It sounds corny, but truly, this year I am mostly thankful for the people in my life who are there for me – for reasons that I am not going to get into right now until a later time. This year has really shown me the importance of cherishing all of the relationships in your life – friends, family, and romantic.
I am also grateful for wine this year. And no, I’m not even being cheeky. (Well, okay, maybe a little. Obviously I enjoy drinking wine and winding-down with it after a hard day/week.) Honestly though, I’m grateful for all of the experiences and people that have come into my life because of the wine world. I’m grateful that I have found something I am this interested in, and that I will probably never stop learning when it comes to wine. I’m grateful for the education I have had (wine and otherwise).
I am grateful for the traveling I did this year and the traveling I did this year – some being because of wine 😉 and all of the traveling I will do in the future.
Honestly, I could list hundreds of things I am grateful for. My dog. My car. My journal. My health. You get the idea, but I will stop here.
Now for the important stuff:
_____________________________________________________________________________ The wine I brought to Thanksgiving dinner:
St. Supery, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016.
I chose this wine, honestly, because the salesperson at the store recommended it a while back. I hadn’t opened it or tried yet, but I figured thanksgiving would be a good time to give it a go (especially since it is getting cold outside!) since it is an oaky, bold red and it pairs well with poultry.
I absolutely loved this wine! Very rich and structured, with notes of black fruit and mocha. I will definitely be buying this wine again.
Its average price is $54.99 and for it’s quality, that isn’t bad at all!
I hope you all had an amazing thanksgiving. Thank you for reading!
Hello! I have decided to make an Instagram account, separate from my main one, to document my wine journey and all of the wine/food related activities I get up to.
– I tried to get the WordPress URL to match, but it has been used before. Sad face!
I know the wine world can come across serious and uh, snobby.. so I want to keep this account and blog fun and light-hearted. (Especially because I am definitely no expert yet! I want to document my whole journey). Starting this Instagram account makes me want to blog way more, and I have a lot of ideas for upcoming posts so I’m excited to get going with all of this.
** This post is over a week late (I’ve just been so busy!) But since I already had it started, and said I would do it – I am posting it anyway. Hopefully I can stay on time for future blog posts!
I have been obsessed with rosés lately! I have put together a list of my favourites that I find delicious, and won’t break the bank. Note: I personally do not like sweet wines. I prefer my rosés dry, crisp, and acidic and this list reflects that. Happy sipping!
Cotes Des Rosés – Gerard Bertrand – grenache, syrah, cinsault. I discovered this gem at the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food festival and have been in love ever since. It is now my go-to Bachelor/Bachelorette wine (which clearly I have been watching too much of!). I was initially attracted to the rose shaped bottle & glass cork, but the wine is even better! It is vibrant, crisp, citrusy, and all around delicious.
La Vie En Rose – Chateau Roubine – tibouren. We used to sell this one at work, where I initially discovered it and now I buy a bottle anytime I see it. (In Calgary, I have only seen it sold at The Cellar, but it might be elsewhere as well!) This wine is floral on the nose, and has a crisp acidity on the pallet.
Angels & Cowboys – grenache-based rose blend. This sonoma valley rose tastes of grapefruit, peach, and floral.
Pasquiers – grenache, cinsault. The 2016 vintage won bronze in the Sommelier Wine Awards 2017. This wine is delicious – though it definitely needs food with it! It pairs well with pasta, or chicken salads.
AIX – rose blend. Of course, when you think “great rosé”, you might think of France, or more specifically – Provence. This wine encompasses everything great about French rosés.
This little Banff getaway was the perfect (almost) end to 2018. I just got home today and am winding down before having to go back to work tomorrow. This trip was only a few days, and less than a couple of hours away from home – but it was much needed. I got to meet a friend I hadn’t met in person before (my first ever “internet friend”).
She had let me know that her and her boyfriend were going on a trip to Banff and suggested that Andrew and I do the same, if we wanted to. We definitely needed a break from work and home remodeling, and of course, I was excited about the idea of meeting them and going to Banff and staying at this beautiful resort. I booked us a room at Buffalo Mountain Lodge, the same one they were staying at.
