Wine, hawker food and avian flu
Last night I met up with chums again for a rather unusual wine dinner. On a rather steamy Singapore evening we headed off to the bustling Adam Road hawker centre with bottles, ice bucket and glasses. It made for a strange sight, I'm sure. This particular hawker centre consists of a large circular seating area, fringed at its perimeter by a profusion of small food stalls. You grab some food, grab a seat and eat.
We drank an expressive Schloss Johannisberg Riesling, a soft, almost ethereal German Gerwurztraminer, and bold, pithy Domane Wachau Riesling Smaragd and a Vasse Felix Cabernet Merlot (which I was rather proud to have spotted as a Margaret River Cabernet blind).
Today I'm in a conference on 'Novel and re-emerging respiratory viral diseases at the beginning of the 21st century'. That's bird flu and SARS among others. 25 of the world's leading experts in the field are gathered from the four corners of the globe, half the time is alloted for discussion, and then I go away with the tapes and produce a book from it. Usually, by the time I've finished the book, I have some understanding of what was going on during the meeting itself. I do eight of these books a year; it's my other life - what I do when I'm not writing about wine. However, after 15 years of learning a great deal on a range of biomedical topics, plus a smidgeon of psychology, some agriculture and even a bit of environmental statistics, it looks like my editing days may be drawing to an end, later this year. Now when I can concentrate all my energies on wine, I'd like to think I could achieve something.