some like it haute

Every single person is wearing long, dark and even tight jeans in this 32º weather. At this rate I'll be wearing shorts until Christmas.

Every single person is wearing long, dark and even tight jeans in this 32º weather. At this rate I’ll be wearing shorts until Christmas.

In my short tenure here in Bordeaux (technically only about three days, as I ran off for the weekend), I’ve discovered that there are two constants about living in Bordeaux in August: the heat and the mosquitos!  The weather has been above 30º every day so far, and the humidity is on par with New York and Toronto at their worst.  Air conditioning, however, does not appear to be the norm, so shorts and sundresses, along with mid-day costume changes, are my uniform for the foreseeable future.

This makes me stick out from the French like a sore thumb, as THEY all seem to have missed the memo that it is hot and sticky as…heck… and traipse (yes, traipse. Gallivant, even.) about town in skinny dark jeans and long sleeves.  Maybe they don’t sweat?  They look cool as cucumbers, and I am insanely jealous.  Just the thought of putting jeans on prompts another costume change. Read More

c’est comme ça

The only thing I know about Ireland, from empirical evidence, is that it has free wifi.  And high expectations as to what sleepy travellers can accomplish in an hour, as long as passing through customs, security and catching your next flight are all part of the recommended itinerary. Suffice it to say, I was both wide awake and out of breath at 06:00 Dublin time (01:00 Toronto time) when I boarded the plane that would take me on to my final destination. Read More

waiting for godello

Ever since I returned from Spain, I’ve been scouring the LCBO shelves for a wonderful white grape from the Bierzo region, called Godello.  It might have had something to do with the fact that I was always tired and hungry when I drank it, after 30km or so (19 miles for the imperialists) each day, so it was always delicious.  I was put onto this varietal by a winemaker in La Rioja who said, after his own – of course! – this was his next favourite Spanish wine.  There are times when I wish I had written down everything I saw and heard, thought and tasted, but that would have taken away from valuable eating and drinking time with my fellow pilgrims, so it tended to fall by the wayside.  What I can tell you is that we walked through days of nothing but Godello vineyards and I got to drink it every night (sometimes mid-day if it was a particularly challenging hike and I needed a little pick-me-up.  Somehow this never made me faster…) Read More

nothing rhymes with Tuscany

When I ran my wine club in New York – and when I write that, picture me and 6 of my closest friends hanging out every month; the only thing that made it a wine club instead of a totally normal boozy hangout was the following – I wrote an email to all the attendees a week in advance.  It was intended as a wine facts cheatsheet so that we all knew a little something about the region we were tasting that month and could casually factdrop with each other as we sipped. Serious research went into this (I remember, because I often fell down rabbit holes while poring over websites and winebooks to put them together when the work I got paid for sat idly by), but it was also not-so-secretly a vehicle for me to up my previous personal puns-per-paragraph record.  The puns were typically literary or musical in nature, though sometimes meandered through pop culture territory.  Wherever these ideas come from, I can’t turn it off, so if you plan to return to this blog, you have officially been forewarned. Read More