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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Post-Hoc Wine Tasting and General Good Day

From: "andrew cooke" <andrew@...>

Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 15:42:00 -0400 (CLT)

I was at the supermarket looking for a wine to have with lunch (bacon
sandwiches).  Wanted something with a bit more body than the cheap Shiraz
I had at home, so bought Cousiño Macul's Don Luis - their cheapest, and
perhaps not the best value at that price bracket, but it was on offer,
it's reliable, and after visiting their winery a couple of times I think
they're one of the places I'd rather send my money (Chilean wine is
notorious for being run by rich families on the right - I have no idea
what CM's politics are, but I've not heard anything bad about them and
they seem to be aiming more for good quality small production than world
domination).

Anyway, getting sidetracked.  Paid (without thinking much), came home,
opened the bottle, poured myself a glass, started to cook, took a sip, and
several bunches of grapes came in my mouth.

Well, not literally, but it was like "my God".  My first thought was "I
must go back and buy the remaining bottles".  My next was "hang on, how
much did I pay at the checkout?".

It helps at this point to know that Cousiño Macul use similar labelling
across all their wines.  It helps, because then it doesn't seem quite so
stupid of me to have bought the Don Matias, at about twice the price.  Now
this is still less than 4 pounds (8 dollars), but at this price range it's
"common knowledge" that you Get What You Pay For.  A doubling of price
comes with a commensurate increase in quality (the curve flattens out soon
afterwards).

So, apart from me screwing up, what is interesting here?

Well, I stopped drinking $4000 level wine because (1) I'm cheap and (2) I
wasn't convinced it was worth it.  I have maybe a dozen bottles, still,
from my subscription to the CAV wine club at around this price point, and
I am disillusioned every time I open one.  Most of the time I buy cheaper
wine at the supermarket - the CAV bottles I save for when we have visitors
(so we don't look as cheap as we are).

So what's happening?  There are two explanations I think.  One is that the
2006 CM Don Matias may just rock.  This is probably partly true.  CM have,
as I said, got their act together.  And I tend to prefer younger wines
(boy, it was fruity!).  The other is that it's *so* difficult to separate
experience from expectations.  My negative vibes associated with the CAV
(a bunch of elitist wankers whose monthly magazine makes any sane
inhabitant of Chile want to bomb Las Condes et al flat) are clearly
ruining my wine.  When I approach this level of wine without prejudice it
really is worth the money.

Hmmm.


Anyway, today has been a good day.  Spent the morning doing what I should
do more often - walking through Santiago with a big pair o'cans on my
head, feeling completely alien, and not giving a fuck.  There were a
couple of very neat by-chance segues (a word that was cool until nerds
built that two wheel POS) from Gianluca Petrella (who has a "cover" of
Groove Armada's Lazy Moon which I would kill several small cute furry
animals for) to Mexican Institute of Sound (or possibly Nortec
Collective).  Even Jorge Drexler sounded good (he is good - especially if
you listen to the lyrics - I wish more latin american "male singer with
guitar"s would push the envelope like he does).

And I even did the whole capitalist thing and bought some crap (couple of
shirts and an acid green sweater).

Yay for life,
Andrew

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