to top

Rock out with your Hawk out

March 23, 2015 (Because, like, Alsace and rocks. And Hawksworth.) Alsace as a person: some sort of plainly elegant freshly-shaven man - or a woman clad in some sort of colour-blocked dress - maybe something in-between? Possibly something cleanly cut yet bright that evokes images of Twiggy from the 60s, and maybe something equally as razor-sharp like a Polo and slicked-back hair with nary a thread out of place. Or like a United Colors of Benetton advertisement that shows five outfits that would all look disproportionately gross on me. (Truthfully, I'm an American Apparel medium and a Gap extra small, but I'm pretty sure my thighs set off fire alarms.) No oak, no malolactic, all vivid. The brightness is no argument, because Alsace is literally the...

Continue reading

“Il Veneto In Un Bicchiere”

A late post from December 30, 2014. I'm the worst. Even in the winter, I shave my head every four days. I'm used to the brisk air and I sort of enjoy it, but there's the unfortunate coincidence when Shave Day collides with a wine event, because that means I have to be judicious with how much I moisturize my head. The first rule of any wine event is to skip the cologne or perfume entirely - and I don't wear cologne anyways - but sometimes I secretly break that rule, all in the name of male pattern baldness. Why are there no slow-motion hair commercials for guys like me with Natasha Bedingfield's Unwritten playing in the background? Thankfully, the wines of the Veneto are...

Continue reading

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “Mod Oz”

It just feels slightly unfortunate that this seminar didn't sell out - I mean, if the idea of Australian Shiraz is being purportedly tired, why aren't we getting excited about every other fucking grape that can be grown there? Did you see Australian Grüner Veltliner coming? The answer is no. You didn't. I mean yes - I tire my face out by tensing my eye sockets and resisting an eye roll every time someone says they "don't like Australian wine", which is somewhat fair considering that the market can be saturated with its own stereotypes. I suppose it's just good business sense, but there's so much potential past the generic back-of-the-bottle tasting notes that preach deep berry fruit, "smooth", and an empty promise that it'll pair well with...

Continue reading

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “All About Syrah”

Legit tried to give my ticket away or sell it just hours before like a chump, because the previous day's Australian Shiraz tasting made me seriously question what possessed me to buy a ticket to an event where I was subject to taste eleven more Syrah wines. No ma'am. I couldn't even give my ticket away to someone for free, as he reluctantly looked at me as if I'd just knocked on his door and asked if his life had been saved by Syrah yet. I thought it was a bad sign when some sort of false fire alarm went off right when the beginning of the event rolled around. As soon as I was going to test if the rhythm would match up...

Continue reading

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “Shiraz: Aussie Superstar”

Legit just took some Tums right now because the ride home was a sketchy acidic one. Maybe ask the woman who sat to my right at the seminar because she didn't spit anything she tasted, but I guess that weird cheesy number I had for lunch didn't really do me any favours. But yes: I wasn't exactly super stoked about a seminar that had to do with 12 glasses of mouth-destroying Shiraz, but sometimes the best way to appreciate something so seemingly daunting is just to go for it. Just jump right into the pool of tannin and rip the bandaid off, maybe packing a toothbrush in your bag for later. Which I almost legit did, because I want my teeth to look decent...

Continue reading

Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “Decades Apart”

I'm feeling inconveniently gross because I was supposed to study the rest of Australia last night, so it seemed like a good idea when my best friend posed the idea of doing some late night work together at a café. We drove around, and the few places we could think of were all full at 9PM on a Tuesday, so we thought we could grab a small bite at the Union before heading back out to scout a place to get some shit done. It was not a small bite. We did not do work afterwards. [caption id="attachment_4197" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Yeah.[/caption] Long story short: it's the day after. I'm tired and gross and for some reason I decided to wear this really thick button-up...

Continue reading

Josh tastes 173 BC wines

I tasted 173 BC wines in a row which was both fun and exciting but kind of slightly vexing, like if you took Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" and replaced that phrase with "Meritage" for the entire duration of the song, and then played the song 50 times in a row. But yes - the whole ordeal was partial torture because there was a huge dominance in obvious homogeneity for heavier reds, and it becomes tough to evaluate wines when the only ones that stick out are the ones that are "different". It's easy to write something off as boring when it's actually rather decent quality, so perhaps it's safer to treat my tasting notes as a progressive story of me gently losing my mind rather than an...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading

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...

Continue reading