has help organize a wine tasting for the Helping Hands Foundation.

A Wine Tasting Fundraiser
for the Helping Hands Foundation

Friday, October 19th, 2007 | 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm
At the home of Cynthia and Bernard Jennings
5126 Northern Fences Lane
Columbia, MD 21044
Tickets are $35 per person
~~~Casual Attire~~~
RSVP NLT Monday, October 15, 2007

For more information, please see the online invitation.

2nd Birthday Bash


The Wine Century Club celebrated its 2nd birthday on March 18th 2007 in New York City. The room was packed once again with some of the brightest minds, sharpest wits and most delicate palates in the wine world today. As could be imagined, the accompanying wines were outstanding. . .

Highlights included the 1990 Red Burgundies generously shared by Alan Goodman and the Joly 2004 Savennieres “Les Clos Sacres” from Michael Gitter’s cellar. Still, the most suprising wine of the day was the Chris Wilford’s 2005 Bentalda Bizkaiko Txakolina “Gorrondona, which truly fit the theme Unusual and Delicious.

The amazing Jeff Grossman brought his inimitable brand of contagious enthusiasm and charm all the while taking copious notes:

Michael Gitter
Ben Schmerler
Alan & Carolyn Goodman
Meredith Cleland & Chris Wilford
Tracy Kamens & Jared Skolnick
Jeff Grossman
Mark & Diane Friedland
Pedro Rosario
Jameson James
Bridget Amiri & Greg Nelson
Steve DeLong
Arthur Stein & Lauren Elliot

A wide variety of wines were brought, some classic and some funky:


1. Etxaniz Txakolina 2005 Txomin Etxaniz, Getariarko Txakolina – a
whiff of face-powder and bright acidity, round and full-flavored, very
drinkable …Good+

2. Amesguren 2006 Getariarko Txakolina “Amestoi” – sharper and a bit
less substantial than the previous, stony, a little of petillance,
reminds me of muscadet …Good

3. Louro do Bolo 2005 Valdeorras “Godello lias finas” – lacking in
acidity, flavor, or intensity …Fair

4. Channing Daughters 2005 White Table Wine “Sylvanus” – blend of
pinot grigio, pinot bianco, and muscat ottonel; citrus zest in the
nose, but thin body and just barely-adequate acidity, one guest says,
“Froot Loops!” …Fair

5. Dauvissat 2002 Chablis “Sechet” 1er – stones, lemon cream, good
(but not great) acidity, no noticeable oxidation, a bottle in a
friendly mood overall …Good+

6. Joly 2004 Savennieres “Les Clos Sacres” – full, citrus-y, waxy,
honeyed, a rich cup …Excellent

7. Jermann 2004 Bianco Venezia Giulia “Vintage Tunina” IGT – good body
with lots of yellow (and even some red) fruit, long finish, not
unjustifiably popular …Good+


8. Jean-Claude Marsanne 2004 Crozes-Hermitage – yup …Good

9. Frick 1999 Syrah (Dry Creek) – very heavy, generic ‘red wine’
flavored syrup, varietal characteristics are indistinguishable …Fair

10. Saxon Brown 2005 Syrah “Flora Ranch” (Chalk Hill) – warm spices
(e.g., cinnamon, clove), dirt and flowers, a pretty syrah …Good+

11. Drouhin 1990 Mazi-Chambertin GC – gorgeous, red fruit and velvet,
the components of the wine are all in balance, an example of why folks
buy Burgundy, have I said “gorgeous” yet? …Excellent, Excellent,

12. Dujac 1990 Charmes-Chambertin GC – cloudy, the Dujac perfume is
there (along with roasty fruit and substantial acids) but the wine is
unravelling, might need to drink up …Excellent

13. Vinedo de los Vientos 2002 Tannat IGT – The back label says, “With
the overwhelming scent of dry Autumn leaves and a hint of morning dew
covering newly sprouted Crimini mushrooms, near a bush of ripe
blueberry. With a pronounce overtone that inhibits the game like
nature of this varietal. Its pinenut finish enhances the warm
marmalade coating of the palate.” I’m told this was written by an
ambitious fellow named Ulysses who no longer works at the winery. I
have no reason to doubt his veracity but those flavors no longer work
at the winery, either. What’s in the bottle is, indeed, very black in
color but is kinda bland and flat. …Fair

14. Bentalda 2005 Bizkaiko Txakolina “Gorrondona – spicy, herbal nose,
lightweight and silky, like a good franc …Excellent

15. Ch. Musar 1998 Rouge – raspberry, currant, strawberry candy, a bit
of shoe polish (nail polish?), typical complicated Musar profile,
showing nicely …Good+

16. Vega Montan 2003 Bierzo – suave, nicely ripe, but it’s too woody
(“criado tres meses en barrica de roble Americano y Frances”) and the
finish is short, how to evaluate such a wine? …Good

17. Horton 2004 Norton (“The Tower Series”) – well-made but it tastes
like a million other red wines, where’s the typicity? …Good

18. Huber 2005 Zweigelt – fresh, cranberry and mulberry, works well at
the table …Good+

Thank you to everyone who braved the ice dams to make our 2nd birthday a great time.