Things we did:
Shopped. Walking up and down the streets of Banff and just shopping is kind of the best. There are so many cute little stores, and so much winter gear. Also, downtown Banff looks like something out of a cheesy Christmas movie and I love it.
Ate. Notable restaurants we ate at are Park and Three Ravens Restaurant and Wine Bar. We loved both places!
Hung out in the hotel hot tub.
Things we wished we did:
Ate at The Grizzly House. A pub that serves carribou and bison. They also have telephones at each table which you can use to call other tables. Very cool. We just didn’t get around to trying it. Maybe next time!
Ate at Three Ravens Restaurant and Wine Bar during the summer. We loved the food and wine here, but since it was winter and the sun goes down so early – we didn’t get to enjoy the beautiful mountain views they get otherwise.
Snow shoeing. I still have yet to try this! Hopefully some day soon.
Now, just because, here are some photos of my dog:
Obviously, I have to include the wines I tried on this trip.
At Three Ravens I had Heartland Shiraz from Australia which I liked. Then a Canello Prosecco with dessert (can’t go wrong!). I don’t remember the name of the Malbec I had at Park, but I did have one of their caesars which was amazing. It is made with their own spicy chili vodka instead of Tabasco. Definitely recommend.
That’s it for this trip! I will be going to Vancouver in February/March for International Wine Fest, and then California in April (ish?) for a wine tasting retreat. I can’t wait to share those experiences!
I am over a month late on this post (oops!) Rocky Mountain Wine Festival happened October 13-14, but I’m going to blog about it anyway.
How weird that last time I blogged about going to wine fest, I wasn’t working in wine and didn’t know anything about wine. I didn’t even know that I wanted to work in wine. I knew that I liked drinking it and I just went around sampling things at random and then at the end, I could hardly remember what I liked or didn’t like and bought some bottles at random.
This time – it is my job, and while I still have a lot to learn, it is a completely different experience when you understand wines a bit better. This time around, I won the tickets through a sales competition at work. I already had a pretty good idea about what I do/don’t like. I paid better attention to what I was being told about the wines I tried. And, ironically enough – I didn’t leave with as much as I did last time. I took photos of the wines I liked or grabbed their business cards to remember to buy them later.
I did, however, leave with a bottle of Walter caesar mix – thanks to the amazingly kind man at the booth who gave it to me for free after I attempted to buy some after they were already closing down.
I recently started working at Vino Volo and I am so in love with my job! Today we celebrated the grand opening of our domestic location at the Calgary Airport. (We have two locations at the airport: one in the international terminal for people flying outside of Canada, and now one on the domestic side for people flying within Canada.)
A little bit about Vino Volo:
We are a wine bar/wine tasting room located in airports across North America. Our goal is to make wine simple and approachable rather than intimidating. Whether you are a wine beginner, or an expert – we are here for you.
The name “Vino Volo” is Italian for “Wine Flight” because we are located in airports – but also because we specialize in wine flights. A wine flight is a group of two or three wines that are interesting to compare, usually arranged around a theme. The idea is to make it easy and fun to explore wines.
Our featured wine for the grand opening:
Pol Roger, Champagne | This Champagne is, of course, from France and has aromas of apple, toast, and citrus. It is medium bodied and dry, and has flavours of ripe apple, biscuit, citrus; it has a long lively finish.
Fun fact about this wine: It was served at the wedding reception of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Thank you for reading and I can’t wait to keep documenting my journey in my wine career. This is only the beginning.
If you wish to follow along, make sure to subscribe!
This is kind of a “my first blog post” type of post, even though it is not my first post – it’s just my first post in a long time, and hopefully the start of me actually posting on a regular basis.
I have been wanting to “start” (keep up with) my blog for quite a while. I just didn’t know where to start, or what my “thing” was, so I figured I would kind of restart, so to speak.
