Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wine and Orchids

I'm loving it! yeah, for the first time I'm enjoying Carnival in Belo Horizonte :) And by that I don`t mean I'm jumping and dancing samba and wearing skimpy clothes while listening to very Brazilian music. No, if you're looking for this kind of carnival, then stay away from BH. This is definitely NOT a Carnival city. Most people run away and even down-town streets are desert, no noise, no voices, almost no cars: it doesn't look like the crowded noisy city we are all used to.
What am I loving about it, then? Well, UFMG (Universidade Fed
eral de Minas Gerais) had a great idea three years ago: a Summer Festival. During the Carnival holidays, some Professors give short courses on whatever they feel like. You have biology Professors teaching about computers, Engineers talking about wine and flowers, Architects talking about computers and IT, Actors talking about clowns. Well, all sort of things and ideas.
Personally, I decided to take a course in Orchids and Wines. I have to say I didn`t really care about the Orchids at all...I am not a very good gardener and I think I lack the passion and the patience that it takes. The wine part, though, got me really excited.
I've just come home from the second day, so now I really know what this course is about. For my surprise, I've found myself slowly falling in love with Orchids and their sensual beauty, delicacy and uniqueness. We are learning how to plant them, take care of them, learn their structure and their needs and recognize some of the varieties that are common in Minas Gerais. 
I'm not very surpised at my fondness for the wine part of the course. That was exactly what I was looking for: learning about wines in general. So far we've been learning a little about the places where wines are produced and the main characteristics of these places. Mostly, we've been focusing on Chile, Argentina and Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). We've learned also what aspects should we look at in order to really appreciate wine: its colour, transparency, viscosity, bubbles, smell and, finally, taste. So far, we've tried two red wines (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) and two white wines (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc). Can't wait to try the others! :)

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