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Wine Century Club 2nd Birthday Party

The Wine Century Club continues to grow, with 207 members as of today. We became more international as well with members now from Australia, Bahamas, Brasil, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Georgia, Spain, Sweden, UK and the USA.It’s time again for the Wine Century Club’s annual party in New York City. For our terrible twos, we’re taking a laid back approach with a casual and decadent BYOB lunch.

BYOB a bottle of something interesting and delicious.

Cafe Loup
105 W. 13th St.
(bet. 6th Ave. & 7th Ave. S.)
Manhattan, NY 10011

Time: 12:00 Noon to 3:00 PM

Date: Sunday, March 18th

Cost: Approx. $30+ $8 corkage fee per bottle. It depends on what you order, Cafe Loup is a moderately priced bistro with entrees between $10 and $18.

RSVP: If you would like to come, please email and I’ll book a spot for you at the restaurant.

German Rieslings – Terroir, Vertical & Horizontal Tasting

This is an event organized by WCC Member Paula Sindberg in London that I will be attending and am really looking forward to:

We’re starting off our Autumn tasting with a bang! This tasting will start with a selection of Rieslings from a variety of German regions to demonstrate the different characteristics that Riesling exhibits in different terroirs. This will be followed by a selection of Hermann Dönnhoff wines from the Nahe to show how the same producer in the same year can produce quite different wines from different sites and different ripeness levels. We will finish with some Joh. Jos. Christoffel wines from the Mosel of the same ripeness level, produced over several years. Riesling is one of the finest varieties with long aging potential and extraordinary quality. This will be outstanding! (more…)

Inaugural Dinner


Photo: Kassidy Gala

The inaugural dinner of the Wine Century Club was held on the Feast of Bacchus (March 16th) at one of New York City’s newest Italian restaurants, Lo Scalco. Acclaimed chef Mauro Mafrici prepared a sensational 5-course dinner, and Jamie Wolff of Chambers Street Wines expertly paired each course with a different offbeat Italian wine from his store’s extensive selection.


Photo: Kassidy Gala

When guests started to arrive in the wine cellar of the restaurant, a
sparkling Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley – the only French wine of the
evening – was swiftly circulated by the resident sommelier and her crew,
along with hot hors d’oeuvres. Soon the room was aplenty with grape geeks,
wine lovers, and professionals from as far off as California, Colorado and
Kentucky. With a full house and dinner ready to be served, Steve De Long,
host and President of the Wine Century Club greeted the crowd and introduced
the event. New members were then initiated: commemorative tastevins were
hung around their necks, filled with sparkling Chenin and raised to the
club’s motto of “Veni, Vino, Vici.”


Photo: Kassidy Gala

Dinner followed: each course was imaginatively presented on crisp white porcelain, while each matching wine was poured from blue velvet bags so guests could partake in the informal blind tasting. Swordfish was served with a Falalanghina del Taburno; Dover sole ravioli with an Erbaluce di Caluso Cariola; gnocchi with veal alongside a Lagrein Riserva; filet of beef with a Sagrantino di Montefalco; and finally, for dessert, a mascarpone zabayone with Marsala.


Photo: Kassidy Gala

Guest Speaker Robin Garr of the Wine Lovers Page set the tone for the evening with his praise for odd and interesting grapes – Pineau d’Aunis, Picpoul de Pinet and Greco di Tufo (to name a few). He spoke of the intrepid wine geek who readily seeks out these oddities and drinks them, marching to the beat of his or her own drum (read the article based on Robin’s talk at the Additional entertainment was provided by the vivacious and exotic Jennifer ‘Chotzi’ Rosen, wine columnist of the Rocky Mountain News and author of the newly published book ‘Waiter There’s A Horse In My Wine’. Jennifer performed a rhythmical, sometimes rhyming piece about grapes, regions, appellations and wine attitude; names rolled off her tongue as she dexterously moved in the center of the room, waving her hear, rolling her head and almost ready to do one of her famous belly-dances!


Finally, guests who had participated in the blind-tasting (everyone had a go!) were asked to share their answers, and as it turned out, six people guessed all four wines right. Names were placed in a velvet bag, and Robin Garr picked out the final winner, who happened to be Jennifer Rosen. A handsome drinks case stocked up with some of the wines from the dinner was awarded as her prize (read Jenifer’s article based on the event at The Rocky Mountain News). Bravo, and congratulations to LeNell Smothers, Leslie Deamer, James Koch, Vince Bielski and Tony Fletcher who also identified all of the grapes correctly.

Photo: Kassidy Gala