Monday, September 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Booked; HKG----> Hanoi, Vietnam. December 23rd.
HAN----> HK January 1.  (Love traveling on New Year's day!)

Paul and I will spend our Christmas and New Year holiday backpacking from Hanoi through Laos, and if we have the time, Northern Thailand.  Woohhhhhh!!!

Here's what we were up to last week.  

Wednesday I had the most fun/informative dinner with some of my wine class elite.  I joined Faye, Sherwin, Di, and Paul along with our teacher Ian and class organizer Christine for a dinner with the focus around Burgundian and Italian wines (a bunch of us had missed the Italian class). Dinner was at a tiny little European restaurant, Rossa Gourmet,  near my old hood in Kowloon City. 

We all wrapped our wines and sat in these amazing overstuffed leather cigar chairs (because you should totally have a cigar while sitting in this chair), and dove right in.  While not stuffing our faces with a selection of cheeses (truffle cheese!), cured meats, lightly grilled eel, the most amazing rye bread I have had in Asia (only rye bread while in Asia??), we blind tasted wines while Ian walked us through identifying the wines.

Big body?  Could this be North Italy?  What grapes are in North Italy....must be.....Nebbiolo.....from Barolo.  And like that for the rest of the eight wines.  They were all totally delicious, and some new to me!  Valpolicella! Which, incidentally, is made in Veneto, Italy, from mostly Corvina with some help from Rondinella and Molinara. 

We worked our way through a number of wines, and toward the end of the evening were served truffle cream pasta (to die for), scallop pasta, and roast duck breast.  This place is amazing and since we were sharing some of our wines with the sommelier, didn't charge corkage.

I think we all walked out of there, well a little tispy, but more importantly, a little more confident in our tasting skills and knowledge of both Burgundy and Italy.  Thank you so much for Di and Paul for organizing, and especially for Ian for all of his words of wisdom!  I'm going to miss wine class!!

My table; Barolo DOCG and truffles, Peimonte's best!
Thursday was another sort of tasting.  One led by me.  And my co-workers.  We hosted a wine tasting for Greg's friend and his colleagues over at Morgan Stanley.  We held it in a private room in Bourbon Street in the heart of Soho.  Full report here.  Despite the fact that I worked 9-11:30, the tasting was super fun, met some cool people, and enjoyed spreading my wine knowledge :)

Sean learns Gangnam Style

Friday was wine class; spirits!  Shots class! We had no less than 11 liquors to taste:

2 Gins
Grappa (if you love the black jelly beans, you're in for a treat)
Cognac (my first!)
2 dark Rhums (the one with the H is my favorite- made from molasses not cane sugar)
2 whiskeys
Absinthe (woooweee strong)

After tasting (and gagging on quite a few) we did some revision, during which Ian told us we were one of the most serious classes he's had to date.  Go us.

After class I went and met Ms. Han and her gem buddies at their hotel which happens to be less than a 10 min walk from my apartment.  Oh my god.  They are SOOOOO Korean!  I walk into the room and there are 10 or so adults sitting in a cirlce on the floor (duh), with a cardboard laid down in the middle.  On the cardboard was a smorgasbord of all things Korean food; spicy Korean chicken (picked up on Korea Street in TST), sliced fruit, canned fruit, cookies, chips, dry Ramen (that's how people eat it, I swear), and of course the essential; SOJU and BEER.

As soon as I walk in I am told to sit in the circle, handed a pair of chopsticks and a beer, and am instantly so nostalgic for my old home!  I miss Korea.  And I miss Ms. Han!

Saturday I had to work the Cyberport Weekend Market.  This is always slow, and Saturday was especially hot.  I sweat.  I sat.  I read my wine book.  Wasn't so bad. Paul came and met me at 4 and we went over to Central Piers to sit on the water and have a drink.  And then home.  We're two wild and crazy kids, I tell ya!

Sunday, beautiful Sunday!!  The sun was shining so we hopped on a ferry over to Cheung Chau where we had the beach almost entirely to ourselves.  We rented tubes and floated the afternoon away.  Bliss.   Rounded out the day with episode 1 of Boardwalk Empire.  Yey, new shows!!  We just finished Homeland and LOVED it!  And I just heard they picked up quite a few Emmys.

Work, tutoring, Austrian wine tasting at our local wine shop, bed.  Tomorrow's my mock exam, Wednesday an Australian tasting, Thursday a Bordeaux Masterclass, and Friday TAIWAN!!!!!

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