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On Vinebox and vials

What entices me about wine startup Vinebox is their potential solution to my half-concerns on purchasing full bottles of wine. (I get that you might be scoffing - not at the their idea, but at the notion that I have genuine concerns about sipping every last drop out of a bottle like a greedy sink drain.) The concept is simple: Vinebox sends you a flight of three wines they've sourced from different producers, catered to the wine colour of your preference and the kind of wine drinker you are - "adventurous", "classic", or "newcomer" - that way, you can have your own alcoholic Dating Game experience and possibly re-order the ones that tickled your fancy in all of their tubular glory, since the leading facet appears in the form of a patented...

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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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“Looking to bone in Beaune”

...was the working draft for a Tinder profile in Burgundy. "Que cherches-tu?" I hopped off my bike near one of the villages - Pommard, I think - and ran down the road before jumping up onto a short brick wall surrounding some vineyard so that I could see better. I told the vigneron that I lost my friend and he said that the diverging roads would both eventually lead to Pommard. Though actually, I'm totally filling in the blanks with bullshit and I mostly don't know what he said (except for "tu comprends?" to which I responded with "oui"), but his hand signals sure helped. Theran and I decided to bike to the other edge of the town and wait, despite the itch to haphazardly bike down the next...

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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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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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Finger Lakes: first spits and fire pits

More wine in this post, I promise! For some reason I was not tired after The Night Of No Sleep. My body knew. On a rainy morning dodging puddles and people, Christine, Amy, Leeanne, Sujinder and I bussed up to Elmira from NYC. This of course involved a cryptic and boisterous man who sat behind our group and modified the intensity of his New York accent depending on who he was talking to on the phone, including Joey, which included a mild conversation about picking up sodas at the dollar store; and then Beryl, to whom he aggressively told to check her mailbox and to "not worry about it" (severed hand?!). Obviously the world knew our NYC experience wasn't over yet, and we've accomplished...

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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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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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