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Gay wine culture: the uncontrollable urge to pair Arroyo Grande wines with Ariana Grande

The stroke of December leads to the dawn of pregnant holiday plans which I've decided to not spend in Vancouver for the first time. Christmas, the first of my big two, has passed - and I planned for the Eve to be a quiet one, and it was legitimately fantastic. Why don't I roast vegetables more often, while listening to Ariana Grande's Christmas music, and then watch episodes of Grand Hotel while sipping Crémant? I spent the 25th at a friend's, a polar opposite yang to the previous night's yin. Ever watch someone combine your Premier Cru Champagne with Korbel, but then have your cringe melt into a shrug because it's Christmas? Yeah. And then the other holiday evenings. Y'all. One night involved all of attending the...

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“Backroads of California”

I can't believe I even made it to this masterclass, because tickets to these GuildSomm events usually sell out quicker than it takes today's somm to name their favourite natural wine producer. Then again, I guess it's a California-themed one held in, well, California, so perhaps everyone else in this city is just more familiar with these tipples. I've lived here for around a year, so a masterclass titled "Backroads of California" implies that the theme is the vinous road less travelled - but considering this state was a quasi-neglected region during my WSET diploma studies, you could imagine how badly this information stuck. That being said, our presenter, Kelli White - author of Napa Valley Then & Now - was a fantastic guide who eventually tipped the scale in my mind...

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Getting drunk-ish with Bokisch

Upon a first visit to the area, I'm not surprised that Lodi's land is as flat as my love life oft is, because, perhaps unfairly, I expected the mainstream homeland of Zinfandel to be just that. Zing. For real, though: we arrive at Bokisch, which from what I remember at the time, had more slopes than I remember in all of Lodi - and then a big oak tree located in the middle of some vineyards that was so prominent that "giant oak" was literally listed in our prepared itinerary, under which we would have a lunch, themed northeastern Spain. Barcelona flashbacks. There may have been a flying wine camera drone but anything could've happened at this point. Like our lunch, the wines of Bokisch focus on...

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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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Josh Likes Paris

I've unapologetically become my parents when it comes to travelling, which primarily means that I like to arrive at airports hours and hours before I realistically need to. Combine that with what Erin and I decided to drink the night prior, which was all of Cava, fresh hop beer, and bourbon. Why?! But the morning turned out fine, and we had shitty mimosas and beer at the airport to satisfy the unending ghosts of the night prior. The short layover in Montreal slowly eased us into our French-speaking modes, followed by a decent 7-hour flight to Paris. I sheepishly told the flight attendant that I would like the chicken option for dinner, which really just means I muttered "poulet". I don't remember what in-flight movie I...

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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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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 17: Southern France & South America

I just realized that this is the penultimate WSET diploma class ever, and the next Monday will be the last, so perhaps I'll temporarily be free from making these posts instead of legit studying. It's almost been exactly two years since I started the diploma. WOAH DUDES. I'll save more I-can't-believe-it's-been-this-long-etc-etc-omg sentiments for next week. My best friend's birthday was on the 4th and he planned some long string of activities including pool, clubbing, and other miscellaneous turnt-esque activities. Still not feeling life, generally, so I stayed for just the first bit, which means I attempted the geometrically bro-y activity of pool (after much external convincing) while studying German flash cards on my phone when people weren't looking. I went home after that to...

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WSET Diploma – Unit 3 – Week 16: Spain

Fun: wine fest, sort of. Not fun: PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. I'm debating whether or not I should squeeze another post dedicated to the Wine Fest 2015 because that's what I've done in the past, but I feel like I'm being a late bitch. I mean, these posts should be good enough. Right? Meh. Fun: Decades Apart Shiraz: Aussie Superstar All About Syrah Mod Oz Not fun: falling right back into wine class right after wine fest. Fun: Spanish wine, and definitely ignoring half the lecture to write in my journal because I'm a bad student. Not fun: Having an odd week-long and spirit-encompassing feeling of wanting to do nothing, including sleep or eat or work. Not sad or happy or tired or angry, just a state of existing. I hate when the trigonometric...

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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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