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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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Valtellina, this is a lip sync for your life we need to see your lips

As a west coast Canadian native, it slightly hurt to miss the GuildSomm seminar on Ontario wines after having snagged a ticket to slightly make up for missing last year's Canada-themed Vancouver International Wine Festival. I also missed the first half of the Lombardia and Emilia-Romagna seminar for this week's Italian Wine Scholar class because of things. I'm missing some marks, y'all. I didn't get to cry my tears of Canadian Riesling, but I did get to cry tears of Lambrusco. I'm also not afraid of disrupting the middle of class to pour myself a glass of Franciacorta. Bitch, I paid for this course. Give me that fuckin' yeast. The week also involved a day of packing and moving to a new apartment. Huzzah! Come through, gaybourhood. I don't...

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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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Santa Barbara, Santa Claus, and the CWAS Exam

I feel like I've gone full circle: the first vineyard I've ever been to was in Santa Barbara. Here I am with the last class of the California Wine Appellation Specialist program studying the same sub-region, along with the weird loose ends like wines from Los Angeles county, whose appellations all seem to have "Malibu" tacked somewhere in their place names. It's odd that I consider the end of a course dramatic enough to something that completes a full circle, but I said it once and I'll say it again: school is bae. Already looking into more courses, you guys. God damn, tuition. What the fuck is a savings account? If the gayest wines are rosés and Champagnes, it follows that I should probably sign...

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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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Bay/Bae Wines for Bay/Bae Moments

This city is doing things to me. I willingly and happily went to a networking event, you guys! I mean, it was themed which made it as enticing as free booze at straight equivalents of such events: it was hosted at Oasis by Out in Tech, a company which focusses on LGBTQ+ folks in the tech world. I've attended the venue before, in the form of drag shows and fuzzy evenings, but upon a night of networking, it got packed real quickly, the drink lines as straight as the room's sexualities. I'm exclaiming my excitement for a queer tech networking event, yet weeks later I'm stoked about a regular one. 20-year-old me is grimacing at 25-year-old me. Also, you know you've reached peak queer tech when...

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Napa’s 2017

Napa. Its seemingly daunting wine is made up of relatively simply shaped sub-regions. The clean-cut sixteen seem well-fit into a geographical puzzle compared to the overlapping Russian nesting doll appellations of every other region in California, and I am 100% here for that. I finally ended last week's mental tug-of-war on whether or not to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference in neighbouring Santa Rosa, and I've decided to go but with as much cost-cutting as possible. Though it was super fun, one of the most interesting sessions was the discussion on the recent wine country fires: the panel included George Rose, photographer; Patsy McGaughy, of Napa Valley Vintners; and Pierre Bierbent, winemaker of Signorello Estates. The descriptions and statistics of the damage were heartbreaking, including 75,000 total acres burned and 652 homes...

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Mendocino’s medicine-o

What terrible timing it was for the recent fires in California to start wreaking havoc around the same time as I started the California Wine Appellation Specialist course. It's so unfortunate that a recent masterclass helped surge personal interest in a wine region that went relatively ignored during my WSET diploma studies, only for the terrible news to ensue. I hope that by learning more about the region I'm doing a part to support them - and thusly I may also retract my decision to not attend this year's Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa? Sigh. We'll see. Testing my just-in-time schedule, I rushed out of the door from work to make it to class, being the last of the group that was on time,...

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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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Aesop’s wines aren’t fables

I just asked an artist whether or not deadlines interfered with his creative process. His response was that it did a little, but the only thing I can confirm is that I suck at giving myself writing deadlines, and that the thought of deadlines often smothers any inkling of inspiration. Also: I'm not an artist. A stroke of lucky meetings led me to samples of Aesop, whose wines are so limited that the locales in which it's offered can be counted on one jittery hand. One half of Aesop is a designer, and the other half is a winemaker. It's odd how cleanly this translates to the wines, whose impressions of creativity can be both experienced by both the eye and the tongue. Are they called...

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