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Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 – Blends: 2 + 2 = 5?

Okay! So flashback to Day 2 of the the Wine Bloggers Conference: it's one of those times where we have to choose between three different seminars. There's a seminar each on Merlot (hosted by Rutherford Hill and Duckhorn wineries), something on "How Pros Taste" (hosted by Jackson Family Wines), and then one on wine blends (hosted by Winebow), the last seeming like a strangely divergent topic from the former two. And I know - I should probably be basking in the Californian-based seminars (when in Rome etc.), but I couldn't help but be intrigued by something less specific and more amalgamate in style i.e. the idea, at the time, of trying a row of Napa Merlots in the California heat made...

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Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 – Speed Tasting i.e. Tinder for Wines

Speed tasting. It's one of the unique events of the Wine Bloggers Conference that's always explained to you if you've never heard of the WBC before, kind of like the warning nod of the hangover to the newly legal. It's always described as "speed dating but with wine" - though in this case, it's only a one-way road of looking at your date in disgust. So there's a plus, and it's sort of like a Tinder swipe-left-or-right sort of situation. In the essence of the Live Wine Blogging event, you have 50 minutes to taste through 10 wines. In each 5-minute session, the winery representative pours you wine and gives you a bit of a quick overview before moving on to the next table. It's somewhat encouraged...

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2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival – Wine Tour de France Seminar

This year's wine fest kicked off with me doing the blind tasting challenge on the Wednesday - the rest of my day consisted of lunch with colleagues, errands involving heavy lifting, and then seeing the new Lego movie. I didn't get as much sleep as I wanted, which is an obvious call for trouble: the next day started off with a France-themed tasting at 9:30AM; the big, busy, and irritating trade tasting at 2:30PM; and an exciting Bourgogne-themed tasting at 5PM. A day full of constant mouth stimuli. Since this was one of the trade tastings (opposed to a consumer one), there were lots of familiar faces. But I shamelessly admit that any human interaction is personally difficult and gruelling before...

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I suck at wine: 2014 VIWF Blind Tasting Challenge

My 2014 Vancouver International Wine Festival activities begun on Wednesday! Insert majestic trumpet sounds here. I was really scared for the Blind Tasting Challenge (at the Pacific Culinary Institute of Arts) on said morning . This mostly meant barely being able to keep my breakfast in my stomach, listening to Glee's rendition of "Don't Rain on My Parade" on repeat for high energy (do you hate me yet?), and then thinking that coffee was a bad idea. A classmate saw me looking at the water as I was listening to music and taking refreshing winter breaths of Granville Island air - she was just as nervous as I, but another classmate told us we were more jittery and nervous than we...

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Joiefarm Wines – 2012

I had the opportunity to try six of Joiefarm's wines today, all being part of the new 2012 vintage. Hilariously pronounced by many customers ("Joey") - some with confidence, some hesitant, and most with charm - these wines are popular with the locals, but personally, I've never been drawn to their wines. They take advantage of BC's relatively cooler climate and vinify mostly white grapes, although their PTG has been praised by Jancis Robinson (all hail the queen). All good checkboxes for reasons to buy, but perhaps it's the 20-30 dollar price point (which honestly, makes sense for some good BC wine anyways) or perhaps it's the weird combination that the labels bring: simple but somehow ugly. That's just me, though....

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2013 Vancouver International Wine Festival

Wine festivals. Picture a huge room with a high ceiling and huge windows; women either embrace Old World Pinot Noir in style with subtly classic and fashionable outfits, or New World Pinot Noir - upfront fruit with upfront skin. Ninety percent of men are straight up masculine Cabernet Sauvignon being done up in a suit and tie; a small percentage of laid-back Carmenères put a smile on my face, whether they be clad in a sweater and jeans or all plaid everything. I'm somewhere in the middle like a Pinotage: a cardigan the colour of its juice (purple - close enough) with notes of leather (Doc Martens). Needless to say, there were many events like wine minglers and seminars, but I...

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I NEED A BIGGER KNIFE. (UBC Wine Tasting Sesh #2)

[caption id="attachment_849" align="aligncenter" width="695"] We WILL outdrink you. And destroy you. Whichever order results in better background music.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_844" align="aligncenter" width="695"] :)[/caption] Long-ass day. Doesn't seem so bad in retrospect, but I woke up early for a 9AM thing at UBC, took the 99 to the last stop for work, and then needed to travel all the way back to UBC to lead Part 2 of the sort-of-intro-to-wine themed tasting, all while wearing pants that weren't jeans, one of those shirts you'd hate to spill wine on, and shoes that didn't fit just enough to make my feet cry. The garb was fitting for all of the day's events but for this day in particular, I would defs have lead a...

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wine 101 @ UBC

[caption id="attachment_785" align="aligncenter" width="695"] The fantastic crowd![/caption] So yeah! I led the first tasting of this school year at the UBC Wine Tasting Club. It was awesome and complete with me spilling wine while demonstrating swirling, me speaking horrendously quietly and fast while avoiding the tens and tens of eyes on me, and me silently freaking out and wondering if people were getting bored as I barked on and on about the noble grape varieties. Which is great, because that's me being normal. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating. [caption id="attachment_784" align="aligncenter" width="695"] Because his name is Brett. Like, Brettanomyces. I'm the worst.[/caption] What was also fantastic was that Holly brought her Le Nez du Vin set which was amazingly fun. People were trying to quiz...

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