What does 2014 bring to Gourmet Vicariously?

This blog is a little over a year old and it has been quite the adventure already!

Firstly I have met some wonderful people this past year through this blog including the pleasure to be a part of a group of wine lovers in Perth who formed a Wine Century Challenge group. If you want to see our progress in the wine century challenge you can check it out here.

Secondly I have as a result of this blog discovered some wonderful places to dine out in and around Perth. It is amazing how many little places either already existed or have popped up in the past year. It has been a great thing to see how Perth has changed these past few years, and many many changes for the better!

Along with all these experiences I had quite a hectic year in 2013 outside of this blog as can probably be noted by my sporadic posting. In 2013 my highlight was that I completed my final year of studies to become a qualified secondary teacher and the lowlight was the ending of a long-term relationship with formerly known BF on this blog. With all the commotion of 2013 I decided to follow through on a dream that I have had since my first year of university. I have always wanted to live overseas and it was one of the first things to go on my bucket list when I sat down and wrote out a list when I turned 18.

With all my experiences from last year I begin 2014 with a very ambitious challenge – I have begun a second blog… and before I you say it I know what am I thinking two blogs when I could barely keep up with this one last year?! Well, this new blog is a more personal one to chart my travels as 2014 is bringing a change of scenery for me. In less than a months time I will be packing my life up into 30kgs and heading off to live on the other side of the world (the UK) for two years. For those who wish to see how my travels go feel free to check out Europe: Travel and Teach. I do not know how often it will be updated as I plan to use it more as a journal for my experiences while overseas as a teacher and traveller, as well as a way of letting friends and family back home know what I am up to while I am away.

So what does this mean for this blog in 2014? I will still be posting food and wine related content on this blog, however there will be a slight change of location and there may also be a slight drop in content uploading as I settle into my new life overseas (mainly find a place to call home on a semi-permanent basis with reliable internet) so I apologise in advance. I do however hope to post at least one new post a week – fingers crossed this will be a resolution I can keep this year 🙂

Where have I been?

So the last month or two has been a little dormant on this blog, sorry about the lack of posts. I ended up getting swamped with graduate studies leading up to my final prac in a months time. I have been spending more time with my head buried in books writing assignments that my nose has been in a wine glass sniffing and swirling. I have a few posts that I hope to get up in the next month before I go into my final practicum. There will likely be few posts until I finish prac in early December so I will try to post as often as I can but apologies in advance for my intermitted postings. Until then enjoy a glass (or bottle) of wine for me!

Blog Update: Apologies!

Hi everyone,
Sorry for the lack of updates on this blog over the last week. I’ve had a few assignments (still one to go) which are worth a sizable chunk of my grades in my graduate degree. I have some posts half written and will get to them as quickly as I can.
Until then, happy drinking!

Wino 101: Questions

Hi everyone,

I’ve had a few questions along the way while writing this blog and while I am still a novice when it comes to wine I thought I would give you the answers I have learnt or my views on the subject so that people can make up their own minds and have a starting point from which they can develop their own understandings towards wines.

Question 1: Where did you learn about wines from?

I have worked part-time in a bottle shop for just over two years and it has really been during this period that I came to have a love and appreciation for wine. I originally began working in a store which was in a more affluent part of Perth where people had income to spare on a more expensive bottle of wine and through discussions with them I began to learn little wine facts and opinions. I have since moved and worked across a variety of locations and along the way come across a variety of customers from all different cultures, socio-economic back grounds, wine and alcohol preferences, you name it. I have also through work been provided with some education on wines, however much of what I have learnt has come from tasting different wines and then discussing them with different people.

I have also travelled to Europe a few times, mainly at my expense and it has provided me with a love of Europe, their take on food, wine and life in general is one which I would love to adopt in the future. Travelling across Europe is something that I hope to do again in the near future so that I can not only have easier access to a wider range of grape varietals but also so that I can really try old-world wines and hopefully know enough about them to enjoy them.

So to answer the original question, I have learnt about wines from many different sources but by far my most knowledgeable moments have been when I have had the chance to sample different wines to develop my own understanding and preferences and secondly, discussing with other people both more and less knowledgeable about wine than myself.

Question 2: My sister says all Taylors wine is good. Would you agree?

Taylors is a wine label which is well known in Australia and is one which I often recommend to customers when they are looking for a gift and want something safe. Although I am yet to actually try this brand, besides their Gewürztraminer, which disappointed me more as a varietal than a label. My approach to wine is slightly different in that often I prefer either a few wines from a winery or I may prefer a grape varietal from across a single region.

