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My favourite position is Dogliani style

Real talk: installing six pieces of IKEA furniture on a Sunday with subsequent plans to write, study, and plug away at a work report is a stupidly ambitious goal, but I knew plans wouldn't work out as soon as I woke up hungover to see the delivery truck arrive just outside the window. Who says yesterday's steamed golden lava bun-stained shirt isn't fashionable? Cue scenes with nails that won't screw and Viognier to quell such frustrations, and then Googling how many calories are spent putting furniture together for eight hours. And then, do you ever have fucking fantastic conversations with an AIDS physician on a Saturday night and 5-more-minutes yourself way too many times? Jesus Christmas. Piedmont week is the thicc daddy of the Northern Italian portion of...

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Fumin Behaviour

Friends who've taken the challenging WSET diploma have even told me to prepare for the difficult buffoonery of the two-part Italian Wine Scholar course. I was making flash cards on two of Italy's smallest regions and my hand quickly cramped up in a painful taco-eating position. I've got the Valle d'Aosta and Liguria mostly down - two sub-regions which are mere footnotes in most wine reference books - and I fear for study time when it comes to Piedmont and the Veneto. I'm TREMBLING. Speaking of shitty timing, the two-edged sword of moving homes is happening again! I'm moving closer to the city with, somehow, much cheaper rent and a better location. But that also probably means I have to study flashcards and take apart a bed at...

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Verdicchi-oh no she betta don’t

Two of my goals for this week were to type up the following tasting notes on the Lugana DOC tasting from the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference and to also prepare for the first portion of the Italian Wine Scholar course next week. It's dawned on me that the first month of 2018 hasn't even ended yet and I've become that cliché of a bright-eyed person entering the New Year, biting off more than he could chew. Bitch, or not: I've got a bottle of wine and an empty Sunday. Let's do this. I'm still going solidly on my book-reading goals for this year though, and for some reason I decided book #3 was literally going to be a fucking textbook on whisky. Which someone...

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Swiping left and right on flavour profiles, 2017 edition

Fourth year at the Wine Bloggers Conference and I still haven't tapped out of the speed blogging portion, you guys! The chaos was unbeknownst to me during my first year in 2014 and I was confused why people chose to skip the session and eat fries at the neighbouring restaurant instead. The rules to this WBC mainstay are simple: the wine representative has five minutes to pour you wine and talk about it. At the same time - and if you're playing the game to its fullest - one takes notes, snaps photos, and maybe thinks of something witty about the wine to tweet in that moment. There are ten rounds in total. Speed dating! If this is Tinder for wines, is there a Grindr for wines? Is...

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Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2017: Franciacorta, the other other other sparkling wine

I've always been a bubbly enthusiast - bar the brief phase as a neophyte, vehemently denouncing the region of Champagne out of myopic unfamiliarity ("why would you pay hundreds of dollars for sparkling bread water?!") - but for some reason the ember has recently been amplified for at least a modicum of time. It struck me as a bit odd, since the grandes marques of the wine world are the opposite of the dark horses I like to champion, but I've popped open a bottle of Piper-Heidsieck's non-vintaged brut (it was on sale, obviously), as I pound away at a daunting spreadsheet covering what I've deemed are the 70-or-so most important Champagne houses, everything down to oak regimes, house styles, or whether or not they were fucked over during an acquisition. Fascination...

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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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Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2017: On Prosecco, Italy’s power bottom

I have no real desire to flesh out this (very real) analogy to fruition, but should it end up inadvertently educating you, my job here is done! I have even less desire to write another several paragraphs about how much I think people should ditch the tank method Italian sparkling for something yeastier and Maillard-esque. Sorry, guys: sometimes Prosecco is exactly what you need when you're recording a drag podcast at 11AM on a Monday with your friend who's in Barcelona (his clock: 8PM). Stop telling me to ditch pears for dough, and soft padding for the sting of overinflated volleyballs. Which were never passed to me in high school gym class, anyways. It's obvious that the suited sommeliers don't flock to bottles of Prosecco at...

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Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri 2017: Orvieto, the filler queen of Umbria

Spring is upon us, fellow wine humans! You know what that means: it's time to pretend that the invisible curtain that's been draped over every wine, coloured white and rosé - existing only to shame anyone who decided to drink anything but a red mouth flannel during the cold season - has been lifted. Prepare your eyeholes for barrages of "12 wines to pair with Sheila's garden party" and "You Won't Believe This Pinot Grigio I Just Tried". (Please still invite me, Sheila.) Orvieto, hailing from Italy's Umbria, seems like that forgettable friend you kind of knew but lost all contact with once you entered high school, eclipsed by the region's demandingly gruff red superstar, Sagrantino. Considering that my only memorable experience of a white Orvieto back...

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28 bottles of Nebbiolo to warm your lonely frigid heart on Valentine’s Day

For 2013's Valentine's Day, my 20-year-old collegiate self suggested Gewurztraminer to pair with Chinese takeout and Adele; Muscadet to pair with tears and oysters; French rosé to pair with loneliness; and Asti for guilty pleasures. I might be suggesting Nebbiolo this time around, but let it be known that I'm still as happily unkempt as the last of those 2013 pairings. Good job, past self. My university persona regrets almost nothing: maybe one moment involving that necklace MacGyvered from a nondescript sabred sparkling wine cork, some wire, and two mismatching chains. I wore this everywhere for a good chunk of time. Alas. Amongst what I would expect are the inevitable and seasonal release of tedious yet informative wine-and-chocolate-pairing articles (We get it! Port! Zinfandel! Go away!), here's a loose attempt to...

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Pairing fumes with Italy’s Fumin

No - I didn't misspell "Furmint", Hungary's distictive superstar producing fierce white wines. Fumin is missing Furmint's "T" and "R" - and trust me - many of us would gladly remove the "U" and "M" and be left with "FIN". And we all know there has purportedly been too much "P" to remove. Like major historic and tumultuous events that get recorded in textbooks but that people now choose to ignore, Italy's Valle d'Aosta is a region that always seems like a brief whisper of an afterthought in most wine reference books I've read, and a region which has its indigenous Fumin, a black grape with the potential to create cherry-scented, dark-fruited, and muscly wines that are sometimes added to blends for colour and brawn. Of course, I jumped on the opportunity to buy...

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