September 16, 2010

A Little Help with Tasting

Sorry for the long delay between reports. I'm adjusting to the local culture, and nobody really does jack in Hong Kong during the summer. In fact, most of the expat crowd bails the island. But Fall is here. I know this, not because the temperature has changed. It hasn't. It's still basically a rice cooker beyond the air-conditioned confines of the Lab. But I know the season has turned because there's a line at my favorite coffee shop in the morning and all the tables are filled with women who don't play tennis but wear diamond tennis bracelets anyway.

Another aspects of Hong Kong culture I've been adjusting to is the abundance of skilled domestic labor from the Philippines. The market is heavily regulated by the regional authorities. But if you can maneuver through the forms and bureaucracy, you can get what' s known in the local parlance as a "helper."

I decided to get two.

Because I think the helper is a fantastic concept. Now that my responsibilities are reduced at home, I have a lot more time to drink. The Philippines should probably be making a better effort to export this thing globally.

At the Lab, we've been cataloguing and organizing the wines shipped to our new Guangzhou cellars. We've run a few tests on overseas shipping as well which we'll report on soon. But I grabbed an orphan bottle and brought it home last night, to see whether we can further reduce labor costs at the Lab.

I'm growing weary of writing tasting notes. So I poured a glass of a recent vintage Burgundy from bio-dynamic stalwart Hubert Lamy for one of the helpers and asked her what she thinks.

"This is very good, sir," was her reply.

I think she had it about right.

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