Dec 20, 2009

Fluid Arrangements

I’m currently visiting family and friends over Christmas.

Never, never listen to hearsay that you can bring vacuum-packed bak-kwa into countries which are sticklers for agricultural purity! After dutifully swearing upon arrival that I had goods to declare, I was shown a list that did not name Singapore as a country from which meat could be imported. So the bak-kwa is currently in the hands of a foreign government, waiting for collection for my flight home…

That was a small hiccup, which is more than compensated for by catching up with loved ones and dining while overlooking rows of vines. Here are some pics from my lunch on Sat (pinot gris, with smoked fishcakes on mesclun salad with citrus dressing):

I also came across an interesting concept in wine tasting this trip at a major wine shop here. Instead of deploying manpower to open and pour tasting portions, wine bottles with automated dispensers are grouped by grape. You basically see clusters of bottles of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Merlot etc. Each customer is issued with a charge card. When you decide that you want to taste a particular wine, you insert your card into a slot in that cluster, place your glass under the tap of the relevant bottle and then press the button. This allows you to browse at leisure and have as much or as little as you choose. Your card will be coded with each purchase (like Marche restaurants) and the cumulative cost, which you then pay for when you are finished (no pun intended)!

Although I’m not a big video maker while on travels, I recorded something to share here. Below is just a sample of the breathtaking sights just outside the window of somewhere I stayed. It is also an illustration of how a video which started off promisingly can be ruined because of something which happened to come into frame at the very last minute. Some of you may know the feeling!

Merry Christmas.