Back in May, I applied for the Wine Century Club, an organization honoring those who have tried at least 100 different grapes. I filled out the application, provided dates and the offer to provide producer, region, and vintage notes on each grape tasted as well.
Once again, in my defense, several of the odder grapes were tasted as parts of European blends. However, I also tried a few single-varietal wines that were not included on the application form, but I added them and I received credit for those. (I've also tried several more grapes in the interim, and as always welcome any challenge to my tasting of any of these grapes. A friend of mine has a case full of wines from Bulgaria waiting for a tasting, and I can assure you those grapes won't show up on any mainstream list of wines.) And honestly, you could probably spend a month in Italy and taste more than 200 grapes easily.
Since then, I'd completely forgotten about the club. Until today.
Let me set the stage, since so many wine anecdotes involve beautiful women, luscious sunsets, and idyllic landscapes. I prefer to bring a little realism into the wineblogging world.
It was five in the afternoon. I was home from work early, and was dressed in my typical après work garb of khaki shorts and a t-shirt, no shoes. I was in the backyard tending the tomato vines, and my t-shirt was speckled with yellow pollen and the bright green blood of tomato hornworms. To make things more wonderful, it had started raining. I struggled to pick any of the nearly-ripe fruit to avoid any cracking (a big influx of water can cause tomatoes to split). Then I heard the bad brakes and slipping transmission of my local postal carrier, and trod out front to receive the mail. Along with the usual junk mail, bills, and other detritus, there was a large envelope, handlettered, all the way from London!
Once inside, I opened the letter to reveal my certificate admitting me into the Wine Century Club. Even though I'm a member of the New York chapter, the application was processed in London, printed there, and mailed from there. So now I've got to find an A4 frame here in the middle of the United States...