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On Nova Scotian bubbles, mature Friulano, and aged Californian Chardonnay

It's an odd feeling - I've spent a decent spoonful of my adult life working outside of Canada, enough that I have to think twice about which boxes and lines I have to fill out on forms. Also very real: living through the lengthy process of waiting at the DMV, and wondering whether I should list my height in centimetres to throw the workers off, only to realize that it's probably best not to potentially risk going back to the end of the line. Can Fahrenheit not? Wine availability, politics, and markets are markedly different in Vancouver compared to San Francisco, and keeping my nose close to both is a bit of a challenge, especially with the constantly evolving wine scene in Canada. During a visit back home, my mission of going to...

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Pairing fumes with Italy’s Fumin

No - I didn't misspell "Furmint", Hungary's distictive superstar producing fierce white wines. Fumin is missing Furmint's "T" and "R" - and trust me - many of us would gladly remove the "U" and "M" and be left with "FIN". And we all know there has purportedly been too much "P" to remove. Like major historic and tumultuous events that get recorded in textbooks but that people now choose to ignore, Italy's Valle d'Aosta is a region that always seems like a brief whisper of an afterthought in most wine reference books I've read, and a region which has its indigenous Fumin, a black grape with the potential to create cherry-scented, dark-fruited, and muscly wines that are sometimes added to blends for colour and brawn. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity to buy...

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2016 was questionable, so here are 20 wines to pair with 2017

I ended a past blog post - themed: a review of 2015 - with the words "Welcome, 2016. I will cut you." Though I feel like I did personally make some substantial dents in this crunchy titanium can of a year, the general consensus seems to be that we created a blueprint for goodness, but then said blueprint was stolen, lit on fire, and then puréed with an unwashed beige-coloured towel embroidered with the words "~fUcK yOu~", styled in Comic Sans MS. I won't fill this post with hopes for 2017 so that I don't build myself a bigger bowl of disappointment, but instead will list wines that remind me of an upwards trend of hope, a vague connection to the vapid consolation of Pantone's Color of...

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24 wines for turning 24

This post serves two purposes: a sincere smile-and-nod to the 23rd year of my life, and a spring cleaning wine dump of, coincidentally, a number of bottles that equals the number of anniversaries since I was pushed out of my mother. Alas. The past prime number of a year has been good to me, and I'm stoked for the next. Beyond this whole becoming-an-adult thing, I've done many things including completing the WSET Diploma (i hate to keep mentioning about it - but perhaps the youngest in BC to do so!), changing jobs, travelling to New York, travelling to France, travelling to Spain, and other things that would probably be best not to put on the internet. Heh. And home. Oh God - connecting to your...

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The good, the bad, and the bubbly: 9 bottles to bathe in

Okay - not literally, obviously, but I'm waiting for Gwyneth Paltrow's new beauty regime that involves using a specific wines as exfoliants and face mask ingredients. Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet? Fuck that, she would say, with the flick of a finger. Chassagne-Montrachet is where it's at. Or blanc de blancs Champagne, only from the 1996 vintage. And, of course, cucumber slices. Maybe an avocado. Anyways, here's a random collection of bub. I've finally tried a legit sparkling Nebbiolo after having joked about it for so long, and then there's also a birth year bottle of Dom Pérignon, a stunningly electric sparkling British Columbian Riesling, and a collection of other cool and uncool bottles. It's become suddenly warm in Vancouver, and I broke the summer hiking...

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On Dim Sum, Champagne, and not drinking

To be more specific, my shitty New Year's Resolution is to only allow myself to drink in the company of other people, having only broken this rule (before its inception) on January 1st: a seemingly un-celebratory bottle of Trebbiano d'Abruzzo. We're only a month in, and yes - it's been difficult. Of course, the temptation drifts in front of me like a horse and a carrot: I work in the industry, I've returned to work hours that demand refreshment, and I study wine frequently. But it's always the third day of no alcohol that's the worst, where a sour mood brews and where my perception of the quiet becomes even quieter. Ugh. I'm also catching up on the latter half of Breaking Bad; someone just opened a bottle of Pol...

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Why you gotta be so Mavrud?

Don't you know I'm human too? Why you gotta be so Mavrud? I'm gonna marry her anyway-  k sorry I'll stop. Weird Bulgarian grapes. Let's do it. According to Wine Grapes, Mavrud is one of Bulgaria's two best quality indigenous red grape varieties (the other being Shiroka Melnishka or Melnik), with several variants that differ in terms of size and colour. The late-ripening small berries often produce tannic and acidic wines that apparently take well to oak, and this example has indeed seen new French oak for 12 months - and it's not obvious. This wine in particular sees Mavrud grapes that have been dried for 2 months before fermentation, creating somewhat of an Eastern European answer to Amarone. Very cool stuff. The grapes here come from...

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2015 ends and 2016 trends

I'm a bit late to this #bye2015hello2016 stuff! Anyways, I've said it way too many times than you care to read: I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. But this is the first year where reflecting and looking forward to the next year has felt the least forced. Despite my abrupt and perhaps ephemeral positivity, I won't be superimposing any fortune cookie pieces of advice onto filtered landscapes anytime soon - March seems to be my I-fucking-hate-everything downfall month anyway, so we'll see how much my outlook relapses. At the beginning of 2015, I made the tongue-in-cheek resolution to be a bit more selfish: to not to be guilt-ridden about having a balanced serving of things that make me happy and to give less of a shit about what...

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Odd Italy

The Vancouver International Wine Fest of 2016 is creeping up slowly - already? I distantly remember my tongue-related worries about trying Shiraz after Shiraz after Shiraz, so a duplicate worry replaced with the acidic Sangiovese grape was the first thing that came to mind when I found out that the theme for 2016 was Italy. And originally I wasn't super stoked to find out Italy was the featured region, but recent bottles of inspiration have reminded me of grapes and regions I, for some reason, forgot to consider. I'm secretly hoping there will be a seminar on something fucked like a long flight of artisanal Pinot Grigio or "You Won't Believe These 8 Pinot Grigios That Pair Well With Shitty Buzzfeed Videos". FINGERS CROSSED, YOU GUYS. If I...

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Fetească Albă: the Eastern European grape that means “white young girl”

...according to Wine Grapes. Originally, I wanted something slutty and decadently atypical like the strawberry jam that is the Meiomi Pinot Noir. I'm ditching a warm mouth blanket for what could possibly be an angular wine, but really, my motivation is that I want to spend $13 instead of $30. Also: diving into the alcoholic unknown. Yes. My books tell me that Fetească Albă probably originated in the historic region of Moldavia; that it produces small, thin-skinned berries; and that it produces wines that are soft, with Muscat-like aromas of apricots, peaches, and spice. It's mostly grown in eastern Europe, producing wines that can lack character. Romania, where this particular wine is from, has two different varieties of Fetească: Albă (e.g. this wine)...

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