The wine tasting last night was super fun and DELICIOUS.
After work I went with a bunch of the high school teachers out for sushi again. I feel a bit bad whenever I hang out with them because try as I might to follow the conversation, one of them usually has to translate a lot for me. I feel like a social burden. Bah. After dinner, the principle drove me to the subway so I wouldn't have to wait for the bus.
I found the restaurant without much trouble and then stood around for a few minutes before the woman organizing the event saw me looking lost and confused by the door. The setting was really cool. A high, rectangular bar table off in a private room. The opened up a bottle of wine for those who were there early, so we sipped on white wine and chatted. Everyone I met was really nice. The standard greeting to another expat seems to be: "So how long have you been here?" There were severe differences in how long people had been in Shanghai. Hannah, the person organizing the event, has been in China for 7 years. Heather (I think that was her name?) actually arrived two days after me.
I was a bit worried about how serious this was going to be since at each setting there was a sheet of paper with things like "Nose, Body, Color, etc" and room for you to write down your comments. Considering the only wine tasting I've really done before was the "Hey! This is how you do a wine tasting!" in my senior year of college, I was afraid of looking like a total wine n00b. In actuality, most of the people around me had never been to a wine tasting either. Alicia, the woman sitting to my right, actually started up a list of wine "buzz words" on the back of her sheet of paper and checked them off if people said them. Those sitting around her made suggestions. My contributions to the list were delicate, subtle, delightful and tangy. We had fun mixing and matching them to come up with the snobbiest comment. Ex: It starts with a warm, spicy oak flavor, with delicate tangy fruit undertones.
The wine itself was very good. After the initial white wine, the rest were all reds. I usually prefer white, but I liked everything I tried. And the food was AMAZING. I only took a picture of the first red wine and the first dish of food. I didn't want to be weird taking pictures all night. The only thing I remember about the first wine is that it was a merlot. The food paired with it was all fish. Yum.
Look at the fancy schmany servings with that delicate dollop of sauce and the tiny lemon wedge. It was all so tasty. The second dish of food included a stuffed cherry tomato, a tiny slice of quiche, and some spicy beef on a teeny skewer (I'm not complaining about the proportions, I just thought everything was so cute). The third dish and fourth dish was marinated artichoke heart, olives, three different cheeses with a sprinkling of walnuts, curried pear jam, bread and butter, and a collection of sliced meats that included prochuttio (is that spelled right?), turkey, italian sausage and something else that I'm forgetting. Everything tasted SO GOOD. I had never had cheese with walnuts before and it was probably my favorite thing I ate that evening. If you have never mixed walnuts and cheese, you should go do that right now. The wines were all good. I remember liking the third one best, but since I didn't write down any comments about it, I don't remember why!
I took the subway back to PuDong and then took a cab since it was 11:30. It was a late night and I am pretty tired right now, but it was definitely worth it. I'll probably take a nap this afternoon for a recharge.
I told the people sitting next to me (whose company I enjoyed immensely) to look me up on facebook. Hopefully I will be seeing them again.
I need to get to class now!