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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:36

Wine Century Club Turns Five

Wine Century Club, a virtual club with an international membership of wine adventurers who have tasted over a hundred varietals, turned five years on May 8th and the members celebrated by opening a bottle or organising public tastings of their favourite unusual grapes, with Subhash Arora from India pitching in with a tasting of Uvalino, the unique grape from Piemonte.

Steve De Long, the President and Founder of the club with his wife Deborah on May 8th, 2005 has already counted over 300 varieties tasted by the members on this day. Several members organised tastings in cities ranging from San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong and London.

India was also a miniscule part of the celebration as the sole Indian member, Subhash Arora opened a special half-bottle of Uceline, a red wine made by Cascina Castlet in Costigliole, near Alba and Asti made from the unique, almost extinct grape variety, Uvalino. Mariuccia Borio, the owner assures that the studies showed that hers is the only estate in the world that grew this variety making it rather unique. For more about the wine, click

The club has a membership of  721 with most members being from the USA. But there are members also from Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK and the lone ranger from India.

An interesting feature of the club is that it encourages and shares the tastings by members of unusual grape varieties and tries to make the canvas wider for wine flavours. It offers s a challenge for those who believe that there is a vine world beyond Cabernet and Chardonnay.

They are All Shook Up

I had an opportunity to taste another unique wine Cento Uve Lange DOC  from Az. Ag. Giribaldi a couple of years ago (in fact on two occasions because I found the idea very exotic and rather romantic with 152 grape varieties in it!). I did not include the grapes in the blend when I applied for the membership to the club last year with over 120 grapes through my palate.

Little did I realize then that in the near future it would shake up a few people-8th May 2010 to be precise. Steve De Long, President of the Club who had the opportunity to taste this wine, ‘through the generosity of Tom Reagan (the reigning champ with 426 varieties)’ says, ‘I was able to try the 2005 Giribaldi Cento Uve Lange DOC, a wine that our sole Indian member, sommelier Subhash Arora, has written about.’

‘Obviously this wine poses a problem for the Wine Century Club. Since we allow all the grapes in a blend to count towards our totals, it makes things far too easy – one sip and Bob’s (Robert Parker) your uncle – wham-bam, welcome to the club. I convened an emergency executive committee meeting where we came up with a ruling- the Giribaldi Cento Uve Lange DOC cannot count for initial membership in the club but the grape varieties in it can count towards higher levels of membership (i.e. Doppel),’ he adds.

This ought to bring me automatically to the next higher level- the Doppel (double century)

All adventurous wine lovers are welcome to join in promoting the awareness of uncommon grape varieties. You are welcome to visit . The website also details the grape varieties tasted and tabulated already.

For the earlier original article on Cento Uve, click

Subhash Arora


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