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Barcelona: Cava to end the Saga

Spoiler alert: my few days in Spain were better than my two and a half weeks in France. Sorry, France. I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you. #BeQuietTiffany Our hostel was superior to the one in Paris: Erin and I helped cook dinner one night, we met a Canadian from Edmonton, and we made a cab driver go through McDonalds after a hostel-hosted bar-hopping session that eventually ended on a club next to a beach. And then drinking on said beach, which was a reaaaaal big blur. Have you ever drunkenly told someone they look like Ygritte from Game of Thrones way too many times? There's a story later that night involving myself ejecting the Devil's Liquids from my soul, but...

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Pain in Champagne

When your only clean shirt is that floral one you bought in Paris, but everyone in this city dresses in understated colours, and then for some reason your ankle is busted in the morning so your swag level dips into the negative as you hobble past some college students who stare at you. I suppose life was finally punishing me for being so seemingly masturbatory on social media despite my lack of #blessed, and I thought sucking it up and drinking a couple of pints of beer in quick succession would numb the pain. But after dinner, we had to cab home not without me drawing more attention by hopping on one foot out of the fucking restaurant, though luckily Theran ran out...

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Chenin Flair in Savennières

I'm scared and embarrassed to accept what Erin and Theran say is true, which is that I inadvertently speak with a bit of a French accent when I talk in English with other French people. Gross. If I were a travel bingo card, would that be one of the squares? Right as we arrived in Angers, our Airbnb host Julien (who created this, by the way) drove us to our designated living quarters, in the centre of the city, where seemingly ancient buildings, castles, and churches were spiffily fused with fresh energy and bright streets you could get lost in. Not unlike the vitality of a non-vintage Champagne that has a dollop of older reserve wine added to its house blend, you know? Whatever. We learned that Julien once made a...

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Josh Likes Paris

I've unapologetically become my parents when it comes to travelling, which primarily means that I like to arrive at airports hours and hours before I realistically need to. Combine that with what Erin and I decided to drink the night prior, which was all of Cava, fresh hop beer, and bourbon. Why?! But the morning turned out fine, and we had shitty mimosas and beer at the airport to satisfy the unending ghosts of the night prior. The short layover in Montreal slowly eased us into our French-speaking modes, followed by a decent 7-hour flight to Paris. I sheepishly told the flight attendant that I would like the chicken option for dinner, which really just means I muttered "poulet". I don't remember what in-flight movie I...

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Post-Pride and Pre-WBC15 Wine Dump

Bit of a tasting note dump between the Maryland trip and Vancouver Pride, since I am not drinking for a week in a simultaneous effort to recover from Vancouver Pride antics and to prepare my liver for the Wine Bloggers Conference in New York. Huzzah. I am surprisingly doing well so far, and I have stepped into the world of non-alcoholic beer. [caption id="attachment_4492" align="aligncenter" width="300"] pictured: Vancouver Pride and fun and yay[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4491" align="aligncenter" width="300"] nah[/caption] (I've failed miserably.) There's not really a common thread here, except for maybe the general Old World? I've also found out that my travel buddy had to cancel her attendance to both the Wine Bloggers Conference and our pre-conference trip to NYC due to a health issue, so I'm semi-alone in...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 3

We were literally scheduled to just chill out and have an appropriate lazy Monday the day after New York City, though some of the family opted to go visit some large church or something. Monkeying around seemed much more fun, though I can say I went to a Chipotle for the first time ever, so technically I accomplished something. #goals We ventured back out to DC the next day, getting as close as we could to the White House because how can you not, and then we had a big nerdy day at both the Freer Gallery of Art and the Museum of National History, both of which I loved. You can only retain so much information, but hey: cool rock exhibits are pretty and...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 1

I've found that I can't enjoy full-fledged roller coasters anymore, but I enjoy the hints of thrills from airplane turbulence and chunky landings. Kinda gross. We fly to the eastern part of the continent for a family reunion on the mother's side - not just the immediate family, but a whole congregation of 19 humans of all ages on a plane. And Baltimore is the closest relevant city to where we're staying - so that's where I tell people where we're going for 13 days - and I have little knowledge on these parts of the United States so I understand none of the references on crabs ("...

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Exams and grand slams

It's done. I've completed (or performed, rather, since we'll find out whether or not I've actually completed the thing come September) the last unit I needed to complete for the WSET Diploma! I'm tempted to prance around maniacally while getting drunk really quickly on this fantastically sunny day, but September will have to wait for even bigger celebrations, I suppose. Which calls for fancy Cava instead of Champagne, maybe?! I mean, no, of course, but I bought this already so let's. In a couple of days I envision myself in a state of academic and mental paralysis. I will have a weird need to study, and I will give in. Someone make me watch a TV series or something! Alta Alella "Laietà" 2011 Gran Reserva...

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Pre-Vancouver International Wine Fest 2015

Days are leading up to the wine fest. Not that it's daunting or anything - if that's how I'm making it seem - but I'm purposefully not training my palate for the Shiraz-fest to come in favour of gracing my mouth with more refreshing whites. I'm sort of mirroring the sunny weather we've been having in the form of alcohol, and I find that it also helps to have some inspiring wine when you feel anything but. Yesterday's Martin Códax "Burgáns" 2010 Rías Baixas ($25) was just that - perhaps not as fresh as it should be at that age, but bringing an unintentional spotlight to its funky hint of brine, along with something that seemed a bit nutty and yeasty amongst its peachy fruit. It was...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 11: Central Italy

Sangio-crazy. So on some last Tuesday of some sort, we were supposed to have practice (I love referring to practice blind tasting sessions as such because it sounds like I'm vaguely into sports) but it was cancelled because there's a bit of a cold going around. The viruses have decided disregard me over the past few months so I'm lucky, and that's saying something when you're in retail because you're basically touching everyone. I'll get it at the worst time, I'm sure. That one birthday when I invited my friends over but was wrapped up in a blanket the whole time. I hopped onto the 2015 Vancouver Wine Festival tickets slightly more ravenously than I did for Lady Gaga concert tickets last year, even though I'm...

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