Noble Grape Challenge, Wine

Chardonnay, the Wonder Grape

December 4, 2017
grape vines

It’s time for the next instalment of the Noble Grape Challenge. Last time we dove into the world of Viognier and now it’s time for the final entry, in which we get to know possibly the more versatile grape there is: Chardonnay.

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

About Chardonnay

Let’s start with where Chardonnay is originally from. Are you ready? I’ll give you two guesses, but you’ll only need one.

You guessed it – FRANCE! Continue Reading…

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Beer, Beer Advent Calendar

Beer Advent Calendar 2017

November 30, 2017

It’s that time of year again. Days are getting shorter and chillier, nights are getting darker, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is settling into our bones like Irish damp. Fortunately our ancestors were prepared for this time of year and made festivals of light, love and sharing – Christmas and advent among them. Which means it’s also time for something I get excited for every year – my annual beer advent calendar!

Yaaaaaaaay!

Continue Reading…

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Travels, Wine

Live Wine Blogging at the WBC

November 23, 2017
wine

One of the signature events of the Wine Bloggers Conference (WBC) is something called live wine blogging. Let me tell you – it was INTENSE.

There were two sessions – one for whites and another for reds – and in each session winemakers and wine reps toured around to different tables of bloggers and writers pouring their wine and talking about it. The part where I got to taste new wines and learn something interesting about the maker or the wine or the brand spoke to my little wine-nerd heart.

The intense part? We only have five minutes per wine to taste, listen, make notes and, in my case, send out a tweet. Some bloggers took notes to create content later but I wanted to show some immediate appreciate for these wines and their makers. Plus I was excited by the challenge to come up with quality content that quickly.

Continue Reading…

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Travels, Wine

Digesting the Wine Bloggers Conference

November 16, 2017

Early Monday morning I arrived back in Toronto after four days in Sonoma, California at the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference. Exhausted from both the red eye I’d just taken and the few days that preceded it, I couldn’t wait to get home and sleep. I napped for four hours and when I woke up my head was full of memories and new information. It’s going to take me a while to process everything that happened.

In an effort to begin to do just that I thought I’d share with you some thoughts and impressions of my first time at the Wine Bloggers Conference.

(Before I delve in I want to thank the folks who organized the scholarship program for the conference. I really would not have been able to attend had it not been for the support I received. I am so grateful I was able to go to this conference)

Continue Reading…

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Noble Grape Challenge, Wine

The Creamy Sumptuousness of Viognier

November 9, 2017

It’s time for the next instalment of the Noble Grape Challenge. Last time we got to know Semillon, and this time around we get to know possibly my favourite white wine, Viognier.

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

About Viognier

I’m going to out on a limb and say you’re probably not that familiar with Viognier. Let’s start with figuring out how it’s pronounced, shall we? It’s vee-on-yay, or sometimes vee-own-yay, and definitely not ‘von-yay’ like I thought it was called. Oops. Basically, it’s French, so just pretend the g doesn’t exist.

Continue Reading…

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Travels, Wine

California Here I Come

November 2, 2017
travel wine

So there’s this conference for wine bloggers. This year is its tenth and although I’ve known about it for a few years I’ve never been able to scrape together enough money to go.

Until now.

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Wine, Wine Thoughts

The One Word You’ll Never Find in my Wine Vocabulary

October 26, 2017
wine bottles

Over the years (and through my wine learnin’) I’ve built up a pretty badass vocabulary to talk about wine. Some words are just so appropriate I’m glad I can now call on them when I need to, and some are just so freaking wacky that I get a kick out of using them to remind myself that wine shouldn’t be all snootiness and pretension.

Some of my favourites include:

  • Damson plum – a very specific (and very satisfying) descriptor one of my former classmates liked to use
  • Garden hose – a weird descriptor that is sometimes the only appropriate word to describe a Reisling
  • Pizza dough – that fresh, raw, kind of wet doughy smell you get sometimes from traditional method sparkling wine
  • Fresh earth/forest floor – things I would probably never actually want to taste, but things I nevertheless love in a good Pinot Noir

Weird, right? There are so many commonly-used words and phrases to choose from. It’s pretty fantastic! As a word nerd I love finding just the right combination to describe a wine so that it makes perfect sense (I’m better at it some days than others. Sometimes all I can come up with is: is tastes like… wine?).

There is, however, one word that is not welcome in my personal wine lexicon. It is vague and nondescript and, really, completely useless.
Continue Reading…

Noble Grape Challenge, Wine

Semillon, the Grape You Never Knew You Loved

October 19, 2017
white wine glass

It’s time for the next instalment of the Noble Grape Challenge. Last time we learned about the G grape, Gewurztraminer, and this time around we get to know a grape that I love returning to time after time – Semillon.

About the Noble Grape Challenge

Let’s refresh ourselves on what’s going on here – Wine Folly created the Noble Grape Challenge as a way to learn the spectrum of flavours and characteristics found in red and white wines. Taking nine reds and nine whites and going through them from lightest to darkest, we’ll learn about the key characteristics and flavours of each.

About Semillon

Semillon isn’t a very well known grape, which is a real shame because it’s delicious. It’s also probably because it’s most often used in blends. Like many of the world’s favourite grapes Semillon got its start in France – Bordeaux to be exact. I know, weird right?

Continue Reading…

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