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I attended my biggest wine event to date at the 11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme held last November 11, 2011 with my official function as a sommelier.

And though everyone but my grandmother was posting the date 11.11.11 on all the social media sites and its supposedly “luck” and “significance”, I did not win an awesome prize at the event like business class tickets to Europe or to the West Coast. Nevertheless, I had a grand time, and yes, I was sober.

My kind wine supplier gave us invitations and luckily, that night was not busy at the restaurant so we head out there early, just on time, even with the traffic.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

By the time I got there, there were tons of people already, mostly men (older), and I was already one of the youngest.

I’m glad I was appropriately dressed in the said “business attire”. I even got compliments at work but those pumps are a pain when you have stand around for hours. How would I know that I would stay on until midnight? I was scheduled to leave at 8 PM. I got there at 6 PM. So yeah, 6 hours of standing.

I’m going to confess and say that my taste buds were drowned that night, what with the overwhelming selection of wine and food. Do I start with the cheese? the champagne? the sauvignon blanc? The rose? or all of the above?

I started with a Cava because I have not had a Cava in a while.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

I didn’t expect it to be so….well, dry. I didn’t recall the other Cavas I had to be that way. But that didn’t mean I didn’t like it.

I poured the rest out onto the spittoon (because I wanted to stay sober for more than 2 hours) and then attacked the chocolate buffet table starting with the chocolate strawberries and the macaroon tree.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

And then took a bunch more photos of wine in between tasting them…

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

Then I noticed the guy covered in chocolate.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

So I had to ask him if the chocolate was hot (he said no) and that it was just really gross and sticky.
Too bad dogs are allergic to chocolate. Would have been fun to have my dogs lick his face.

Then I attacked the cheese the charcuterie….

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

I must say, I really liked that blue goat cheese. I went back for it several times. Crumbly, light, creamy in the mouth, not too strong and stinky, but just awesome with red wine.

I proceeded to attack the Chilean wines (which was nearest the cheese).

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

I really liked the Marques Casa Concha Pinot Noir. Really fruity, good body, balanced, enjoyable.

The Principal told me that it’s not available yet in the local market but is available in Singapore. They are still introducing it to the market and they just flew in 3 bottles.

Then I walked around and the giant paella pan caught my attention.

IT WAS HUGE. I could swim in that paella pan. It was easily 40 inches (or maybe more?). I’m pretty bad at measurements. Everyone was crowding around it. I peppered the cook questions about how they made it, how long it took (4 hours) and how many batches (that was the first batch).

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

The paella could have used more saffron and the rice was a little bit dry, but I still attacked it anyway.

In fact, I went back three times.

I also went for the fresh seafood although I did not touch the sushi and sashimi.

The mussels were amazing and fresh and were accompanied by flavorful sauces and salsas.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

And then…off for more wine…

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

Took a photo of the Ports though I did not drink any. I’m not a big fan of Ports.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

Had a few French wines….

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

Before ending with the Moet et Chandon Rose. I’m glad I ended with this one. I truly enjoyed this Rose.

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

Then I headed for the roast beef and the duck,

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

11th Grand Wine Experience Extreme

where I bumped into my Cachaca supplier. Of course, I had a caipirinha!

I did not take a photo of it because my hands were full and I drank it fast.

I got some water and took a seat but it was right in front of the Bacardi booth so my supplier gave me some Bacardi Apple.

At which point, my chief boss arrived which ended my drinking spree.

We were handed out invites by a friend to the Moet et Chandon event at Opus but I really didn’t want to battle it out in Opus on a Friday night but thank you friend, you know who you are.

And that’s it.

See, my taste buds were shot due to smorgasbord of flavors so my tasting notes are also shot.

Next year, I won’t be bringing a bag, but a voice recorder (to record my impressions) and of course, my camera.

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