Author: Namie

Tbilisi New Wine festival

Foodie Guide to Tbilisi, Georgia

With the current travel restrictions, reading about travel would only make you even more itchy to travel. It certainly did while I was sorting out the photos from my trips to Burgundy and Tbilisi last spring. Tbilisi is one of my go-to destinations for food and I look for every opportunity to go and appease my cravings. As I celebrated my birthday last week with Georgian wine, I thought I’d write about the trip to refresh my memory, having hubby relieving me from child care thanks to the 4-day lockdown. It was my first glass of wine since the delivery and I was literally ecstatic to have it with Roquefort, which I fought hard not to eat throughout my pregnancy since raw milk cheese was forbidden. Wine while breastfeeding? It’s perfectly ok as long as you drink sensibly after the last feed. Unlike the spontaneous first trip back in 2014, I got some recommendations from a foodie friend, who is crazy about Georgian cuisine and  has a local friend in Tbilisi. I tried to make …

Turkish food, caul fat

Happy Mother’s Day and Postpartum in Lockdown

Hello folks, it’s been a very long time. Too many things have happened over the past year for me to even recount everything. Last year I was fully committed to wine making and WSET diploma and, as if they weren’t challenging enough, I decided to have a baby and carried her through the harvest. I thought I could take advantage of the super sense of smell on the tasting exams, which didn’t quite work out. However, it was proven quite useful when I was sniffing the fermenting wines and during the blending process of 2016 vintage. If my baby grows up to be a wine girl, no surprises there! My pregnancy was smooth and I quite enjoyed tucking into sucuk, kebab, katmar, kunefe and all other naughty desserts that I didn’t used to eat without feeling guilty. My cravings were for fatty and spicy food, and hubby drove to Istanbul and Izmir to provide me with the best croissants in Turkey. After 40 weeks, however, I started to get frustrated, not having any signs of …

bone soup

Oxtail Soup: Natural Healing and Immune Booster for Winter

The second half of 2018 has flown by while I was lost in the vine and exam. What a remarkable year it has been, with many new opportunities and challenges thrown at me… all at once… I’ve muddled through somehow, despite some physical and mental hurts. Now that all wines are resting after pressing, it’s time for me to heal my burnt-out self with this soulful soup and prepare for the next rounds. You might think I’m being overly dramatic but surely, being responsible for an entire harvest for the first time is a full emotional ride. However, it has been such an enriching experience and I’m so glad that I was given the chance, even though, as they say, precious things come with a price. The price of not being able to share everyday moments with my family was one, but the bigger price was not being able to write for my blog or study for my WSET exam. I really missed the joy of writing and of course, cooking. December is a festive month …

Akitu NZ Pinot Noir

London Wine Scene: Amazing NZ Pinot Noir Tastings, Denbies Wine Estate

It’s too hot to cook! These days I’m living on watermelon, cheese and ice cream, and occasional BBQ picnic. So, to fill the gap, I thought I’d write up a post about my experience while I’m still savouring in my mouth the flavours of delicious Indian, Thai, Italian, Spanish, French, Hawaiian food I scoffed down, while drinking copious amount of wine around the busy London city. First, I’ll start with my exam, because I know so many people are curious about it. The first classroom day was exciting to finally confirm that the fellow students, whose names appear at random online, were human not computer-generated avatars. After the exam and a short break, tasting workshops started and we evaluated a series of wines according to SAT (systemic approach to tasting). I really need to give credit to Chris, my level 3 instructor, for the very helpful SAT sheet he created. The students at my table rushed to take a photo of! A lot more emphasis was put on assessing the quality of each wine compared …

globe zucchini

Stuffed Globe Courgettes: Turkish Red Pepper Paste and Siyez(Spelt) Wheat

I’m sorry for having been slack in blogging. In case you’ve been wondering… When you read this, I’ll be on the plane to or already in London for my first WSET Dip exam. Juggling work and study has been quite a task. So I thought I’d go a bit early to give myself a few days to cram. I hope all the wines to try AND the world cup won’t be too distracting! Last month, I went on a spontaneous road trip, which combined many celebrations into one: hitting the 40s bracket, friendship, new adventures, etc. Gosh, what an ecstatic holiday it was! I struggled quite a bit trying to get back to the grind after such a long crazy holiday with endless eating and drinking. But it was well deserved and that’s what life is about: being happy. A fabulous boat trip and swim in Bodrum and an unplanned catch-up with an old friend in Cappadocia… I came home with such lovely memories that I wished I could have been a full time traveller. By the way, …

fava purslane salad

Spring Pick-Me-Up Food: Artichoke, Fava Beans, Purlane

Hello! I’ve been so swamped by study lately due to the crazy commitment I’d taken. The WSET Diploma is far more challenging than I’d thought, demanding a lot of my time. I hope it’ll get a bit easier as the course progresses and I get a better handle on the course frame. After a couple of overseas trips, the realisation how far behind I was in the coursework threw me into panic for a period. While I was catching up on the course materials, May suddenly arrived, making me jittery again. I have a lot going on in May, more travels, and the first exam is in June. So I’ve locked myself at home for the past week, trying to get as much studying as possible done. Today, I finally felt a bit of relief and thought I’d write something up here. In between my study breaks, I still visit the weekly farmers market as it’s impossible to skip! However, these days, when I see lovely seasonal staple veggies, I have to turn away quickly …