Plan Your Journey to 100 Grape Varieties

From becoming a sommelier to opening your own wine shop, wine enthusiasts love a good challenge. My wine friends are among the most type-A, competitive people I've ever met! (No offense, friends, but it is true!) Almost all of them have some sort of certification, or they are working toward a personal goal.

And I'll admit it: I'm just like them. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after a big project or endeavor. That's why, after passing my WSET2 exam (with distinction—see, type-A), I needed something else. Enter "The Road to 100 Single Varietal Wines." Now that I've finally completed this task, I've set my sights on convincing and helping others to do it, too. Wondering where to start? Keep reading!

Bonarda: #100!

"Why the Hell Should I Do This?"

Ok, ok, I know that 100 varieties seems intimidating to even the most curious of wine lovers. You're probably seeing dollar signs and years of your life. But I'm here to tell you that it doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to take a ton of time. When I took my first grape inventory about a year ago I was already at 30-ish grapes. Not too bad for someone who wasn't even trying yet!

Why should you try though? The Road to 100 is the most rewarding and educational wine experience I've had. One, you learn about many wine regions and varieties. Two, you taste a very diverse range and really figure out what you like. Three, once you make it deliberate, it's a great way to be more "present" with your wine. And four, there's no deadline!

Six Tips to Get You Started

Have I convinced you? Either way you're still reading, so whatever! Complete the first tip below, see where you're at, and then decide.

1. Make a list of what you've already tried. Chances are you're not starting at zero. (If you are, welcome to the world of wine! We're happy to have you.) If you've had at least a taste of a single varietal wine, you're on your way!
TIP: Keep your list on your smartphone to easily make updates from anywhere.
2.  Use an app to track your wines. If you've already been using an app, this is a great resource to start your list. While an app won't replace your master list, it's helpful to take notes. Join me on Delectable!

3. Check out your local wine bars. Many wine bars carry at least a few unique options on their by-the-glass list. Bonus points if they offer half pours. Much cheaper than buying bottles!

4. Incorporate new wines into your rotation. We both know you probably open at least one bottle of wine per week. You do not have to abandon all your favorites! Instead, commit to trying a new variety every other week. That's 26 new varieties in a year!

5. Do your research. Are you worried you're going to try something new and hate it? No one wants to waste money! The answer is research. Read reviews before you purchase.

6. Start with what you like. Love Cabernet Sauvignon? Then start with Aglianico and Petit Verdot. You may find some new favorites!

Don't Worry, I Can Help

Did you really think I was going to make you do this alone?! Maybe you're still overwhelmed with questions, worried about finding so many wines, or concerned about which you will like. I'd love to help! Contact me to talk about what you like, your market, etc. PA is a control state and I still managed to do it—you can, too!

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