The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Home from Hong Kong for the Holidays

Posted on | January 6, 2012 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

Living abroad is an extremely enriching, rewarding experience, yet it also requires a certain amount of sacrifice and time for adjustment. There is the great adventure of living in a foreign land – new faces, foods, smells, a new language and, for some, a very different way of life. Learning about new cultures and experiencing life from a different viewpoint has been one of the highlights of my career and life thus far. However, being away from family and close friends has not been easy, moving life takes time and patience. I have grown tremendously and strive to keep a healthy balance of time way from home and time with family. On the special occasions when I return home, I spend time reflecting on past visits, reliving great memories and creating new ones.

During my time Asia, I have been blessed with a great group of great friends and colleagues who have been my “family away from home.” There are a large number of expats living in Hong Kong and China, and we all reach out for the same sense of familiarity to home, which not only gives us something in common, but also pulls us together. I can easily say that the holidays spent away from the USA have been the most adventurous (perhaps I should write a separate blog on holiday bloopers abroad). This year I was very fortunate to have spent the holidays with my entire family. Although there were not as many outrageous events as I have experience overseas, my family is quite colorful and I can say there were plenty of laughs, copious amounts of comfort food and a few decent bottles of wine.

We can all agree that every bottle of wine has a story and for some of us a special memory. My humble cellar holds a rather eclectic mix of wines that mark past wine trips, gifts, special events and indulgent visits to the wine store. One of my favorite memories consumed was a bottle of 2000 Domaine du Chay from the Cotes de Blaye. The wine showed exquisitely and I was very pleased we did not wait another year to pop the cork. The bottles was given to me by the generous owner/winemaker, an elderly gentleman who only had three or four teeth from what I remember. Hailing from an area of Bordeaux that is often overlooked, Blaye occupies the northern end of Bordeaux’s right bank, an area that produces lovely white and red wines at tremendous value. This elegant red brought back fond memories of my broken French and a lovely meal among French friends overlooking the citadel. It is these rather unknown bottles that are at times the most memorable and enjoyable.

Sitting at the airport observing all of the post holiday traffic, I reflect on my trip. Not once do I think about the tree, Christmas carols, presents, fireworks or holiday food and fuss. Instead, I think of the people, my surroundings and spontaneous silliness that each day brought. It is these intangible details that are truly special about being home for the holidays. Now that I am heading back to Hong Kong, I look forward to the many adventures of 2012. Happy New Year!

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