off to visit iberia

No, I blame YOU. (Dammit…he has a point.)

It must have been a case of wild optimism to expect to finish a blog post while in the home of a toddler over the holidays. I had every intention (for the first three days or so) of writing – had actually sat down to write, taking advantage of the time zone change and resulting lag in my own circadian rhythms and the fact that I was waking up 2-3 hours before everyone else in the house. Only to realize that said toddler was ALSO waking up 2-3 hours before everyone else and instead of writing, I was busy playing lullabye versions of rock songs (it’s never too soon to start a musical education), tearing up various food stuffs into tiny hand-sized portions, making faces at said toddler, and wiping aforementioned food stuffs off various and sundry surfaces. (Were those writer’s blocks that I just stepped on?). Read More

reign of terroir

It is terroir week; a week for industry professionals to join us in the classroom for an intensive module on the concept of terroir-winemaking: the interactions of the vine with climate, soil, water, nitrogen, rootstocks, etc. and their impact on our ability to make good wine.

I took this sole picture of Green Park in London, and felt it summed up enough.

I took one picture of Green Park, and felt it summed up London terroir fairly well.

I, holy terroir of a student that I am, decide to take off to the UK for a day to participate in the Davy‘s portfolio tastings. Davy’s Wine Merchants are a family-owned, fifth generation, importer/distributor/wine bar and wine shop group based in London. I’ve mentioned them briefly before: I’m connected through a good friend who works there (also responsible for my initial introduction to the Becker wines from the last post), and have had the opportunity to meet with several of the producers in Europe with whom they work. As I’m busy pouring wines (mostly for other people, even!), I somehow manage to pass the entire day without taking a single photo of the event. Instead, I’ll take this opportunity to dig up stories and tasting memories about the wines in their native habitats; isn’t that the essence of terroir, after all? 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