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Josh tastes 118 wines at Top Drop

If there was one unforgettable takeaway uttered by a wine god during this year's Wine Bloggers Conference, it was the keynote speaker Karen MacNeil (author of the Wine Bible) who opined - and I'm paraphrasing, here - that people should pay more attention to tasting the wines during such events. Of course, I was thrilled, because that gave me even more validation to ignore people. Ha! Key advice when the militant goal is to taste every wine during a well-curated tasting, but it's harder than it sounds because I guess I like to wave and flail at people. A regretful ode to the few tables I did not get to visit: Anthonij Rupert, Badia a Coltibuono, Elio Altare, Giusti, Latta, Montenidoli, Orofino, Scribe, Spottswoode Estate,...

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Sun rays and Vouvrays

Studying for the upcoming diploma exam in around 4 weeks is just as terrifying as it is satisfying, with each strikethrough on my study planning sheet providing temporary pleasure before moving on to another daunting section, though I was particularly proud of myself for the past few sections on Australia and USA. The sun's also begun to commit to bright and humid days, which means more exposed skin and mostly, weekend days that equate to regret when I'm literally rolling around in my bed with my laptop trying to relax and study at the same time. And it works - almost too well, to the point where I'm questioning why my growing talent for memorizing soil types isn't better put to use by,...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 17: Southern France & South America

I just realized that this is the penultimate WSET diploma class ever, and the next Monday will be the last, so perhaps I'll temporarily be free from making these posts instead of legit studying. It's almost been exactly two years since I started the diploma. WOAH DUDES. I'll save more I-can't-believe-it's-been-this-long-etc-etc-omg sentiments for next week. My best friend's birthday was on the 4th and he planned some long string of activities including pool, clubbing, and other miscellaneous turnt-esque activities. Still not feeling life, generally, so I stayed for just the first bit, which means I attempted the geometrically bro-y activity of pool (after much external convincing) while studying German flash cards on my phone when people weren't looking. I went home after that to...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 14: Business of Wine

Woah! I'm feeling mighty uninspired. I think it might have to do with the clouds and rain, which are normally quite nice, but something's blocking my brain and I feel like I have to obligatorily blame it on the weather. Maybe I need to watch a movie, or go on a mini vacation, or just hug someone for a really long time. It sure is an excuse to get juices flowing with actual alcoholic juice, but I'm going to not because my brain is telling me no. (Which means it's going to be one can of beer or just a hint of scotch. And then maybe more scotch.) [caption id="attachment_4110" align="aligncenter" width="662"] wow can u not[/caption] Two weeks ago, I skipped class...

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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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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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2009 Clos de los Siete

With a wine that looks and tastes so extracted, I expected the nose to have more than a mere medium intensity. I did note that the nose had some Malbec-y characteristics, but the black and blue fruits were supported by a deeper, darker, and stronger structure. I was surprised that this was only $25 - I find it's tough to get good extraction at that price....

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