One of the things about moving to a completely new country is that it totally shifts your perceptions, expectations, tolerance levels and subjectivity. It’s a strange feeling, especially when you have high standards. For a wine lover living in KL this presents a conundrum.
Having moved into our amazing new apartment, a sort of Xanadu-come-Avatar condo development in trendy Bangsar (sorry, Bukit Bandaraya to give it its posh name) we are slowly settling into a sort of alternate universe.
Ok, so some things don’t change….. cue head banging on the table at internet speeds and the feeling of stress as you hit traffic on the way to a meeting….but other things, things that you actually care about, do.
Wine – something that I lament leaving behind, and dreaded contemplating in Malaysia, is one of those things. As we take our first tentative steps in our new life, we have sought stability, seeking out places that feel familiar, experimenting with bars and eateries. And so it is that we have drunk a fair bit of overpriced and distinctly average wine. But the surroundings, and more importantly the company (the only real company being my wife for now) – the essence of Sozzl’d – make it palatable. No, scrap that they make it great.
In a land of plenty – the UK – one can afford to be choosey. Indeed, having spent hard-earned cash on a WSET qualification one can’t afford not to be! But in Malaysia, where the denominator is lower, choosiness and good taste is a virtue one cannot justifiably wallow in. Only those with deeper wallets can and do.
On our first night here, we relaxed with a bottle of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from Michael who owns a tiny grocery store in our condo. The label gave itelf up immediately, in handcuffs, without even protesting. It was a bit of a shocker – balance terrible, more like an dull chardonnay than S.B, I could barely make out any fruit flavours of interest and I puckered-up on each sip. But then a sort of hazy philosophy took hold. Here we were, on the 19th floor – a view of the city in both directions. Trees. Mosque calling for prayer time. Swifts shreaking and dive bombing.
I forgot the wine and enjoyed the moment.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that good taste goes out of the window – you won’t see “Dogs playing Poker” hanging in our living room, or hear the soft-porn sounds of Kenny G lulling me to sleep, I just think there are times for the good, the bad and also the ugly, and this was one of them.