For me the grape varietal and the region are more important than the producer, however when I am at work selling wines the opposite is often the case. Taylors does produces some good wines, don’t get me wrong but there are so many other smaller boutique wineries around the same price-point in bottle shops that I would love to try before getting to the big brands. This view does make it hard to recommend wines at work as I often try and enjoy wines that my store do not carry.

Taylors 2010 Shiraz however seems to have been an exceptional vintage as I have had exceptional reviews and recommendations from customers, fellow collegues and the few bottles that I have seen in some stores seem to carry quite a few trophies, gold and silver medals. I must try and get my hands on a bottle or two from this vintage to see what all the hype around it is, even though Shiraz is not my favourite red varietal.

Question 3: What’s the optimum temperature to serve red, and white wines (Bubbly too)?

Basic: Whites and Bubbly = chilled, Reds = room temperature.

More complex: Same as above however consider these temperatures to not be reflective of your current location but rather the ambient temperatures that continental Europe would have had a few centuries ago when the basic model above was coined.

This is a topic I have been meaning to cover in a Wino101 post and will hopefully do so in the near future.

Until next time!

New Year Resolutions

Hi everyone,

With Christmas very rapidly approaching I’ve not had all that much time for this blog this week, especially working in retail. I did though begun to think of what New Year resolutions I can make for next year, and realistic ones at that! So far I have come up with:

1. Leave an extra 5-10 minutes earlier so that I can take my time getting to a place and therefore, stick to the speed limit.

2. Focus on my teaching graduate degree – sorry to all who have enjoyed the daily postings on this blog but the posts will become less frequent come end of January when I return for my final year of university.

3. Get as many new wines varietals under my belt for the Wine Century Challenge.

4. Make more time to catch up old friends who I haven’t seen for too long!

5. Discover a good Italian restaurant in Perth that can become my favourite place for a good pasta dish.

How has everyone else’s Christmas shopping and New Year resolutions gone? Also I’m happy for recommendations from people to help me out with resolution number 5!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

How has blogging about wine changed my views on it?

Hi everyone,

I figured seeing as today’s post is my 50th post on this blog that it was time to step back and evaluate how far I have come and changed since beginning this journey with wine (and food).

Things I have learnt:

To give wines a second chance as it seems my palate has come a long way since I first started to drink wine.

My palate with regards to wine is becoming more particular on what it does and does not like, something that will in the future likely hurt my bank account a fair bit.

I’m still quite particular in regards to what I eat but I do hope that through this blog that I will be able to give new foods a chance.

That this blog has allowed me the chance to network with people who I may have never met otherwise – Some people to look out for food and wine in Perth on Facebook are Traveling Corkscrew (also blogs), Perth Wine Enthusiast (amazing wine tasting notes – including many international wines), Perth Food Journal (blogs also).

Perth actually has a lot more to offer than I have given it credit for in the past – a good blog to follow on this topic is Great About Perth (blog | Facebook).

I would just like to take the chance to thank all of you who have read my blog as well as people who have allowed me opportunities to continue to learn more about wine such as the Wine Education Centre of WA.

I will be getting into the kitchen more now that summer is here and I have some free time, expect to see more homemade meals and I’ll start including the recipes if I have followed one.

Review of the Gourmet Escape will be up tomorrow so keep an eye out for that!

Until next time!

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Split Second: Blog Thanks

This week there is a writing challenge going around based upon the question of,

“tell us about a moment when your life was changed in a split second.”

At first I didn’t know where to start, to be comic, to be heartfelt, to stick with the basis of this blog being centred around food and wine? When I got to thinking about this blog I realised that if I had not sat down in front of my computer just over a month ago and made an account and blog on wordpress.com then this blog would possibly have never existed. The chances that I’ve already have had thanks to this blog to meet people, go to events and try wines I would have likely passed by,and the potential to develop a hobby and a passion that can last a lifetime!So I would like to say thanks to the few who regularly read the entries (and often pick up on my spelling and grammar errors – thanks mum and dad along with a few others too!)

I know that there are many other aspects of my life that have been fleeting but lasting to me, but those moments are special because their meaningful to me alone or perhaps with a small few. And I’m not quite ready to put those aspects of my life up on the internet for anyone to read for eternity.

So I would like to dedicate this post to all the people who have stumbled across this blog and gotten something out of it! It’s nice to know that my reviews and tips are valued and that someone seems to think that I know what I’m on about!