I’m in Texas. First time for me. I’m here for Texsom, which is a really important conference in the north American wine scene. I’m here to conduct a 3 hour tasting of aged South African wines, which will be taking place in just over an hour’s time. I’ve been up since 4 am working on my presentation, and now it’s time to get a bit of a feed and some coffee.
I flew in yesterday, but the weather here is weird. It’s like 100 degrees (100 always sounds better than the Centigrade equivalent, which I’m guessing is about 40?), yet it’s cloudy and stormy, and humid as hell (or would hell be dry heat, with all that burning sulfur?). As we approached Dallas, we were forced to divert by apocalyptic thunderstorms. We landed at Houston, then headed back to Dallas an hour later, only to circle and circle waiting for a gap in the BIG WEATHER. Eventually we landed. Too much drama.
Everything is big here. The weather. The cars. My room at the Four Seasons. Portion sizes.
I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of new people over the next few days. I’ve signed up for lots of seminars: tomorrow I have sparkling wines, the history of coffee, and comparing and contrasting Pfalz and Alsace. Then on Monday I go to sessions on Chenin Blanc, the lineage of the Pilsner (beer), and coastal qualities of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There will also be lunches and dinners.
I love that the organisers have made it clear to speakers that you are to mingle, muck in, and generally be super available to all attendees. Truth is, I’m going to get a lot more from this than any attendees will. I’m just a dude who loves wine, loves to travel, asks too many questions and is a bit geeky. I’m thrilled to be here.