First off – Re-introduction:
As I said – my name is Shylo. I’m 24. I hold a diploma in photojournalism and a Bachelor’s degree in professional communications. I love writing, wine, travel, and my dog. ;P
In my last post, I talked about quitting my job because it wasn’t the right fit. That was months ago, and quite a bit has changed since then. I was working as a contract Digital Marketing Specialist and a Barista at the time. I quit the marketing job and just worked as a Barista full-time until finding my current job, where I now work in wine.
I plan on using this blog more regularly as an outlet. I want it to be all about Calgary, travel, wine; maybe with some opinion pieces thrown in. Since I just started working in wine, I am still a beginner – so I plan on writing about my wine journey as well since I’m very excited to throw myself into the world of wine! Also, I MIGHT rename the site, but I haven’t decided yet.
Currently drinking: (a feature I plan on adding to all blog posts, when relevant).
Spirit Hills Winery | Bonfire What I love about this wine: It is a mulled wine, so you drink it warm which is something that sparked my interest when I discovered it at Calgary Winefest. Their website pretty much sums it up: “Drinking it makes you feel like Christmas, no matter what time of year.” * NOT what I am drinking in the photos. The photos are from weeks ago*.
I’m definitely not an expert on wine – err, a sommelier, but I am a wine lover/enthusiast, especially for reds – Malbecs and Merlots being my favourite. I drink wine to celebrate. I drink wine after a rough day to relax. I drink wine when I watch The Bachelor (don’t judge me). I have a wine rack I am trying to fill (and keep filled!). I couldn’t NOT go to winefest.
This was my second winefest in a row, and I will most likely keep going back. It’s fun to get dressed up, taste a bunch of wines and learn things, especially with good company. Speaking of – I went with my friend Sid. She’s awesome:
Last year I bought a mulled wine by Spirit Hills (as well as one of their deer head wine pourers, which is probably my favourite wine accessory ever), and a Saskatoon berry wine – which I unfortunately forget the name of and it is already long gone. Oops.
Wines I bought this year:
The Uprising – 19 Crimes Wine – I had been wanting to try this one for a while because of their cool living labels, after seeing videos circle the internet. I was excited to see that they had a booth so that I could try their wines – and I just HAD to get my hands on a bottle.
Cordon Negro – Freixenet – I “joke” that this one is for when I get engaged. 😉 I feel like I need a good occasion for sparkling wine.
(Note- peep the deer-head wine pourer in the back from last year’s event).
The hashtag #ThatJessMess probably isn’t an existing thing already, but it should be. I have no doubt in my mind that Jessica will be famous one day – and no, I’m not kidding.
About eight years ago, I sat next to some random punk-rock looking Asian girl with crazy spiked-up hair in my drama class. (I have NO idea why I was in drama class. I am the most awkward person on the planet, and I have stage fright). We introduced ourselves, and somehow in that conversation I mentioned that I look nothing like my family and that we’re always joking that I’m switched at birth or adopted. Jessica responded with “wow, you’re like the ugly duckling!” and awkwardly tried to cover that up with “Wait! No! You’ll be beautiful one day!” (like the ugly duckling). Off to a good start.
Later on in the school year, our drama class was assigned into groups to make modern-day reenactments of fairy tales. My group did Cinderella, and I was the Evil step-sister. In a scene that was supposed to be angry and dramatic – I stomped away and up the set of stairs at the side of the stage, and fell. Loudly. There was no pretending it was on purpose. The room went silent, and then I heard one person in the audience full-on burst into laughter. Jessica.
So basically, we were destined for a friendship* for years to come filled with concerts, junk food, random antics, inside jokes, and tattoos. As I’m writing this, I feel like our friendship story should have been written into a book that was later made into a cheesy teen movie. Maybe I’ll have to write that book one day ;P. *She told me one time that her first impression of me was that I was probably a bitch and we wouldn’t become friends.
