One month after returning from Hong Kong and Korea, and I have finally recovered.
Since September, the pace has been non stop. The force behind the struggle was showcasing at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair Nov 4-5-6., where for the first time I poured wine as a Crosbie Companie, USA Wine Exporter. 4 wineries contributed wines to the cause, and I joined 7 other small wineries under the Wines of California Pavilion. One three of the eight knew what they there doing, the rest were figuring it out along the way.
The wine show was so much fun, as was meeting so many people and going out afterwards to see different parts of Hong Kong Island – Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Central, LAN KWAI FONG!. During the three day wine show, I met dozens of importers, wine buyers, wine drinkers, and fellow wine exporters. It is possible I was the newest, and youngest, wine exporter there. I think I did pretty well throughout the event and even if I was a little behind some of the others, the people really liked my wine.
Saturday, the last day, was chaotic and full of consumers, selling bottles, and giving away samples and extra bottles. It was hectic. That night, my good friend Bernie, and I met up with two young importers who invited us out to Central District and the densely packed Lan Kwai Fong streets. We partied our butts off. So much food and drinks and late night dancing. Not even a couple of hours in to the night, I realized how impressive this whole region is.
Hong Kong was such an experience, and I am certainly attracted to the big cities and the busy lifestyle. It surprised me how little I slept, but how I was able to keep going during the day. That momentum was a combination of adrenaline, fear, and excitement. Everything!: Planes, airports, subways, eateries, wine bars, stores, fashion, restaurants, late night, clubs. It was all so different. Hong Kong is one of the free-est, busiest cities on the planet. Although I had been to several large cities, this Asian hub was different and incredible.
After the madness rescinded, I barely made my flight to South Korea when in the security line they discovered I had all of my wine keys in my carry-on. DANG! I forgot to put them in my large checked bag, and I lost 4 of my favorite wine opens in about two minutes. Getting out of HK and into a comfortable bed in Korea couldn’t have happened faster. But what was I thinking… Why would Seoul be any different?
I landed at night and was escorted by non-other, mac-daddy him, my good friend Bernie. He flew back from Hong Kong to him in Seoul the previous day, and we proceeded to drink and eat all night. Nothing too crazy or out of hand. Just hanging out late with friends, e.a.t.i.n.g. and d.r.i.n.k.i.n.g. The food and drink culture was awesome. We drank Soju, wine, lite beer, dark beer, whiskey. We ate beef wraps, kimchee, egg fried vegetables, 3 kinds of chicken, and coffee. If you know me, I love eating and drinking new things and I loved all of it.
The trip finished with a hungover wine lesson at Bernie’s language academy (where he is an instructor), an impromptu meeting with the Ag Trade Office in Soeul, and sprinting to the airport for my second near-miss flight in 28 hours. I don’t remember the flight home, but it was the only time I’ve slept on a plane AND had my own row.
Best 8 days ever = 4 weeks of recovery time. Now we turn on the wine sales charm. 😉 Cheers!