Warnings in September 2013

So I moved here years ago. It was hot. My first dorm room, I remember, had a fan like the one in Apocalypse Now. I sweat through my bamboo mat bed. The horror…the horror… My first real apartment was cool, despite the water heater breaking. In the winter, I had to heat the water on the stove to wash myself. It was cool. Then I got one of the first apartments in town outside of the area designated for foreigners. Yes, back then, foreigners could only stay in certain hotels or apartments, and I was one of the first to get a place after that rule changed. The guy ripped me off. It was very sparsely furnished. My roommate and I found another place, a steal at 1,100RMB/month. It was perfect, except for the wood sofa. As landlords became more and more willing to rent to foreigners, I eventually found a place with a padded couch. I got a better job, decided to move up in the world, and rented my first and last villa. Outside that villa there was a sidewalk made of those old grey bricks we used to see lying around on the sides of the roads. Every now and then I go back there to see how my Japanese Maple is doing. I spent a couple months on a friend’s living room floor before finding the best apartment I’ve ever had. It was the top floor of a two story apartment the owner had made into two separate places. I had it renovated to my exact needs. And after all of the work making that joint my own, the owner decided she wanted to move back in. It broke my heart. So when I got another “maopei” place, I refused to do more than the most basic renovations. I didn’t even have a shower in the bathroom, so I had to go to the gym every day, which I didn’t do, so I smelled a lot. I also hated taking taxis to work, so I found a place just across the street from my office. It was basically a cave, cheap but dark, so when my daughter came along it was time for another place.

I could stand living in a cave, but I couldn’t subject my daughter to Neanderthal life. Then that landlord’s own daughter got married and kicked us out so that she could move back in, and we hit the road once more. This time, I went through one of those real estate places that are everywhere now, and we brokered a neat place just above Starbucks. Alright, that sounds cheesy, but it did come in handy. She raised the rent, so we moved again just into the building next door because we were getting used to the neighborhood, until recently when we had to move closer to our daughter’s kindergarten. This’ll be my thirteenth place, and I’m thinking of disabling the shower. That way, I might get into shape again.

By Tim Hoerle

Wolf Blass – Eaglehawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2011

One of the most widely grown grapes is Cabernet Sauvignon. Its popularity is attributed to its ease of cultivation; the grapes have thick skins and the vines are hardy and resistant to rot and frost.

When Wolf Blass immigrated to Australia in 1961 he drew much inspiration from the grace and fortitude of the native South Australian eaglehawk. In 1966 when Wolf Blass began establishing his own winery he named it Bilyara, the aboriginal word for eaglehawk, Eaglehawk Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent example of the Wolf Blass house style of flavorful, well balanced wines, with an approachable red wine experience for everyday enjoyment.

The Cabernet Sauvignon was from vineyard sites selected by the Wolf Blass winemaking team on the basis of quality fruit and excellent flavor profile. Following the harvest, grapes were gently pushed through rollers to split the berries and release juices. Following inoculation with selected yeasts, the fermented must is pumped through a press to separate juices from skins. After fermentation, the wine is matured in a combination of tank and seasoned French and American oak. The wine is then racked and fined prior to assembling into the finished wine.

The 2011 vintage was challenging due to high summer rainfall and a cool growing season throughout South Australia. Wolf Blass was very careful with vineyard selection which was crucial in maintaining quality. The cooler conditions acted to maintain excellent acid levels in the wine as well as create bright, vibrant wines.

The Eaglehawk is ruby red with crimson hues and displays attractive spice, mint and berry fruit aromas with a hint of oak. There are also fruit characters of cherries and dark currant, spiced plum and a hint of licorice. Solid tannins and velvety mouthfeel, the rich full palate and generous fruit continue all the way through to a lingering finish. Enjoy with duck confit, grilled meats or roasted vegetable pie.

Wolf Blass Eaglehawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is available by the glass and bottle at the Oak Bar in the Oakwood Hangzhou. Until next time, more wine please.