The adventures of a wine connoisseur

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‘I don’t like reds’ I told Katie and then had another sip of my fancy drink. The second time was no better.

I think it’s called the law of diminishing returns. It’s the idea that each added unit of a good will produce less utility than the previous one. In plain English it means that the first £100 are amazing and mean that you won’t starve today but if you’re raking in £100,000 then another £100 means nothing to you.

However, the opposite is true when it comes to alcohol. It gets better and better the more you consume it. That wasn’t the case with the reds. And I tried a couple of them. I went to Georgia, Turkey, Chili, New Zealand, Argentina etc. They were all awful.

At Vinopolis they have this app you can use to figure out what your taste profile is. The bro-science behind it suggests that my preference for flavors is “Rich and Rounded”. Naturally, I put that hypothesis to the test and quickly found myself in front of the rich and rounded wines.

Just like that hot blond girl taught us, I figured I need to do my wine-tasting properly. So I did the stirring, the smelling, the evil eye and the slurping. I think I was quite good at the evil eye – a natural one might say. For the ones who don’t know that’s when you look at the wine in the glass and pretend to look for a hidden treasure, once you find it, you do an “aha” face and drink that shiraz like a pro. It was quite entertaining really.

The thing I sucked at was slurping. Bits of wine managed to travel down my throat whilst I was looking stupid and then suppressing the cough-reflex. Not my cup of tea. It looks easy but it takes many years of practice to perfect.

Germany. I love Germany. The wines which used Gewürztraminer (Roter Traminer) grapes were amazing! This shouldn’t be a surprise though because the Germans know their beer. They also know how to make some proper wine. The game changer here was color as well. The whites were so much better.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the white wines were just as rubbish as the reds. My favourite is the Paulinshof, Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett 2014.

Paulinshof

Clearly because 2014 was a good year and the vintage was wicked.

BroTip. They had a bunch of staff there as well who were keen to answer any questions and suggest wines for us to try. Every now and then they’d walk up to you with one or two wine bottles and ask you if you’ve tried these. You of course need to say ‘no, but I’d love to’, to maximize the amount of fancy wine per hour ratio. It was amazing!

The advisers were keen on popping some corks (there was five of us altogether). So we finished with the wines and decided to hit the champagne bar. We were a bit tipsy already and the champagne did its magic from zero to sixty in three point five. We had such a good time!

By the way Vinopolis is closing down some time in December this year. Rumor says they will have fancy wine at massive discounts towards the end of the year. Go check it out.

A kid gets stabbed, dies and I make a puppet Hitler, how was your weekend?

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I did not know what I signed up for. Things were so slow to start… and there I was – worried I’d be late.

I was late, but that’s not the point because lateness was figured into the starting time of the workshop. So I guess I did the rational thing? Maximizing my utility like a pro (my fellow folks of supply and demand will understand).

There was a time I used to take pride in the fact that I’m always punctual and never too early nor late to anything. That’s  changed. I blame Australia, I blame the tube, my naïve optimism and everyone else except me.

It’s been almost two years in the UK and I should know better. The tube is a slow rat-infested antiquated form of transportation. If I only knew how to take a bus my life would be so much better.

I followed the other kids and last Sunday was the first time I took a bus in London over the last 2 years. I’ve successfully avoided it like the plague. Mostly because of my fear of getting lost, raped and murdered in London (not necessarily in that order).

Speaking of murder, one kid was stabbed not too far from where I live. It was in the news and everything. Some kid wanted to steal the other kid’s bike. Stabbed him and the cyclist died about 15 minutes later. Helmets don’t make cycling any safer after all. Welcome to London!

We were stretching and patting/petting/massaging our muscles. I was definitely weirded out, but hey I paid for the class and had to get my money’s worth (also a thing which has changed over the years). It was a workshop about improvising in dance. I struggled through some of the things because I’m a very shy and reserved person. One could even say cultural. All what’s missing is a monocle and a top-hat.

After a while the class got better, much better. Maybe that’s just me as it takes me a while to warm up to pretty much anything… but I admit parts of the class were fun. In one exercise I was the puppet-master and guided my puppet (other person) into the classic Hitler pose – one arm in the “Heil Hitler” position and the other one making a mustache. I crack myself up.

Oh… what’s the deal with stretching? I’ve done a bit of homework and found out that stretching does fuck all. It doesn’t make you any less likely to injure yourself or on the other hand it also doesn’t cause injury (it does NOTHING). Also, being flexible is a useless superpower – nobody will give you a medal if you can put your leg behind your head. I think it’s one of those things people invented to look busy when they actually aren’t. No different from checking your phone when you’re in a room full of strangers and too chicken to talk to anybody.

I learned a few new things and put them to the test a few hours later – there was a zouk party a bunch of us went to afterwards. I think the dancing got much more interesting and creative with the improvised elements in it. The party was a good way to end the week.

I hope you had a good day and that nobody got stabbed.

Hugs and kisses,

Ivar

contact improvisation (1)

Wild wild west

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I had the AF5 (Financial Planning Practice) exam today. This is the last advanced level exam I need to pass to get the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. I’ll get the results in 2 months (11 December). I think this wasn’t my best today but I’m hoping for a pass anyway.

Just two weeks ago I took 2 multiple choice question (MCQ) exams, which were much easier than today’s exam. I was a bit overconfident with these exams and did very little studying. However I managed to pass both. I’m a pro after all. I needed 35 points to pass and I got exactly 35 points in one of the exams. The second one was piss-easy and I think I scored 90%. Getting that 35 point pass felt really good. It’s as if I looked into the eye of death and shouted at the top of my lungs ‘NOT TODAY. NOT. TODAY.” and continued to ride my horse into the wild-wild west sunset.

cowboy-sunset

October started out really well. I got a letter from Virgin Money which said I was one of the lucky ones to secure a public ballot place in the 2016 London Marathon. Awwww yeaaaaah!!!! That made my day. The marathon is in April 2016 and has been on my bucket list for a few years. Hopefully I’ll break 3:07:59 or even 3 hours. I’m very excited.

 

OK, gotta head out. My zouk class is about to start…