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On Nova Scotian bubbles, mature Friulano, and aged Californian Chardonnay

It's an odd feeling - I've spent a decent spoonful of my adult life working outside of Canada, enough that I have to think twice about which boxes and lines I have to fill out on forms. Also very real: living through the lengthy process of waiting at the DMV, and wondering whether I should list my height in centimetres to throw the workers off, only to realize that it's probably best not to potentially risk going back to the end of the line. Can Fahrenheit not? Wine availability, politics, and markets are markedly different in Vancouver compared to San Francisco, and keeping my nose close to both is a bit of a challenge, especially with the constantly evolving wine scene in Canada. During a visit back home, my mission of going to...

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24 wines for turning 24

This post serves two purposes: a sincere smile-and-nod to the 23rd year of my life, and a spring cleaning wine dump of, coincidentally, a number of bottles that equals the number of anniversaries since I was pushed out of my mother. Alas. The past prime number of a year has been good to me, and I'm stoked for the next. Beyond this whole becoming-an-adult thing, I've done many things including completing the WSET Diploma (i hate to keep mentioning about it - but perhaps the youngest in BC to do so!), changing jobs, travelling to New York, travelling to France, travelling to Spain, and other things that would probably be best not to put on the internet. Heh. And home. Oh God - connecting to your...

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The good, the bad, and the bubbly: 9 bottles to bathe in

Okay - not literally, obviously, but I'm waiting for Gwyneth Paltrow's new beauty regime that involves using a specific wines as exfoliants and face mask ingredients. Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet? Fuck that, she would say, with the flick of a finger. Chassagne-Montrachet is where it's at. Or blanc de blancs Champagne, only from the 1996 vintage. And, of course, cucumber slices. Maybe an avocado. Anyways, here's a random collection of bub. I've finally tried a legit sparkling Nebbiolo after having joked about it for so long, and then there's also a birth year bottle of Dom Pérignon, a stunningly electric sparkling British Columbian Riesling, and a collection of other cool and uncool bottles. It's become suddenly warm in Vancouver, and I broke the summer hiking...

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Evolve Cellars

Three things immediately come to mind when I hear the word "evolve": Pokemon, Digimon, and evolutionary biology. My childhood aside, let's add Evolve Cellars to the shortlist for a potential fourth: my favourites among this Summerland quartet are the heftier rosé and red that seem to go against the predictable BC pattern of interchangeable off-dry rosés and the oft-disjointed reds. The red of the vintage prior to the current release won a gold medal at the 2015 BC Wine Awards; the wine's birth was crafted by Lawrence Buhler, winemaker. Huzzah. The whites, though, along with the rosé, are part of Evolve's very first vintage release, the grapes being sourced from the Sundial Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench in Oliver, probably attributing the rounder, denser versions of the grapes....

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16 Wines to Pair with your Disappointing New Year’s Resolutions of 2016

Rarely do I scroll through my phone in the morning (still in bed, furthermore) and decide to go to an event on a whim especially after a slightly pixilated night involving absinthe and a plethora of Real Housewives taglines, but making quick decisions was one of my resolutions for the year - malformed somewhere in the summer - prompting a quick change and a leap out of the door. Were we supposed to RSVP? Yes, says my phone. Whatever. I remember attending the Annual Champagne and Sparkling Wine Tasting at Marquis Wine Cellars last year: it was a last-minute invite by text after the first Guild of Sommeliers blind tasting seminar held in Vancouver. I remember forgetting my wallet, so I had to borrow money...

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Canadian Wines with Rhodanien and Tuscan Influence

In August, I was invited to a tasting on two wineries with very specific philosophies and inspirations. Le Vieux Pin and La Stella are wineries linked by winemaker and ownership but emit different energies when it comes to their wines, the former evoking elegance and finesse, the latter evoking power and density. Both take inspiration from the Old World: it's clear that that Le Vieux Pin channels the Rhône, but La Stella channels Tuscany, and more specifically, from the beefy wines of the Maremma coast. They manage to coax the personality of the grapes into a proper expression of the climate in a particular vintage - and without stretching the malleability of the grapes into anything that isn't intrinsic or primal. Pure and fierce, I guess,...

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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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Exams and grand slams

It's done. I've completed (or performed, rather, since we'll find out whether or not I've actually completed the thing come September) the last unit I needed to complete for the WSET Diploma! I'm tempted to prance around maniacally while getting drunk really quickly on this fantastically sunny day, but September will have to wait for even bigger celebrations, I suppose. Which calls for fancy Cava instead of Champagne, maybe?! I mean, no, of course, but I bought this already so let's. In a couple of days I envision myself in a state of academic and mental paralysis. I will have a weird need to study, and I will give in. Someone make me watch a TV series or something! Alta Alella "Laietà" 2011 Gran Reserva...

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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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Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “All About Syrah”

Legit tried to give my ticket away or sell it just hours before like a chump, because the previous day's Australian Shiraz tasting made me seriously question what possessed me to buy a ticket to an event where I was subject to taste eleven more Syrah wines. No ma'am. I couldn't even give my ticket away to someone for free, as he reluctantly looked at me as if I'd just knocked on his door and asked if his life had been saved by Syrah yet. I thought it was a bad sign when some sort of false fire alarm went off right when the beginning of the event rolled around. As soon as I was going to test if the rhythm would match up...

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