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God damn it, Riesling.

If Tyra banks were a Riesling (spoiler alert: she probably is, but like a Californian one or something), she - and I, for that matter - would be yelling at wine consumers à la Top Model cycle 4's Tiffany. Alas. We coerced the masses to join the Church of Riesling and tried to convince the world that it was everyone's undiscovered main bae: I did my best to promote the versatile berry, including the times I poured the gamut down the throats of university students during multiple hilarious post-secondary stints, or the time I shared some with a friend out of a thermos in the library while studying mathematical proofs. I've often dubbed Riesling a Millennial gateway grape (I'm talking about you, Sean) since it's famed for...

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If Austrian wines could soothe sunburns

When you plan a brunch date that unexpectedly turns into a day at the beach and a breathtakingly kaleidoscopic art show. If there were a handful of wines that could pair with the sun and simultaneously be soothing enough to cure slow-forming sunburns on one's bald head, Austria's take on Sauvignon Blanc would be one of them. C'mon, sunscreen! I forgot Austria did Sauvignon Blanc. Master Sommelier Matt Stamp describes the style of having a mint-like character throughout; the Wine Grapes tome states that the best producers "typically combine the refreshment of Sancerre with the creaminess of a rich white burgundy"; Oz Clarke's Grapes & Wines describe the style as having "classic nettly, blackcurrant-leaves fruit, while from the Sudsteiermark region come Sauvignon Blanc wines...

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A swooner for Grüner

Picture a terrible ear infection, whose arduous journey towards remedy and eventual demise is almost immediately followed by a fucked up ankle on the same side of the body, condensing some of the worst parts of childhood and the least sexy parts of 2015's Europe trip in one go. God damn it, body. If this is biology's way of saying calm down, I refuse to listen. These are the thoughts I have after dripping two sets of medicine in my right ear and heading to work early so that I can comically hobble my way to The Progress, where an Austria-themed masterclass hosted by GuildSomm and Master Sommelier Matt Stamp awaits. Of course, one half of my head can't hear anything,...

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Zweigelts and Blau-jobs

TFW you're at work on a Saturday evening and continue with some extra writing because you're motivated during stupid hours of the night, only to be invited out to an event starting at 2:30AM on the night we jump forward for the wretched anti-event of Daylight Saving Time. The next day brought about a cornucopia of beers, jello shots, wine, wine, hot tubs, wine, vodka, and musical numbers. My level of verve is that of a flowery warm-climate Viognier lazily draped on a tongue-shaped couch, unlike Austria's zesty Zwiegelt and Blaufränkisch, both who have demanding spirits that seem like they're trying to convince you to like them. C'mon, energy! I haven't had much Zweigelt, Austria's most widely planted grape and lovechild of Blaufränkisch and Saint Laurent - the only ones that come to mind are Canada's attempts. Styles...

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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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holiday wines with the co-workers

Overdue post, but it's all good. Some time in December one of us hosted another staff get together complete with an amazing multiple-course home-cooked meal, which included: - roasted celeriac soup - kohlrabi slaw with cranberries and walnuts - beet salad (with goat cheese) - braised white beans - roast chicken It was so good that most of the food is still weirdly vivid in my mind despite this being around 4 weeks ago. Alas, I don't remember the wines as well - I do remember one of us trying to act as a lion for a charades clue. The phrase was "The Chronicles of Narnia". Oh, and one of us was sick which sucked, which means we had no mashed potatoes. Oh wellzies. But yes - one...

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