Sunday, November 3, 2013

How determined do you want to be a SOMM ?

The Most Stressful Exam - Master of Sommelier exam - SOMM

Out of my expectation - almost full house in cinema. I could only secure 2 seats at the corner.
Without knowing what to expect , I brought my boyfriend to watch. I thought he would fall asleep as the topic has so unrelated to him, with many tech words. I am surprised he is awake the whole movie. The entire audience is so enthusiastic into the movie such that they even give applause when result is released. Their grasp of breath is on same pace...why?

It is documentary, it is personal experience sharing, it is breath-taking.

In 3 months time, 3-6 sommeliers were to prepare for the Master of Sommelier exam. It looks like life-and-death matter. Q-cards everywhere, buddies skype from 11am-2am to go through all exam questions on daily basis, finding the mentor to give them tortures, studying day till night till another day. This is not acting, this is for real. They were totally stressed out. Panda eyes, endless nights. They haven't talked to their wives and girlfriends for long.

Imagine: able to taste and give all the comments within 1 minute of time, including all the clues that the wine give them and go through the thinking tree loud to conclude which wine that can be. That whole process are in front of 6 judges.
Only 1 exam per year. Every year, less than 10 our of the 200 applicants can pass this exam. Triumph for winners, tears for losers, they all have to attend the final celebration.

When you cry, you better cry when you pass this. As of today, there are less than 200 Master of Sommeliers. Dare to enter this devil of exam? How horrible? Watch it and you will know more.

Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival 2013

Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival has just come to an end. 

I have come across the chance to participate last Thursday. Here in a new venue - Central Promenade !
Not as spacious as West Kowloon Promenade, it's more convenient to many customers: businessmen from Central, tourist who can enjoy the ferry ride then the wine fair, tourists straight from airport to the festival. Easy! The concert chill area design is a lot nicer than previous years.

An increasing trend of 'dine' elements in this festival. Famous hotels and restaurants such as Chui Wah, Royal Hotel, Lucullus are present to showcase live cooking on their signature dishes which they think match the most with wines. Other boutique stores also take their chance to sell German Brats sausages, mussels and also parma hams. We are all impressed by the $40 pocket size ham. This wasn't a 5 pieces ham pocket, it's a 20+ pieces pocket! (I can't see the it refillable by itself?)

Icon of 'Wine' - On Friday, I received a couple of what's app asking which wine booth worth going. Which 1st growth 2nd growth Bordeaux wine from Tasting Pavillon worth buying. Generally speaking they only offer 10% discount, sometimes their own wine tasting / discount of the month is even worth buying than this. In Wine and Dine Festival, I am looking for refreshing daily drinking wine.

4 booths I would recommend:

1. Adelaide Cellar Door - They offer half of the booth for Peterson Vineyard. A bling bling rose and sparkling at $120 / $140. A lot of bling bling accessories such as wine stopper, champagne stopper, cooler pads. This is a paradise for girls.

2. Veritas - I've been there before. Good Tokaji place. Offering 5 to 6 puttoyons at $800. The 1999 6 puttoyons are more expensive than 1993. Vintage does matter.

3. AWSEC - They have the best wine offered. Mas la Pas, Rioja wine...2 tokens for $500 wine, 3 tokens for $1300 wine...worth it. When we were deciding which one to buy...they said they are not wine people, let's mark it done.

4. Granda's italian sauvignon blanc - the flowery taste swells for more than 10 minutes, seem it is planning to stay there forever. Only $160.

Side dish: The ham pocket - $40 with ham and services. How can I ask for more?

Looking forward to next year's Wine and Dine Festival~ (I hope there is no more stupid fences that I have to take a zigzag route...very dizzy.


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