Some of my favourite memories with Jessica:
Our school was attached to a leisure centre, and one time we broke into the ice rink. We were just wandering around inside, and found a random unsupervised table with hot chocolate and snacks – which we stole. Then we realized that we could just sneak into the ice rink as well. We didn’t have ice skates on, so we ran around, danced, and slid across the ice. Luckily we weren’t caught – because we also video taped the entire thing on my DSLR camera (and I wish I still had the footage!). Yes, this is what we amused ourselves with as teenagers. It’s better than drugs.
We drove to Banff for tattoos once. I got diamonds down the side of my ribs, and it says “Shine on you crazy diamond” like the Pink Floyd song. Jessica got a cool book tattoo on her thigh with lyrics from the song “Go” by Boys Like Girls. We made a whole day out of it. We went early and had lunch and wandered around Banff, got a bunch of candy from some candy store. We also almost thought we were stuck in Banff after momentarily being locked out of the parkade my car was in.
We got “Friday the 13th” tattoos one year at Human Kanvas. It was stampede time in Calgary – so we got up early and went to a stampede breakfast first, got our tattoos, and then went directly to the actual Calgary Stampede for the rest of the day.
Speaking of the Calgary Stampede: The first time we went together, between the heat and the rides, I felt sick. Jessica could tell, and she asked me “do you need to sit down? Do you need to have a drink of water?” My response? “I need a corn dog.”
Every time we go to the Calgary Stampede! We basically act like children rather than legal-drinking-aged adults. We don’t drink at Stampede. We go early, go on rides all day – taking breaks to eat deep fried anything for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then we stay for the outdoor concert. We’ve seen Lights, Mariana’s Trench, Hedley, Simple Plan, and so many other musicians on that Coke stage. Also, we are scared of different rides so we end up having to negotiate. “Okay, I’ll go on this ride, but then we have to go on this one.”
Drama class! I knew I always had at least one person who thought I was funny. And of course, Jessica was hilarious.
My mom’s wedding. Jessica and I were in charge of “decorations and props for photobooth style photos”. We bought random photo props – fake mustaches, hula skirts, big fake eye glasses etc. We also bought a pinata and filled it with flavoured condoms, candy, and cough drops (I had no idea this was a normal thing to do. I thought we were hilarious). When my mom found out about the pinata, she told me we had no time for that on the day of her wedding (what the heck, right?) So we had to do it the day before. We set it up at the playground near my house. My family and Jessica took turns being blindfolded and trying to break the thing open. The only child there was my little cousin Alicia (and yes, had the pinata happened the day of the wedding – we were fully prepared to confuse and mortify the parents of children because there were condoms in this pinata. We’re lovely people). It didn’t happen that way, but my mom was so confused and didn’t believe us that we bought the pinata at Wal-Mart. She didn’t know that you have to fill it yourself, so she thought Wal-Mart sold it like that.
I saw some meme about how a true friend makes your parents question your sexuality. My mom asked me one time if I was dating Jessica. Jessica laughed for a solid five minutes when I told her this. I’m fairly certain we would still be attached at the hip and getting into all kinds of weird shenanigans on a regular basis if she didn’t live in LA now. Sigh, she left us to chase her dreams. How rude. Though, I fully plan to visit (and she better come back here and visit, too!)
Anyway, I’m about certain Jessica is the only person who will read this far, so I can probably stop talking about her in the third person:
Jessica, Happy Birthday! I’m so stoked that you are in LA living and chasing your dreams and you definitely deserve for them all to come true. I am truly lucky to have you in my life. This feels weird, we are NEVER this sappy. But it’s true. I hope your birthday is as awesome as you are. Now, we can go back to making fun of each other. Freak.
I got this idea from Sjana Earp – one of my favourite bloggers/Instagramers to follow. I wish I was one of those people who was traveling all of the time, and I’m a huge fan of making lists. I always have lists on the go – to-do lists, New Year’s resolution lists, lists of goals, books to read, etc. So when I saw her travel bucket list, and her encouraging her followers to do the same – I had to.
I plan on adding to it as well.
Here is a list of places I would like to see or do in my lifetime: