Monday, May 6, 2013

Fortified Wines

Paul and I had a lovely weekend of not working!  Friday night I stayed in doing absolutely nothing but reading wine trade magazines, watching cooking shows on TLC, and sipping on some fortified Greek wine.  Perfect.

Saturday Paul went on a junk and I went to Sai Kung.  I decided to forgo the junk for academic pursuits. I went to Sai Kung to meet up with my WSET level 3 educator (their word, not mine) and to gather some books.  Ian has been such a mentor and incredible source of knowledge, and really a driving motivator to keep up to date on industry trends.  He's totally knowledgeable about wines, knows anyone who's anyone in HK in terms of wine, and knows anyone who's anyone in London in terms on wine!

After studying and asking Ian a million questions, I hit the local wine shops.  Schmidt Vinothek is my local wine shop in Qbay, and they just opened a new outlet in Sai Kung.  I popped in to see if my other favorite wine guys, Kevin, was in, but he wasn't.  Tony was in, and Tony is absolutely fab.  He insisted I try all the open wines they had, and then asked for my autograph for when I become famous.  I love him and I need to start hanging out in Sai Kung more often :)

Then off to Kwun Tong (on my day off no less!) for Gary's warehouse warming.  Gary's another local wine importer.  He's awesome.  Full of smiles, always super helpful and super honest, and to show off his new warehouse he opened one of all of his wines!  Amazing.  Ali, my favorite HK blogger, was there, and eventually Greg and Sean came by. 

Fun little afternoon followed by some visits to my new favorite bars (Stone's in Tai Hang is great!) and I was asleep by the ripe old hour of 10.  I think Paul made it to about 8 post-junk.  ha. 

Sunday we met up with Kina, Kenny's parents, Katie, and Hailey and Matt for some Po Toi lunch.  Po Toi is this almost deserted island that's a 30 minute ferry south of Stanley (which is the southernmost part of HK).  We ran into my friend, wine writer Stephen, at the pier who was going for the same thing; seafood.

This place is amazing.  You sit on little plastic stools and indulge in your favorite fried sea creatures.  The salt and pepper squid is the shit.  Should I not mention shit while talking about food? 

Paul ran into a colleague and we all ran into our friend Mike who leads sailing lessons.  Small little world HK.  Next time we're totally coming back, just eating squid, and bringing a ton of white wine.  Corkage is $30 (~$4usd) which is unheard of and amazing by HK standards.

Monday after work I met with some of my diploma classmates (sans class- what's the word for that?) for a tasting of all things fortified.  Angel was awesome to organize, and she led us through a blind tasting; flights of 2 at a time.  My god I love fortified wines.  No one at the table shared my affinity for Sherry, but I'm still confident that there will be a Sherry revolution in HK this year!  Sales in the UK are up 1% this past quarter and it's driven by Manzanilla and Fino sherries, which are perfect for summer cocktails.  But, ooo, Olorosso or Amontillado alone (no food not sans company, although I guess that would be fine too) on the couch at night are perfection. 

The results of my last test are in, and I have to go pick them up after work (won't tell you over the phone- ugh) then go to Central Pier 3 to do a tasting of our foie gras and truffles.  This also means pier side wine.  Tough times.  Tomorrow and Thursday at HOFEX and Friday I get to host an amazing  wine reception for the launch of these new luxury pent houses for this 5 star long term stay hotel; Lanson Place.  I need a new dress!

This is kind of rambling, but my colleagues are out of the office for the first day of HOFEX, which is an F&B expo, and I don't have much else to do.  I should study.  Or write new tasting notes.  Or probably do a number of other things, but I decided to catch you up on the life of Lauren.  Caught?


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