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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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Fox Run and fun rocks

We went to Fox Run right after Anthony Road, for the WBC15 pre-conference: the sun was sure punishing me for being bald, and slathering scented sunscreen on my head would be a death sentence to the people trying to sniff the shit out of their glasses of Lemberger. At least my head would be shiny enough to be used as a security mirror at a grocery store. Yes? Yes? Halloween costume idea? [caption id="attachment_4815" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] I saw no foxes running.[/caption] A display of the vineyards, winery gadgetry, and discussions with the winemaker were followed by a lunch involving six wines, and then a geological tasting on different vineyards and the subsequent expressions of Riesling. Here, we compared the Hanging Delta vineyard to the Lake Dana vineyard, the...

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Josh tastes 41 New York wines

I can be a combination of thrifty and stubborn. If I'm spending money to fly to New York for the Wine Bloggers Conference, there's no way I'm going to waste a single sober second not writing down a tasting note. I'm getting my money's worth, y'all. Militantly shoving my head in between suits and dresses has trained me for these moments (I wonder if I was born easily?), and I planned to taste every wine in the damn room during the opening reception. Which I did, I think. Followed by cocktails, because why not gloss over my dying mouth with vodka? I obviously tasted fewer wines than that time I tasted 173 BC wines in a row, but the BC torture session was in a brightly-lit room...

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Women in Wine, Ventosa Vineyards, and Anthony Road

After the WBC15 pre-excursion to Villa Bellangelo, we travel to our living quarters. We're handed our room keys as we get off of the bus, and the front desk worker stops me as I walk through the lobby. She specifically stops me asks if I'm Josh - I say yes, obviously, and I wonder whether or not it's because she's secretly an undercover agent, and that this is the beginning of some really exciting spy film where I would discover my undiscovered penchant for leaping off buildings and using my wine knowledge to save the world. God, I need water. I know she's asking because there was some sort of logistical airplane snafu with my friend Kayla (who was also a scholarship recipient last year) which led to her having...

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Wine tastings on buses and Villa Bellangelo

Was my current alarm set to that one Vampire Weekend song on which I clicked snooze too many times? The answer is maybe. Anyways, I'm told I have like half an hour before we leave for breakfast. It's finally the day that the pre-excursion for the Wine Bloggers Conference 2015 starts - so Christine, Amy, Leeann, Sujinder and I pack up, eat breakfast at a place (i.e. delicious instant-regret-omelettes), and drive back to Elmira where some of us enjoy Gin and Tonics at the airport to revitalize our brains. Some fellow bloggers began arriving: some remember that we met last year, where I was plagued by lots of self-doubt more than the capacity to retain faces and names (ugh what a great start), and we...

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Finger Lakes: first spits and fire pits

More wine in this post, I promise! For some reason I was not tired after The Night Of No Sleep. My body knew. On a rainy morning dodging puddles and people, Christine, Amy, Leeanne, Sujinder and I bussed up to Elmira from NYC. This of course involved a cryptic and boisterous man who sat behind our group and modified the intensity of his New York accent depending on who he was talking to on the phone, including Joey, which included a mild conversation about picking up sodas at the dollar store; and then Beryl, to whom he aggressively told to check her mailbox and to "not worry about it" (severed hand?!). Obviously the world knew our NYC experience wasn't over yet, and we've accomplished...

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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 2

Before the Wine Bloggers Conference in a couple of days, I thought it would be a great idea to change it up from the previous night and hang out in New York City by myself for a bit - and perhaps I would meet up with the rest of my Vancouver crew for dinner if I didn't end up crying by a NYC alley in the fetal position (TRICK QUESTION: Manhattan doesn't have alleys). Just a few days ago I signed up for this thing called the Free Tours By Foot: it's essentially a themed tour in a listed city where you pay however much you think the tour is worth at the end. I'm sure there's some sort of reverse psychology witchcraft that goes on where you guilt yourself into...

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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 1

So this year, the Wine Bloggers Conference is held in New York, and a small group of us decide to spend some time in NYC as a pre-pre-conference excursion before heading to the Finger Lakes. But it was only literally just a couple of days before our flight to New York that I found out my airplane buddy Donita could no longer go due to a health issue, so besides the couple of Vancouver friends I would meet up with later, I came to the realization that I was going to be mostly alone in a city I recently denounced as being crowded and scary. THIS IS IT, YOU GUYS. GOD IS TESTING ME. I was late to the interview to my current...

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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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