Friday, September 13, 2013

"Fall" Is Here

Meaning only that the sun has actually decided to come out for more than one day!  The weather has cooled to a crisp 30 degrees and the humidity is down below 80%, wonderful!
Pulling out of Central
Last Sunday Paul and I head out for some island hopping.  We ferried over to the south port of Lamma Island, hiked up 40 or so minutes to the beach, jumped in the surprisingly clean and cold water, and met Courtney and Patrick for some ciders and beers.  Does anyone else love cider as much as I do?

Paul <3s Lamma (and Michigan)
Then we booked it to Sheung Wan to pick up our dinner from Secret Ingredient.  I don't know if they have this in the US, so if you're there and they don't- steal this idea.  You purchase a meal online.  Generally there are 4; a chicken, beef, fish, and random and you can either have it delivered to your door or you can pick it up.  We went with a 'chef collaboration' meal that was from the chef from Boqueria, a tapas joint. All of the ingredients to cook your meal come prepared (sliced and diced) and labeled alphabetically.  See below:
All you have to do it follow the directions and cook it.  I did like it for several reasons, including really high quality ingredients, the total of 15 minutes from the bag to the plate, and the generous portion size.  BUT, I  still found it kind of annoying.  I rather like cooking and found it restrictive to have all of the creativity taken away.  With that said we ordered another one later in the week (they're running a $100 off promotion) that was really tasty too.  And they delivered to my office right at 5 which was uber convenient.
Prawns, chorizo, octopus, potato, and grainy bread.  Served with a German Chardonnay.  Nice foot powder in the background...
Monday was devoted to studying Whiskey.  I've never sat down over a glass of whiskey before and really thought about what it tastes like (except at Glenlivet events- amazing!).  And I've certainly never sat down with 4 different glasses of whiskey to think about how they are different, but wow are they.  The Jameson was definitely the most oily.  The Macallan 12 year was obviously the most complex and delicious, but I was surprised how much I really enjoyed the fragrant and floral Chivas.  I suppose this is like anything, the more you learn and taste, the more elevated your tastes get, but for now I'm still digging the cheapo stuff. 

Next up, Rum!  (note the Champagne flutes for tasting- not so good for detecting aromas- it's all about the white wine glasses these days)
Tuesday was the most event I've been to in a long time.  Crown Wine Cellars, this amazing cellar and event venue up in the mountains of HK, held a tasting for the Cape Winemakers Guild.   Every year the top chateau in South Africa take their best barrel of wine and use the contents for wines that go off to auction for charity.  I've always enjoyed SA wine, but generally find they smokey and pretty simple.  Oh these wines were not.  They were lovely.  There were big Chardonnays, Grenache Gris, 2 sparkling, 3 Pinot Noirs, many Bordeaux blends, beautiful Syrahs and Shirazs, and we capped the night off with a Chenin Blanc noble rot dessert wine.  Devine.  I didn't end up bidding on anything because you had to buy in parcels of 24, and really, where will I keep that? 

36 wines, don't mind if I do
I went with my friend Simone (The Happy Wine Woman) who is just wonderful to taste with!  She's a dear friend, but aside from that she has a wonderful palate, and hailing from NZ, London, and Australia, a totally different set of vocabulary from me.  And the people at the tasting were all lovely too.  Apparently they have regular Tuesday sessions, and I was told I'm on the list for the next one...which ironically is on a Wednesday...
My favorite!
Wednesday was Secret Ingredient parte dos.  This time was another 'chef collaboration' with Christian, one of the guys behind Mana.  Mana is a great to-go place (fast slow food), that is vegetarian and full of great salads and flatbreads.  Our dinner was a tofu/haloumi/onion/capsicum(why do veg have different names in different countries?)/tomato fry, over an avocado/walnut/craisin salad.  Twas delish a ton of food and came in cute little boxes that I could use to wrap up my lunch for the next day.  <3 leftovers---I put it over quinoa and rocket-again with the different names...for lunch the next day

Yum and strange this is the first Chinese-style take away box I've seen in Asia
Thursday at work is our office meeting day which means it's also office tasting day.  Dear friend Bill came in to say hello and was greeted with this full and rich Pouilly Fuisse.  This was a Thanksgiving white.
Next up was a 2005 from Eddie Feraud in Chateauneuf du Pape, one of my favorite regions and this was a lovely lovely a-typical example.  Medium to light bodied (usually quite rich and heavy) with amazing animally and pepper flavours.  Loved this!

And of course we finished with a wonderful Morey St Deni from Des Lambrays.  This, again, suprised me, as it was very full and ripe.  Wine continues to amaze and impress me, especially with Ginsberg + Chan, where they have impeccable and elevated taste.  I've already learned so much here.
Thursday evening was a whole thing....where I ended up crashing boys night with Paul, Patrick and Michael, and continued the party on with Court up at their place.  We stayed out til 12:30 on a school night.  haha which is way later than we made it Friday...or Saturday night.
Friday after work I went over to Csilla (my wonderful Hungarian friend)'s place with Simone for a meeting for our new website.  We're still working on defining our objective and certain rubrixs, but I will be in touch soon with our official 'launch.'  Then Paul met me and we went home at ripe old 9:30, for poor Paul lives up in the NT on Saturdays...

And I get to go running in this!!  Sometimes I forget how incredibly amazingly gorgeous it is where I live.  The above running path is 3 minute walk from my front door.  I'm in a new routine where I run between 8-10k every morning.  I've decided that I should run while I can thanks to some horribly sad stories about some neighbors back home.  It's a daily celebration where I feel like I'm doing what my body was made to do.  It's not about being fast, or even being skinny, but pushing myself to be active.  Everyday when I stop my RunTracker I feel a huge sense of pride and accomplishment, and it's only 8am.

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