Thursday, September 5, 2013

Holy Wine Season

It must be September because the wine tastings have commenced.  Everyday wine tastings wooh.

Sunday funday meant catching up with old co-workers at Stone Nullah Tavern.  Free wine (yey industry night!), amazing arancini and maple bacon chips, and Julia and Florian.  Sounds like things are same old same old back at HOFWs, prepare for an event, follow up event, prepare for event.  Repeat.  And Julia is enjoying her new job at Telford, one of the top 10 booze importers- emphasis on boozey booze.

Then I ran out to go meet my artistic friend KC for a glass of wine at Enoteca.  KC studied in the US and then came back to HK after college to open his own art studio, conveniently located just near my apartment.  One of these days I will get my act together and get the girls in for some bubbles and paint.  One day...until then I need to get home before 11pm on a school day...
So studious; Titus, Julia and Csilla

Monday was Italian wine tasting day!  My friend Titus who is in my diploma intake has an Italian friend who is interested in importing wines to Hong Kong.  His friend isn't really into wine so he wanted some industry prospective into the commercial potential for some of the wines.  Oh wow.  First of all, Fabio foot the bill for this whole schindig.  I got to invite my wine friends.  And we all got to imbibe on 9 wines and multiple courses of food.  Well done, Fabio, well done.

Simone, Kat, Thomas, me, Vivian, Fabio, Wilson, Titus, Julia and Csilla
Thomas- from my dip- owns(?) a plastic company and is at every tasting
Csilla- my lovely Hungarian friend and wine importer
Julia- from HOFWs and now Telford
Simone- The Happy Wine Woman and dear friend
Kat- also in my dip and an absolute dear, who incidentally was googling something about wine the other day and came across this here blog.  Famous.
Our host Mr. Fabio
My oh my, did we all not know what we got into!  Cheese!  Meat! Shrimp salad! Grilled veg! Smoke salmon!  Delicious cold starters to go with our 'white' selection:

1. Brut Rose (100% Pinot Neto)- twas good but shocking to learn that it has aged on it lees for 36 months- didn't taste very yeasty or bready, instead was quite fruit driven

2. Extra Brut (100% Chardonnay)- twas ok, again shocking that it aged for 48-60 months

3.  No dosage 100% Pinot Noir- this was definitely the tastiest of the sparklers, and with 42 months aging you could finally taste some of that autolysis character.

Umm did I mention the food? Blue cheese and Pecorino all night long....

4. Chardonnay- fat and a bit flabby
5. Petite Manseng- interesting, but still quite flabby

Then the main course which none of knew was coming, and certainly hadn't planned for given all the cheese and salads....fettuccine with beef and cheese.  Delish, but waaaay too much.  And onto the reds...
Too much food.

6. Cab Sav- fruity, easy, would be a commercial hit
7.  Super Tuscan- delish!  Finally something that tasted Italian- kind of ironic....
8. 85% Shiraz and 15% Petite Verdot- this was totally my favorite as it was balanced with some layers of fruit, spice, and wood. 

And finally we wrapped it all up with some almond cookies and

9. Ripasso Petite Manseng, Viognier, and something else. I can't read my handwriting... Too sweet...and too late.  We were in TST (my first time back to Kowloon since I left HOFWs in July!) and coudn't get a cab!  #firstworldproblems.  So we MTRed it home, just before midnight....

Poor Paul misses his roommate. 

Tuesday was Port day!  But first Jay opened up some wonderful! Riojas in the office.  Have I mentioned I love Ginsberg + Chan?  First we had a 1994 Lopez de Heredia Gran Reserva- nose was full of red fruit- cherry, vanilla, meat/leather, burnt toast (from the producer- love that!) and on the palate sour cherry, old school, traditional, and oh so not what you would expect from a Rioja.
The next wine was amazing.  I had a Lopez de Heredia 2003 not too far back and it was funky.  In a cool, weird, interesting, weird kind of way.  Emphasis weird.  This 1981 (1981!) Blaco Gran Reserva was amazingly fresh and vibrant, and older than me!  Aromas of dandelion, lemongrass, a deep nuttiness, marzipan....and on the palate honey, yeast, apple core, green apple...again you wouldn't have ever guessed a 34 year old Viura.  Mmmmm.
Then Port! Nick of Fladgate was in town to lead a group of us through 6 different ports; one Taylor's Late Bottle Vintage (invented-ish by Taylors), Taylor's Vintage 2007, 2009. 2011, Fonseca 2011, and Croft 2011.
Jean my fortified friend with her back to us, Tersina who finds out her MW results tomorrow!! and Nick of Fladgate
I don't know how much you know about Port, but I read an entire book about it (Port and the Duoro by Richard Mayson) and it's amazing.  There is just so so so much history.  And so much deliciousness.  This is a booze beverage that traveled and was known world wide in a time when it was really not easy to get around world wide.  And let's be honest, it's crazy tasty.  High booze burn, but layers of caramel, fig, vanilla, spice, strawberry, blackberry, jam, juice, cherry, and it just gets deeper and more complex the longer you leave it in the basement (note- vintage port only.  Tawny, ruby, LBV, drink now, not for storing!).  Yum, yum, yum. 

So studious.  And soooo cold.  Turn down the AC Cliftons

Which reminds me of a time when I had a bottle of Port at my parent's house in NJ whilst waiting to go to Asia.  I left it on the counter and my unsuspecting dad poured himself a glass thinking it was red wine.  haha as delish as Port is, you probably don't want to take a huge mouthful of it...or maybe you do...

You know what's even better than Port?  Sherry!!!  Get in on it.   The wine tasting week continues...


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