The Bottle of Wine.
First, there is the selection. Even if you don’t know anything at all about wine, except that sometimes it’s red and sometimes it’s white, you’re already expressing a preference. From there, it’s easy to develop your preference to the point where a selection can be made. It’s important to keep in mind that this selection is not supposed to be a stressful experience; remember that, no matter what you end up getting, you’ll be drinking wine, which is always a good thing. Even more importantly, the wine you get is very likely to be palatable and interesting. It will help if you try to think of it less as a question of good wine vs. bad wine, and more as an exploration of different wines.
It seems like many people don’t find wine a subject worth studying. That’s fine, but remember that refinement of taste brings about greater pleasure. That’s where the idea of a connoisseur comes from. Contrary to what you might believe, it doesn’t take much to dramatically increase the pleasure wine can give. I’ve tried to synthesize here a few pieces of information that have been useful to me over the last few months, as I’ve gone from being a person who would only drink it if there wasn’t any whiskey around, to a person who can’t pass by a wine store without going in to browse. (Seriously, wandering in a decent wine store, armed with even a little information, is the same as wandering in a decent bookstore.)
Obviously, one of the key issues here is Continue reading
Today we will discuss how to get the most from your dining experience. It’s a difficult subject to explore, because everybody has different ideas and standards for what creates a positive experience. While there are certain factors—quality of the food, for instance—that are out of your control as a patron, you can maximize what a restaurant has to offer using a few basic principles. While this may sometimes—not always—result in spending more money, it will also, more often than not, dramatically increase your feeling of satisfaction. Continue reading
Posted in Adventures in Food and Drink, Cities, Drink, Fancy French Phrases, Food, imaginary landscapes, Loud Elation, New York City, Qualia, Quiet Elation, Smells, Uncategorized
Tagged Appetizers, Dessert, Maximizing Enjoyment, Rhapsodic Musings, Spending Money, Wine
After eating so well in Kuala Lumpur, we headed north for Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Zach and I arrived on a rainy evening, and the next day was rainy as well, but we tried to do some touristy things and walk around the city anyway.
We gave up after an hour. We were hungry. In the spirit of the Adventures in Food and Drink series, we knew we certainly weren’t going to eat wimpy western food.
There have been many adventures in food and drink recently. Zach showed up to the Philippines and ate his first balut.
In Abra province, we ate smoked wild boar, little shark fishes, and pinikpikan.
We went to Chinatown in Binondo, Manila, Philippines, and gorged ourselves on different dimsum options. Shark fin, hakaw, chicken feet — things we can’t even name.
Later that same day, we flew to Kuala Lumpur and arrived at 2 a.m. to the city center. We had put off dinner, then got stuck at the airport with no reasonably priced options, on a flight with no food, and then at the airport with only McDonald’s open. Luckily, we arrived near Sri Paandi.
We’re now older, less good-looking, and more grizzled, but as enthusiastic as ever.
We’ll be taking on Southeast Asia for two and a half months. Zach Bryant and I will be traveling the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong and Macau, and possibly others depending on time and visa restrictions.
Readership, fasten your seatbelts — it’ll be a crazy ride. The next few months will have more pictures, more poems, more Adventures in Food and Drink, and more nonsense than before. I might be able to convince Zach to write a story or two on here as well as a guest blogger.
As soon as we figure out how to Twitter from Southeast Asia, we’ll have microblogging of the journey and you can play along at home and save us from bad guys and foreign governments.
Posted in Poems, Fancy French Phrases, Crazy Ideas, Drink, Coffee, Nature, Sunrise, Boats, Deserted Islands, Quiet Elation, Cities, Photography, Concentric Circles, car rides, Qualia, Loud Elation, Karaoke Whorehouses, Poetry Process, imaginary landscapes, Psychotic Behavior, Adventures in Food and Drink, dream loading station, What is Meaning?, Sunset, The Good and The Bad, Faustian Pacts, Travel
Oh hey! It’s so good to see you. You look fantastic, did you get taller? I dig those shoes. So anyway, have you met the michelada? I think you two might really hit it off. Michelada’s kicky, but chill, too. And full of surprises!
In a cocktail party situation, I might introduce the delicious Mexican drink michelada thusly. Then I’d try to excuse myself subtly while you two chatted it up, and go hide my cell phone from myself in order to avoid drunk texting mistakes later, because I’d have had several beers by that point, and then I’d probably fall asleep somewhere because I’m a narcoleptic. But that’s another story! The point of this post is, micheladas are such a refreshing warm-weather beverage. And to enjoy them, all you need is cold beer, coarse salt, some limes, and–most importantly–Valentina Salsa Picante. (Wikipedia notes that there are as many different types of micheladas under the sun as there are Saved by the Bell spin-offs, the most popular of which also has tomato juice. This post just deals with the type I had last night, which makes for a lighter and less cocktail-y michelada alternative–more like beer getting bored and dying its hair than a Bloody Mary relative–but I’m sure they’re all worthy drinks.) Continue reading
Fair Warning: This post will offend some of our readership with delicate and/or vegetarian sensibilities. It’ll offend people with normal sensibilities. Hell, this post offends me. The immoral fourth edition of Adventures in Food and Drink continues after the jump. Enter at your own risk. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
In this, the third and latest installment of Adventures in Food and Drink, we examine the balut egg. In the Philippines, this innocent-looking duck egg is a popular street food, and in our ‘hood we can hear the distinctive call of the balut salesman at all hours. It starts on a medium tone for “Ba” then crescendos and raises in pitch for the extended “luuut!” You — and many Filipinos — come running from your home to eat some balut.
So you talk with the balut salesman, who probably is riding a bike with a big metal pot attached to it, and realize that you aren’t going to get a better deal than 12 pesos an egg — the salesman pockets a peso in profit from the deal. This ends up being about a quarter per egg, and each egg comes with some salt and vinegar to pour into your egg when you open it. But what’s inside is not a normal hardboiled egg. Skip past the jump to find out what’s inside the prized Easter egg. Continue reading