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It must have been clove, but it’s over now: Speed Wine Tasting at WBC16

I used to love the hectic clusterfuck of the two Wine Bloggers Conference speed tasting events, each involving twenty or so different tables and winery principals that rotate tables every five minutes for a total of ten sessions. Every micro-meeting involves at least a pour of a wine followed by a spiel, while we each have to: absorb as much information as we can; taste and take notes; desperately yell out questions as if the internet doesn't exist; take blurry bottle shots; and perhaps come up with a witty tweet. I've mostly given up on giving my 110% on the whole shebang, but hey: I tried. Newcomers to the conference were all "well, this isn't so bad!" I side-eyed in tacit protest but actually mostly agreed. I'm...

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8 Variations on Braida’s Barbera, the Arya Stark of Wine Grapes

(Spoiler alert, sort of! Seek refuge underneath the picture below to avoid such things.) I always saw Barbera as the Arya Stark to Sansa Stark's Gamay Noir. It's neither the king nor the queen of Italy's Piedmont, which, in effect, belongs to Nebbiolo's Barolo and Barbaresco, but it's also not the bourgeois Dolcetto. No: I see Barbera as a trick, a ninja often producing wines unfortunately crafted into expressions that are sour and thin and second or third-rate, when in fact, it can produce wines with such concentration and shrill acidity, you'd swear that your mouth was being deliciously pierced by castle-forged steel. It's a grape that brings in cash for producers while Nebbiolo unfurls itself in the cellar. And, when it's oaked - a...

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Odd Italy

The Vancouver International Wine Fest of 2016 is creeping up slowly - already? I distantly remember my tongue-related worries about trying Shiraz after Shiraz after Shiraz, so a duplicate worry replaced with the acidic Sangiovese grape was the first thing that came to mind when I found out that the theme for 2016 was Italy. And originally I wasn't super stoked to find out Italy was the featured region, but recent bottles of inspiration have reminded me of grapes and regions I, for some reason, forgot to consider. I'm secretly hoping there will be a seminar on something fucked like a long flight of artisanal Pinot Grigio or "You Won't Believe These 8 Pinot Grigios That Pair Well With Shitty Buzzfeed Videos". FINGERS CROSSED, YOU GUYS. If I...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 10: Piemonte and Veneto

Back to reality. It seems like everyone around me is getting post-holiday ailments but I'm doing my best to survive. The holidays were fun but thankfully, they're never really over-the-top for me (besides last year's Soave incident). I swatted all New Year's Eve plans out of my view in favour for cooking myself a meal, drinking a bottle of wine, and sleeping at around midnight: and you'd think that would end up totally bumming me out, but I had a satisfying sleep as the planet fully rotated into 2015, and I woke up at a decent hour to do some wine reading. I'm riveting. I know. No hangover: that was a thing, though! I'm not the biggest fan of New Year's resolutions, mostly because...

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