I just dropped my week-long house guest off at the train station (where IMD Professor Dominiq Thurpin was also taking the train to Geneve-Aeroport) for a tearful goodbye. It was a wonderful week with her in town and it felt so, so, so good to cook again–really for the first time in my 15 months in Lausanne. She also helped me outfit the apartment so it finally is really liveable.
We capped off the week with a birthday dinner last night at La Suite, where I have long eyed the 95-point Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2003 on their wine list. For the second time in a week our restaurant turned out only to have one bottle remaining so we were clearly destined to drink it. I would describe it as good-not-great. To be fair, it was too young and should have had a few more years in the bottle. It definitely opened up after a couple of hours but, even still, it didn’t bowl me over. There were good red currant flavors up front and a gorgeous, satiny texture. The tannin profile was one of the best, most gentle I have tasted and the finish went on and on. Perhaps these are clues that James Suckling uses to predict that this wine will be 95 points in the future, when it is ready to drink. I readily admit that I don’t have enough experience drinking top-quality Brunello to have an exceptional feel for its aging trajectory. To quote Braveheart, well that’s something we shall have to remedy, now isn’t it?
The rest of the dinner was delicious, as I have come to expect from La Suite: crottin de chevre and lentil soupe to start, bone-in lamb and sea bass after, followed by molten chocolate cake that paired excellently with the last dregs of our Brunello. Of course nothing could beat the company as we plotted out ways to change the world and juggle international careers. It was a fantastic ending to a fantastic pre-birthday week.
Now it is time to return 100% of my focus to Poken. I have been taking on too many things in my three months here and, as a consequence, not doing any of them exceptionally. It’s my fault for letting myself get sucked into working in the business instead of on it, which is always an easy temptation in a startup where everything is urgent. It is not too late to rectify, however, and I’m on the case, working feverishly to crank out some deliverables before I hop on a plane to Taipei this afternoon.