Bangkok by Way of Argentina   Leave a comment

ThailandIt’s just another Saturday night– in Bangkok.

How did I end up here?  I am here on business.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun, eh?

Now, the worst part of business travel is that you travel alone.  Of course you meet up with your business contacts when you get there, but there is always down time when you are completely on your own and you wish you had someone to share certain experiences with.  The best part of business travel is that you travel alone because those moments of solitude that you have in a foreign land are a luxury of introspection– navel gazing.  Still, towards the end of my trips, I definitely look forward to returning home.   

Which brings me to the difficulties I experienced this past week, as I was preparing for this longish work trip to Asia, away from loved ones, home and cellar.  I am told that Jake, the wonder-dog, goes into a depression when I am away on these trips.  Usually, he knows that I am leaving because of all the unusual packing activity that goes on.  Having memorized my daily routine and, being a creature of habit, he knows that something is up when the big suitcase emerges from the closet.  This time, we thought to spare the poor S.O.B. the trauma and made sure that he was not present at home when packing commenced.  We’ll see if he catches on after I have been away for a few days.  He’s a smart boy– so I expect after a week or so, it will dawn on him… “Hey, where is Alpha Dog?”

While this voyage will take me to several countries, that’s not to say that I will do without wine.  Thailand has not traditionally been known for wine, but that seems to have changed in the past 3 years or so as more Thais have gained affluence and as the wine world shrinks as it becomes more globalised and as Asians, including Thais, have acquired a taste for the good stuff.  In fact, it seems that there are some vineyards here in Thailand, as reported in the Weekend FT, by Jancis R (“old hat” she calls them– hah!).  A number of wine bars have opened up in Thailand in the past few years and I have identified a few places that I know will ensure me of a refreshing libation or two.   Earlier in the week as I was preparing for this trip, in a bon voyage of sorts, we had a little gathering at the house.  I decided to serve a humble Malbec from a great producer.  We had some soft duck tacos that I served with a mixed berry pasilla chile sauce.  I’m a sucker for the hot and sweet flavors that I manage to draw out of this sauce and it paired gorgeously with the duck and the Malbec. 

The Malbec, from Achaval Ferrer, is not one of their more expensive single vineyard designates.  But no matter.  It spoke with a clear voice that night– “Come back soon!”. 

Achaval Ferrer Malbec 2010 ($16).  Very approachable Malbec from one of Mendoza Argentina’s premier producers.  Cherry essence on the palate wraps its legs around an herbal nose.  Balanced by satisfying tannins and discrete acidity on the ample finish.  Drink this now or wait 2-3 years– your choice– it’s all good.  Rated **1/2

Business travel is not like being on vacation.  There are objectives to be met.  Tasks to be started, accomplished, advanced and completed.  And the time is limited.  And there is the jet lag thing– which is why I’m here on Saturday.  We wouldn’t want to be dozing off during a meeting with the Regional Vice President of Operations on Monday morning, would we?  So having just arrived after an almost 20 hour trip, I am opting for a workout in the hotel gym followed by the refreshing calming, quiet of my hotel room. 

I will have Sunday to play.

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Posted April 21, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love

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