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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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Josh tastes 41 New York wines

I can be a combination of thrifty and stubborn. If I'm spending money to fly to New York for the Wine Bloggers Conference, there's no way I'm going to waste a single sober second not writing down a tasting note. I'm getting my money's worth, y'all. Militantly shoving my head in between suits and dresses has trained me for these moments (I wonder if I was born easily?), and I planned to taste every wine in the damn room during the opening reception. Which I did, I think. Followed by cocktails, because why not gloss over my dying mouth with vodka? I obviously tasted fewer wines than that time I tasted 173 BC wines in a row, but the BC torture session was in a brightly-lit room...

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Women in Wine, Ventosa Vineyards, and Anthony Road

After the WBC15 pre-excursion to Villa Bellangelo, we travel to our living quarters. We're handed our room keys as we get off of the bus, and the front desk worker stops me as I walk through the lobby. She specifically stops me asks if I'm Josh - I say yes, obviously, and I wonder whether or not it's because she's secretly an undercover agent, and that this is the beginning of some really exciting spy film where I would discover my undiscovered penchant for leaping off buildings and using my wine knowledge to save the world. God, I need water. I know she's asking because there was some sort of logistical airplane snafu with my friend Kayla (who was also a scholarship recipient last year) which led to her having...

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Wine tastings on buses and Villa Bellangelo

Was my current alarm set to that one Vampire Weekend song on which I clicked snooze too many times? The answer is maybe. Anyways, I'm told I have like half an hour before we leave for breakfast. It's finally the day that the pre-excursion for the Wine Bloggers Conference 2015 starts - so Christine, Amy, Leeann, Sujinder and I pack up, eat breakfast at a place (i.e. delicious instant-regret-omelettes), and drive back to Elmira where some of us enjoy Gin and Tonics at the airport to revitalize our brains. Some fellow bloggers began arriving: some remember that we met last year, where I was plagued by lots of self-doubt more than the capacity to retain faces and names (ugh what a great start), and we...

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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 1

So this year, the Wine Bloggers Conference is held in New York, and a small group of us decide to spend some time in NYC as a pre-pre-conference excursion before heading to the Finger Lakes. But it was only literally just a couple of days before our flight to New York that I found out my airplane buddy Donita could no longer go due to a health issue, so besides the couple of Vancouver friends I would meet up with later, I came to the realization that I was going to be mostly alone in a city I recently denounced as being crowded and scary. THIS IS IT, YOU GUYS. GOD IS TESTING ME. I was late to the interview to my current...

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#WBC15 Tinder Wine Session #1

i.e. Live Wine Blogging but I like my name better. https://twitter.com/joshlikeswine/status/632265176977424388 Somehow, Mykha'el and I got an entire table to ourselves, but we owned that shit. Every representative that came to our table sighed with relief and took a chill seat next to one of us; they relaxed and poured us their wine and talked about it for five minutes until they heard the dreaded ding, indicating that they had to move on to the next table, for a total of 10 times. We were told that this year would be different, and every wine we would have in both this session and the next would consist solely of wines from New York. It was so seemingly perfect as we ended with an ice wine. Standing Stone 2013 Gewürztraminer (Finger Lakes, New York)...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 18: Workshop #4

Because I skipped Workshop #3 for drunk studying. Like I know I'm supposed to be pseudo-sentimental right now because it's the last class of WSET ever, but all I can think of is how much material I have to learn until the exam in June. Holy shit. I really need to make a study plan. That I won't end up sticking to. Ugh. Life has been on the rise in a vague way. A good (wine) friend has moved to the other end of the country which really sucks, but it was a good sendoff. [caption id="attachment_4278" align="aligncenter" width="500"] How alcohol nerds celebrate.[/caption] 2005 Coulée de Serrant = amazing. 2006 Elderton Botrytis Semillon = amazing. Everything in between = amazing. Taxi rides home, hugs in...

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Vancouver International Wine Festival 2015: “Mod Oz”

It just feels slightly unfortunate that this seminar didn't sell out - I mean, if the idea of Australian Shiraz is being purportedly tired, why aren't we getting excited about every other fucking grape that can be grown there? Did you see Australian Grüner Veltliner coming? The answer is no. You didn't. I mean yes - I tire my face out by tensing my eye sockets and resisting an eye roll every time someone says they "don't like Australian wine", which is somewhat fair considering that the market can be saturated with its own stereotypes. I suppose it's just good business sense, but there's so much potential past the generic back-of-the-bottle tasting notes that preach deep berry fruit, "smooth", and an empty promise that it'll pair well with...

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