Kung Fu

Each day that passes, I’m aging. Not to worry, this isn’t a recent discovery, and I am well aware that there is nothing I can do about it: we’ve all tried… Well, initially we had wanted to speed it up as quick as possible to the dismay of our parents… As a result, society and to a large extent myself, dictates that I should be moving away from particular habits and I should rather engross all my energies in value (read financial value) adding activities for the rest of my life. Which certainly makes sense. But yet every time I watch a good “Kung Fu” movie, I am reverted to a little child with that sheer electric excitement; often manifesting in limbs being thrown in the air as if I had a clue as to how to use them as weapons! Pushed purely by emotion that I cannot readily describe, a physical reaction is naturally borne.

I’ve just finished a marathon of Ip Man 1 and 2, and I have that feeling again! Ohhh the energy…. It should probably last a day or two, maybe three if I decide to replay some scenes later on today. It is a great thing to be a kid every once in a while, the curiosity and limitless possibilities can be satisfyingly refreshing. I doubt I’ll ever stop being as susceptible to these type of feelings after a good martial arts movie, though possibly the pointless theatrics and gestures will fade (I surely hope).

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Ip Man Himself

Looking deeper into my reaction, it is not haphazard, but rather the conditioned reaction from well choreographed artistry: the fighting scenes, the laden “authentic” cultural references, well-timed humour, visual expressions, well thought out screenplays, specific cast, crew and location selections, and the predictable moral lesson of these Chinese, Japanese or Korean movies. It’s probably down to a science, but yet there needs to be a final catalyst. Something either incredibly maverick like the sheer intensity and skill that Bruce Lee brought; or simply doing everything right with a breath of fresh air like Jet Li’s Hero.

Great wines should be likened to top-tier art. Their creators are often as obsessive and driven as conventional artists, with their inventions similarly as profound and as such being capable of inspiring comparable burning flames within its “audience”. