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2016 was questionable, so here are 20 wines to pair with 2017

I ended a past blog post - themed: a review of 2015 - with the words "Welcome, 2016. I will cut you." Though I feel like I did personally make some substantial dents in this crunchy titanium can of a year, the general consensus seems to be that we created a blueprint for goodness, but then said blueprint was stolen, lit on fire, and then puréed with an unwashed beige-coloured towel embroidered with the words "~fUcK yOu~", styled in Comic Sans MS. I won't fill this post with hopes for 2017 so that I don't build myself a bigger bowl of disappointment, but instead will list wines that remind me of an upwards trend of hope, a vague connection to the vapid consolation of Pantone's Color of...

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Rosé? For spring? Groundbreaking.

Seminar led by the Wine Diva, but I'm quoting diva Meryl Streep, obviously. If you didn't get that reference then why are we even friends? But really: I would wholeheartedly pair The Devil Wears Prada with a Loire wine. You'd need something light - maybe aloof - yet cutting, and dry. Also, that movie turns 10 this year? What? I've once again come a little too underdressed for such an event, but I can't help it because it's muggy, sunny, and I like mesh a little too much. Cool off with Loire wines? Probably one of the favourite French areas of from last year's Europe trip. My wallet cried. Anyways, I think my main point here is that people need to get excited about weird Chenin...

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Chenin Flair in Savennières

I'm scared and embarrassed to accept what Erin and Theran say is true, which is that I inadvertently speak with a bit of a French accent when I talk in English with other French people. Gross. If I were a travel bingo card, would that be one of the squares? Right as we arrived in Angers, our Airbnb host Julien (who created this, by the way) drove us to our designated living quarters, in the centre of the city, where seemingly ancient buildings, castles, and churches were spiffily fused with fresh energy and bright streets you could get lost in. Not unlike the vitality of a non-vintage Champagne that has a dollop of older reserve wine added to its house blend, you know? Whatever. We learned that Julien once made a...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 1

I've found that I can't enjoy full-fledged roller coasters anymore, but I enjoy the hints of thrills from airplane turbulence and chunky landings. Kinda gross. We fly to the eastern part of the continent for a family reunion on the mother's side - not just the immediate family, but a whole congregation of 19 humans of all ages on a plane. And Baltimore is the closest relevant city to where we're staying - so that's where I tell people where we're going for 13 days - and I have little knowledge on these parts of the United States so I understand none of the references on crabs ("...

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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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Pre-Vancouver International Wine Fest 2015

Days are leading up to the wine fest. Not that it's daunting or anything - if that's how I'm making it seem - but I'm purposefully not training my palate for the Shiraz-fest to come in favour of gracing my mouth with more refreshing whites. I'm sort of mirroring the sunny weather we've been having in the form of alcohol, and I find that it also helps to have some inspiring wine when you feel anything but. Yesterday's Martin Códax "Burgáns" 2010 Rías Baixas ($25) was just that - perhaps not as fresh as it should be at that age, but bringing an unintentional spotlight to its funky hint of brine, along with something that seemed a bit nutty and yeasty amongst its peachy fruit. It was...

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Liquid tarte tatin: 2005 Château de la Roulerie Coteaux du Layon Chaume

What's fantastic about Chenin Blanc is that it has this piercing acidity that's present in many of the wines it produces - so even for a sweet and full-bodied wine like this, there's still this cleansing quality that stabs through the syrup to keep it youthful and crisp, even for a 9-year-old wine. My only regret is that it was the last wine of the night and we only had a couple minutes to savour it before returning to real life....

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Nectar marred by vintage: 2011 Domaine Huet “Le Mont” Vouvray Demi-Sec

Huet is one of the superlative producers of Vouvray - I've had one or two Huet wines in the past and I've enjoyed them. Had this not been a horrible vintage, the quality would be higher. Unfortunately, the nose and palate were muted and marred by a bit of bitterness, perhaps from some rot. The class agreed, and most placed this in the good category while some thought this was full-on very good quality....

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