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On Tokyo, Central Italy, and Miss Vanjie

I wish I could insert a montage of video clips here, combining all the clusterfucks and thrills of the past few months, but written description will have to do. Also, apologizing for a lack of posts is a tired cliché of the peak LiveJournal era, so I won't do it. Oh, to be 13 again. Imagine leading a tasting on Japanese whiskies - in Tokyo! But also, imagine being so disorganized that you plan your Tokyo activities while waiting to board the plane, get lost from hopping on the wrong train from the airport, and have the police yell at your conference's group in Japanese as we wrestled and tackled each other in Ginza. At some point in the week, you meet up with a Frenchman who tells you a...

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Collio Me by Your Name

Real talk: Call Me by Your Name was one of the only few new films I watched in 2017 and it was beautifully made and acted and needed in this world and deserved all its accolades, but I thought it was slightly overhyped? Bye! We can argue about this offline over an actual glass of Collio something. I mean, part of the film took place near Lake Garda so we could hypothetically sip Soave Classico or Lugana instead, but they also travel to Bergamo so I wouldn't mind tossing out drunken thoughts over Franciacorta. Or all the above. I can't believe I already fly out to Japan in less than a week for a conference, and I'm severely underprepared in so many ways. Now...

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Amarone in the streets, Recioto in the sheets, Raboso if you cancel on me.

I can now cross Utah off the list of places I've been, y'all. Apparently the aggressive snowfall stopped for the 24 hours a colleague and I went to Park City for a work thing, so the snowy mountains were a nice distraction from the frigid air I sometimes despise. Anyways, I got sick when I got back, because the elevations of Park City actually can allegedly fuck you up. I didn't believe our driver from the airport, but there you go. I always recall a particular Veneto 2014 wine sesh (damn, was it 2014?!) where we did the typical run of Veneto wines along with a wine made from the relatively obscure Raboso grape, which basically means "angry" - maybe due to its big tannic bite....

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Gay wine culture is pairing Lagrein with La Grindr

Y'all, I was doing so well with these blog posts and then suddenly I'm behind by like all of them. It's possible that the wines this particular week foreshadowed this climb in terrifying to-do lists and feigned self-hair-pulls, whose bottles of detailed intensities and precise flavours were just as spirited as the flawed bottles of oxidized Müller-Thurgau and corked Schiava. Which - by the way - picking up even just the slightest bit of cork taint is a weird way to edge your confidence back up after insisting that your nose is broken in some way. Do pray tell, who decided that a queer dance event lasting from 2PM until 8PM was a good idea? (This is me trying to project my own bad...

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My favourite position is Dogliani style

Real talk: installing six pieces of IKEA furniture on a Sunday with subsequent plans to write, study, and plug away at a work report is a stupidly ambitious goal, but I knew plans wouldn't work out as soon as I woke up hungover to see the delivery truck arrive just outside the window. Who says yesterday's steamed golden lava bun-stained shirt isn't fashionable? Cue scenes with nails that won't screw and Viognier to quell such frustrations, and then Googling how many calories are spent putting furniture together for eight hours. And then, do you ever have fucking fantastic conversations with an AIDS physician on a Saturday night and 5-more-minutes yourself way too many times? Jesus Christmas. Piedmont week is the thicc daddy of the Northern Italian portion of...

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Valtellina, this is a lip sync for your life we need to see your lips

As a west coast Canadian native, it slightly hurt to miss the GuildSomm seminar on Ontario wines after having snagged a ticket to slightly make up for missing last year's Canada-themed Vancouver International Wine Festival. I also missed the first half of the Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna seminar for this week's Italian Wine Scholar class because of things. I'm missing some marks, y'all. I didn't get to cry my tears of Canadian Riesling, but I did get to cry tears of Lambrusco. I'm also not afraid of disrupting the middle of class to pour myself a glass of Franciacorta. Bitch, I paid for this course. Give me that fuckin' yeast. The week also involved a day of packing and moving to a new apartment. Huzzah! Come through, gaybourhood. I don't...

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Fumin Behaviour

Friends who've taken the challenging WSET diploma have even told me to prepare for the difficult buffoonery of the two-part Italian Wine Scholar course. I was making flash cards on two of Italy's smallest regions and my hand quickly cramped up in a painful taco-eating position. I've got the Valle d'Aosta and Liguria mostly down - two sub-regions which are mere footnotes in most wine reference books - and I fear for study time when it comes to Piedmont and the Veneto. I'm TREMBLING. Speaking of shitty timing, the two-edged sword of moving homes is happening again! I'm moving closer to the city with, somehow, much cheaper rent and a better location. But that also probably means I have to study flashcards and take apart a bed at...

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Verdicchi-oh no she betta don’t

Two of my goals for this week were to type up the following tasting notes on the Lugana DOC tasting from the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference and to also prepare for the first portion of the Italian Wine Scholar course next week. It's dawned on me that the first month of 2018 hasn't even ended yet and I've become that cliché of a bright-eyed person entering the New Year, biting off more than he could chew. Bitch, or not: I've got a bottle of wine and an empty Sunday. Let's do this. I'm still going solidly on my book-reading goals for this year though, and for some reason I decided book #3 was literally going to be a fucking textbook on whisky. Which someone...

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An Albarin-ho tastes Albariño

The new season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 means that me and my friend from Barcelona are starting up our weekly podcast again, y'all. He's originally from Northwest Spain, so when I'm drunk and drinking Rías Baixas - made from the Albariño grape - I always send him a message that I'm drinking juice from his birthplace, even though I sense his mild exasperation when he reminds me he's not exactly from the region the grape is grown. My excitement for this Wine Bloggers Conference seminar very much stems from the fact that my access to any extensive selections on these wines was cork-blocked back in Canada, where vintages were not fresh, options were few, and prices were inflated. The grape is easily soaring to...

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Swiping left and right on flavour profiles, 2017 edition

Fourth year at the Wine Bloggers Conference and I still haven't tapped out of the speed blogging portion, you guys! The chaos was unbeknownst to me during my first year in 2014 and I was confused why people chose to skip the session and eat fries at the neighbouring restaurant instead. The rules to this WBC mainstay are simple: the wine representative has five minutes to pour you wine and talk about it. At the same time - and if you're playing the game to its fullest - one takes notes, snaps photos, and maybe thinks of something witty about the wine to tweet in that moment. There are ten rounds in total. Speed dating! If this is Tinder for wines, is there a Grindr for wines? Is...

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