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Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2017: Orvieto, the filler queen of Umbria

Spring is upon us, fellow wine humans! You know what that means: it's time to pretend that the invisible curtain that's been draped over every wine, coloured white and rosé - existing only to shame anyone who decided to drink anything but a red mouth flannel during the cold season - has been lifted. Prepare your eyeholes for barrages of "12 wines to pair with Sheila's garden party" and "You Won't Believe This Pinot Grigio I Just Tried". (Please still invite me, Sheila.) Orvieto, hailing from Italy's Umbria, seems like that forgettable friend you kind of knew but lost all contact with once you entered high school, eclipsed by the region's demandingly gruff red superstar, Sagrantino. Considering that my only memorable experience of a white Orvieto back...

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28 bottles of Nebbiolo to warm your lonely frigid heart on Valentine’s Day

For 2013's Valentine's Day, my 20-year-old collegiate self suggested Gewurztraminer to pair with Chinese takeout and Adele; Muscadet to pair with tears and oysters; French rosé to pair with loneliness; and Asti for guilty pleasures. I might be suggesting Nebbiolo this time around, but let it be known that I'm still as happily unkempt as the last of those 2013 pairings. Good job, past self. My university persona regrets almost nothing: maybe one moment involving that necklace MacGyvered from a nondescript sabred sparkling wine cork, some wire, and two mismatching chains. I wore this everywhere for a good chunk of time. Alas. Amongst what I would expect are the inevitable and seasonal release of tedious yet informative wine-and-chocolate-pairing articles (We get it! Port! Zinfandel! Go away!), here's a loose attempt 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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16 sparkling wines to drink alone in your room on New Year’s Eve

Girl, do not limit yourself. You can pick any day! New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, or fuck: why not March 6th? I support you. On that note of celebrations, though, I don't understand why it's ridiculously vogue to aggressively bluster about how you're over partying with large crowds and noisy beats. We get it. Can you stop making me feel bad for not fitting into your definition of introvert, for once? I can be the biggest withdrawn human endlessly swaying to Björk and eating baby carrots, but maybe my version of Saturday night Chopin and Netflix occasionally involves enjoying a Hillary Clinton drag impersonator rip off four layered tearaway pantsuits in a row at a bar where I've made just the right amount of mistakes over the past few months....

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Souzãoberry Fields Forever: hang time with Portuguese grapes in Lodi

Of the mad scientist-viticulturist laboratory that is Lodi, California, we've touched upon southern French varieties; grapes classically grown in cooler areas of Europe like Germany and Austria; and Lodian odes to Spanish wines. We reached the part of the conference where we would end up on one of twenty-or-so different excursions - and to complete the circle of a trip, or at least extend the semi-circle or whatever - I eventually decided to go on the excursion that hinted at a visit to a winery with a heavy lean towards Portuguese grape varieties. What the fuck is Souzão, anyways? Let's whip out a tome and read the following paragraph in our Jancis voices. (She is, by the way, in the running for being my...

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I’ll be your Zin-ner in secret

First of all, Carly Slay Jepsen's Emotion: Side B. Better than the original album? Is this reference still relevant? How long will it take my roommate to notice I'm drinking all of his gin? Should I pair these wines with a pathetic recollection of that time I actually met Carly Rae Jepsen at a Marianas Trench concert while interning for their record company? These are the questions I want answered vaguely by fortune cookies and clairvoyant wine pairings. (Also, thanks to this post, the beginning of Run Away With Me starts playing every time I sip Zinfandel, which...

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Getting drunk-ish with Bokisch

Upon a first visit to the area, I'm not surprised that Lodi's land is as flat as my love life oft is, because, perhaps unfairly, I expected the mainstream homeland of Zinfandel to be just that. Zing. For real, though: we arrive at Bokisch, which from what I remember at the time, had more slopes than I remember in all of Lodi - and then a big oak tree located in the middle of some vineyards that was so prominent that "giant oak" was literally listed in our prepared itinerary, under which we would have a lunch, themed northeastern Spain. Barcelona flashbacks. There may have been a flying wine camera drone but anything could've happened at this point. Like our lunch, the wines of Bokisch focus on...

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My neck, my Bacchus

Most of the wine people I know got into its magical world after tasting some kind of superlative bottle that made them orgasm right into the industry. Like, we get it: you had a teaspoon of 1982 Bordeaux and wept. I literally had canned cranberry sauce with a corner store sandwich just a few weeks ago that was so good that it made me re-evaluate my life, so I guess I understand you. As much as I say that Marechal Foch is better as a drag name than it is a wine grape, and that most Canadian Cabernet Sauvignon is best used to remove dead skin off the soles of your feet, I absolutely live for the weird unorthodox shit. After waking up at...

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Getting Harney in Lodi

After the magic that was Acquiesce (everything's magic after ingesting wine but the wines were good), our pre-excursion group meandered to the Lizzy James vineyard, sipped some Zin, and then went to Harney Lane winery. I remember how distracted I get in vineyards, simultaneously trying to soak in all the personal stories and vineyard information while trying to find refuge for my naked round head. Sunscreen's a no-no since it fucks with everyone's nasal cavity, and so is eucalypt-scented shaving cream, where in specific cases I've made people sniff my fresh head at tastings just to make sure I've done no sin. I attempted to kneel behind someone's outrageously large clown hat. My "I'm actually here!" montage lasted longer during my...

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