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Sissy That Wine: Trixie Mattel and Katya

My current journey has led me to San Francisco's tech world, where the constant and profuse flow of genius rarely wanes. This city has drilled its tech life into me so viciously that I regretfully find myself trying to turn every non-work situation into a slightly more productive one. Did I buy a bottle of Dolcetto to enjoy before going to see Trixie Mattel's drag show, only to force myself to write a detailed draft blog post on the grape? Possibly. Did I hand out two sets of business cards to four people I met in line for Katya's drag show? Maybe. Did I use the 60 seconds I had, meeting Trixie and Katya, to ask what their favourite wines were? A strong and unabashed "perhaps". Thusly, enter: drag queens...

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Souzãoberry Fields Forever: hang time with Portuguese grapes in Lodi

Of the mad scientist-viticulturist laboratory that is Lodi, California, we've touched upon southern French varieties; grapes classically grown in cooler areas of Europe like Germany and Austria; and Lodian odes to Spanish wines. We reached the part of the conference where we would end up on one of twenty-or-so different excursions - and to complete the circle of a trip, or at least extend the semi-circle or whatever - I eventually decided to go on the excursion that hinted at a visit to a winery with a heavy lean towards Portuguese grape varieties. What the fuck is Souzão, anyways? Let's whip out a tome and read the following paragraph in our Jancis voices. (She is, by the way, in the running for being my...

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Is it too late now to say Syrah-ry?

I have a substantial place in my heart for New World Syrah. Though my favourite is probably British Columbia's Nichol, My first (legal) bottle was the 2007 vintage of BC's Burrowing Owl - a 19th birthday gift from my best friend, and a winery from BC whose wines have the tendency to puff their chests across grape varieties. Like, yeah, we get it - your Pinot is weirdly thick and you have Freudian tannins. Anyways: a American Syrah seminar at a Rhone Rangers tasting in Presidio, San Francisco (feat. Arizona!). I remember zoning out for a split second only to come back to my senses when a winemaker made a joke about pH levels and the entire room burst out in laughter. Is this heaven or hell? The seminar was...

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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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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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JOSH IS ALONE IN NEW YORK CITY: Day 1

So this year, the Wine Bloggers Conference is held in New York, and a small group of us decide to spend some time in NYC as a pre-pre-conference excursion before heading to the Finger Lakes. But it was only literally just a couple of days before our flight to New York that I found out my airplane buddy Donita could no longer go due to a health issue, so besides the couple of Vancouver friends I would meet up with later, I came to the realization that I was going to be mostly alone in a city I recently denounced as being crowded and scary. THIS IS IT, YOU GUYS. GOD IS TESTING ME. I was late to the interview to my current...

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Josh Likes Maryland: Part 3

We were literally scheduled to just chill out and have an appropriate lazy Monday the day after New York City, though some of the family opted to go visit some large church or something. Monkeying around seemed much more fun, though I can say I went to a Chipotle for the first time ever, so technically I accomplished something. #goals We ventured back out to DC the next day, getting as close as we could to the White House because how can you not, and then we had a big nerdy day at both the Freer Gallery of Art and the Museum of National History, both of which I loved. You can only retain so much information, but hey: cool rock exhibits are pretty and...

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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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