Friday, August 16, 2013

One Work Week

When I left you the pumpking chocolate chip oatmeal cookies were still cooking in the 'oven', and as you can see below, they finished!  And they were delicious, all 1.5 days they lasted.  Paul spent the better half of the afternoon making gnocchi and then tomato sauce.  He was quite pleased with his efforts, and I'm pretty sure the entire 5lbs of his gnocchi were wolfed down long before the cookies.  By Paul.  I stuck with the cookies.  
Is anyone else obsessed with frozen bananas?  Way better than luke warm!  We buy in bulk
Thursday Mandy and Jay, my bosses, took the team out to a really delcious Chinese meal as they were off for Canada the next day for the next two weeks.  What lunch is complete without a few bottles of wine?   Have I mentioned how cool my new company is???  We had a really delicious Zind Humbrecht Riesling from 1994 that went pretty well with most of the food- spicy chicken, cheung fan, turnip cakes, shumai, mushroomy noodles, meatballs, fungus (delish!), cucumbers, and sponge cake, and also a 1988 Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Burgundy.  It was fine, but probably a bit past its hey day.  
I can't explain how nice it is to work in a proper office again.  Everyone is so nice.  Sooo nice, and polite and professional, and really well dressed.  Like really well dressed.  I need to step this wardrobe up.  When they say the hours are 10-6, the hours are 10-6 exactly.  We have subscriptions to all trade publications, all of the software is sinced up with the other software, and it's just nice
I've been working on a project to re-write our producer profiles so we can use them for a catalogue later on.  Tis a bit monotonous, but I've learned more about Bordeaux in the past 2 days than in the past 2 years.  Monday I'll start in on Burgundy which I know very little about.  Oh and my colleagues:
Janet, Jerry, Joe, Jay... and Mandy and Lauren.
Jerry between Burgundy and Alsace
After work Thursday, and after an entirely too long bus ride, I met Simone over at Wine Beast in Wan Chai for a little tasting.  They had asked her to come on in to try some grower Champagnes and she was kind enough to invite me along.  Wine Beast is a brand new wine shop where they want to build relationships, not just peddle off a bottle here and there.  And damn, are they doing it the right way! 

They hired Vincent, seen decanting below, a former Four Seasons Paris Sommelier to be the shop Somm.  And damn, kid knows his stuff, and his passion is just crystal clear with every suggestion he makes.  They are still in the beginning phases of figuring out what people want here, etc, but rumor is that a shipment of more grower Champers, Loire and Southern French wines are en route. 

Vincent taught us that even some Champagnes benefit from being decanted.  We tasted the Pierre Gimonnet before and after decanting, and we all agreed it was much more approachable and expressive after.
It's not everyday you're invited into a new wine shop just to taste some wines, and it just goes to speak to the kind of wine shop they want to be.  When Vincent walked us around he pointed out some of his favorites, and let me tell you, they weren't the most expensive.  They have Cote Rotie for $400!  Beat that Watsons. 
We started with Jacques Lassaigne Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay) which is my new favorite Champagne.  Not that I had an old favorite...This is a grower Champagne which means the people who grow the grapes make the wine.   Moet, Veuve, Krug, etc., don't do that.  <-They purchase grapes from lots of different farmers and vinify the wines themselves. 
Anyway this wine was awesome.  So full of flavor and had more body that I would have expected from a Blanc de Blancs.  Perhaps this is because it underwent malolactic fermentation.  Another thing to note is that there is no sulpher dioxide added.  No hangover!  And one final cool thing was that the producer stamped, every so lightly, the disgorgement date on the front of the label.  You would only know it was there if you were looking for it, but it provides a great clue to the consumer about the freshness of the wine.  The closer to disgorgement date the better.  But alas, Champagne companies think that the consumer will think it's a 'best by' date, so many leave it off.  Fair enough I suppose.
Complex and divine
I could drink this everyday with breakfast
The second wine we tried was another grower wine Pierre Gimonnet & Fils.  This was a blend of mostly Chardonnay with some Pinot Noir.  This was the more complex of the two and was really tasty too.  I wish I took notes because I'm at a loss for words now...let's just go with apple and brioche.   I've been reading recently about a push to bring Champagne into the everday.  With it's bright acidity, it's perfect for matching with food, so perhaps we should open our minds (and wallets) and bring more Champ to the dinner table.  Especially with Asian food.

Friday at work and the bosses are gone.  It was another rainy day, but it was Friday, and Friday is WINE day!  Jerry asked if there was anything I wanted to try (we have an inventory of 10,000+ bottles- I want to try everything!), but I declined to see what he would pick.  Well, well, Jerry.  Chambertin Clos de Beze Grand Cru 2004 by Gerard Raphet.  That's a Burgundy Grand Cru, my friends.  It was absolutely delicious and stuck in my mouth for hours.  It was still very very young and filled with primary fruit flavors, but also a strong presence of oak and the beginning of some tertiary aromas like mushroomy forest floor.  Well have to check back in with this in a few years...
Waiter, clearly not a photographer

Following work I met Paul at Posto Pubblico which is part of IHM (also Linguini Fini and Stone Nullah Tavern).  Paul and I have been in for drinks, and I came for brunch with the girls once, but this was our first dinner.  

Yum yum.  Everything IHM does, they do well.  There's no bullshitting with fancy garnish or senseless embellishment.  Meatballs, caprese salad, eggplant rollatini, and some lovely Parm and ham apps with homemade bread.  This is New York Italian at its Hong Kong best.  Thank you, Nina, for the thoughtful/awesome/totaly delicious birthday gift certificate!!

We rounded out the night with some Cali wine at California Vinatge.  I love that place, and the wines are all really tasty.  I've yet to find one I don't like.

It's another rainy Saturday,which is a beautiful thing.  Went for a long run/quick (ie my typical 15 min stint) gym sesh, followed by blogging, a pedi, and hopefully some wine paper writing.  Please, anyone send me your thoughts on the convergence of supply and demand of wine (European bulk wine) in 2012. 

Paul's up in the middle of no-where border of China for his school orientation.  Hopefully he'll get his fall schedule and it won't be up at that campus.  It's a solid 1.5 hours from home.  Tomorrow we're off on a Jaspas junk.  I haven't been on one of these since I first came here 3 years ago with's basically the reason we moved here.  Boat with full staff, quesadillas, pizza, and Mai Tais.  Get better.
I need a pug.

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