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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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The time has come for you to lip-sting for… your… life.

I imagine that the Venn diagram representing the overlapping sets of people who are familiar with Picpoul and people who watch RuPaul's Drag Race is smaller than those who drink Prosecco and watch the Bachelor, but if you happen to find yourself in the middle of this precious diagram, we need to be best friends immediately. One half of said diagram would be able to tell you that Picpoul is the southern French grape that can release lemony power and body, and therefore purportedly translates to "lip-stinger"; the other half of the diagram would be able to tell you that the premiere to RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars season 2 was amazing. I did not drink Picpoul that night but instead watched the episode at a bar...

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Canadian Wines with Rhodanien and Tuscan Influence

In August, I was invited to a tasting on two wineries with very specific philosophies and inspirations. Le Vieux Pin and La Stella are wineries linked by winemaker and ownership but emit different energies when it comes to their wines, the former evoking elegance and finesse, the latter evoking power and density. Both take inspiration from the Old World: it's clear that that Le Vieux Pin channels the Rhône, but La Stella channels Tuscany, and more specifically, from the beefy wines of the Maremma coast. They manage to coax the personality of the grapes into a proper expression of the climate in a particular vintage - and without stretching the malleability of the grapes into anything that isn't intrinsic or primal. Pure and fierce, I guess,...

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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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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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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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Wine Bloggers Conference 2014 – Speed Tasting i.e. Tinder for Wines

Speed tasting. It's one of the unique events of the Wine Bloggers Conference that's always explained to you if you've never heard of the WBC before, kind of like the warning nod of the hangover to the newly legal. It's always described as "speed dating but with wine" - though in this case, it's only a one-way road of looking at your date in disgust. So there's a plus, and it's sort of like a Tinder swipe-left-or-right sort of situation. In the essence of the Live Wine Blogging event, you have 50 minutes to taste through 10 wines. In each 5-minute session, the winery representative pours you wine and gives you a bit of a quick overview before moving on to the next table. It's somewhat encouraged...

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