Top wine gifts for the holidays and beyond

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Well, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us, and as usual, I am behind on my Christmas shopping. Today, the cashier at the grocery store asked me if I was getting excited for Christmas, and I was surprised that my response was a scowly face. Let me explain: I do like Christmas. I love spending time with family, eating delicious food and splurging a little on fancy wines. I love the uplifting smell of a pine tree in our living room. I love walking through our neighbourhood at night and seeing all the pretty lights shimmer against a fresh dusting of snow. I love hearing Christmas songs everywhere I go, especially now that it’s December (any stores that played Christmas music in November got blacklisted). What I do NOT love is the consumerism associated with Christmas. Continue reading

A trip to the ER – or why I don’t drink beer

A few weeks ago, I was at my local LCBO looking for a few bottles to bring to a friend’s house for dinner. She was going to be serving Middle Eastern fare, so I grabbed a bottle of dry riesling from Alsace, which I thought would go nicely with potentially spicy foods. To switch things up, I decided to grab a couple of IPAs, in case anyone wasn’t feeling the wine (scandalous!) and preferred beer.

I went for a bottle of the Fat Tug (which I reviewed here), one of the few beers from my Beer course earlier this year that I actually enjoyed. I grabbed it, and as I put it in the basket, I felt a sharp pain in my thumb.I didn’t think anything of it until about 20 seconds later, when I realized I was bleeding. I went back to inspect the bottle and noticed a small shard of glass, which looked like it had been fused to the bottle during the recycling process, on the neck. I set it aside and advised the cashier, who was nice enough to get me a band-aid, probably so I would stop bleeding all over the store. Continue reading

End-of-vacation w(h)ining

Friends,

Let us take a moment of silence to mark the end of a glorious two weeks of vacation. It was a brief staycation, cut short by my employer’s requirement that I actually return to work. Total buzzkill. This time off will be sorely missed. But it’s time to get back to saving the world, one translation at a time [translator’s note: this may be a gross exaggeration].

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Back to basics

Spring has FINALLY sprung here in Ottawa, and besides making me ecstatic to see the end of winter, it’s making me take a step back and reflect. Both mornings this weekend, I sat in my backyard with my coffee, basking in the sunshine, taking the time to just be. I forget to do that sometimes. I forget to take time for myself. I get so caught up in work, in my various extracurricular activities, in the never-ending house renos, general housekeeping tasks, maintaining some semblance of a social life, and of course, keeping up with this blog.

So about that. Over the past couple of weeks, this wine blogging thing has taken up a lot of  my headspace. Every time I taste a different wine, I put everything on hold to jot down a tasting note. My food goes untouched to keep my palate neutral, the conversation gets interrupted so I can concentrate, all for a silly tasting note that most of the time just sits in a notebook or on my phone. It makes me really annoying at dinner parties. Or when we go out for dinner and I have to tell my husband to stop talking for a minute while I taste this wine. Essentially, I’ve created a wine tasting monster. Continue reading