Monday, July 15, 2013

And the Hunt Continues

This week and last have been all about the interview.  First, second, and even third round interviews, and thankfully one offer has come in already.  I should let you know that this blog, in all its Kowloon fine-ness, will be shut down after next Friday, my last day in Kowloon ever (until Owl City comes in August).  But don't worry, my blogging journey will continue!

This gem has been going for a solid 2 years now, and now that we've moved out of Kowloon, and my new job will not be in Kowloon (everywhere I've interviewed is on the island), I think it's only right to close out my Kowloon Dreams.  New blog title suggestions welcome. 

The new blog will be more focused on my journey in Hong Kong as told through my wine-ing.  The WSET diploma is no joke, and from what I gather year 2 is taste, taste, taste, and this will serve as one of my memory aids.  If I start getting boring/losing you, please just give a shout. 

Anyway, yes, the job search continues.  Two second round interviews tonight, one of which is super interesting but could be a super terrible or super lucrative and challenging decision (I hope to figure out which tonight), and the other another sales job.  Lots of sales jobs available in HK. 

Anyway, what have we been up to this week....

Oh yeah, totally rad events, dinners and, meh, work.  One more week of work.... (did you know in Europe they teach not to use the Oxford comma?  It just looks wrong without)

Monday I skipped outta work early for the first ever in HK Guild Somm event.  The Guild is a US organization of, you guessed it, sommeliers.  Hands down, this was the single best event in terms of wine studying helpfulness, I have ever been to.  I walked in at 2:45 sharp, which was the beginning time, to realize I was the last one there, which never ever ever happens.  People in HK make it a habit to always show up at least 10 minutes late.  And it's usually much more.

Anyway, walk into to a roundtable of Somms and Somm-pretend to bes (me, Ian, and Louis).  For those of you not in the know, there's this new movie out call 'Somm' and it's sweeping the wine world.  It's a fantastic look into what it takes to become a Master Sommelier (similar-ish to becoming an MW).  I highly recommend you give it a watch.  So one of the people in the movie is Geoff Kruth MS.  And that's precisely who led our seminar.

This was a class on how to improve your blind tasting skills.  Geoff outlined several key aspects of wine that if present, make it easier to deduce which wine you are drinking.  For example, if you detect pyrazines (herbal/green bell pepper flavours), there's a good chance you're looking at Sauv Blanc, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Carmenere or Merlot.  Just one thing detected and you can narrow down your choices from hundreds (thousands really) to just a few.  Other examples were botrytis (noble rot usually in sweet wines), Terpenes (aromatic compounds), Rotundone (black/white pepper flavours), new oak (used for expensive wines), raisination. high volatile acidity (associated with high booze count), Brett, oxidation, lees contact, and carbonic maceration.

Then to highlight this point, we tasted 4 whites and 4 reds blind.  We methodically went through to see if any of the above were present, and if yes, then move onto flavors, alcohol, body, and acidity to figure out what we were probably looking at.  I can't say enough how helpful it is to have this list and to think of it in this way. 

We all walked out totally pleased and I'm really looking forward to seeing a Guild presence in HK!  Thanks, Geoff!

This was followed by an interview and then my first paid model/acting (and probably only) gig.  This woman, Jolene, who organized bazaars here, asked if I would be in her friend's advertisement.  I met her and the crew at the Airport Express train where we were let in.  Her friend did my makeup (to erase my black circles) and then we shot.  I was a tourist who was very frustrated that I could not get Wi-Fi on the train!  In total Asian humor, I shook the ipad around, made an angry face, and acted like a spoiled child.  Did this for several angles, various degrees of shaking, and I was done and a few bills richer.   This is way more fun than tutoring.   I have to go next Tuesday to do a quick voice over and then hopefully I will get a copy of the commercial to post.

Then Tuesday was a full day of work followed by 2 back to back interviews, and then the most amazing wine dinner I have ever been to.  I may have mentioned a while back that I took some wine tasting classes with JC who is going for his MW.  Well, he just saw mid-August for the test, and this was a 'Thank god it's over' dinner. 

Thank you, Roland!
There were a solid 21 of us and everyone was required to bring one bottle.  After a Prosecco reception with amazing homemade bread covered in amazing meat, we sat down, new friends and old to begin the meal.   It was pretty amazing that I was a part of this group, and amazing to me, that after a year in the wine I know so many talented and successful people in the industry.

JC started bottles at various people around the table and instructed us to pass the bottles in one direction or another.  We were each armed with 2 glasses, and managed to try every single one of those 21 bottles.  Impressive, no!?  There was an amazing Rioja white and the most interesting of the reds was for sure a 1967 Barolo.  And the food.  The food, the food.  Caprese salad made from the freshest mozzarella,  a cheesy risotto covered in foie gras and figs, ulta rare filet with eggplant mash (brillant), completed with creme brulee.  Lovely.

And that was just Tuesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment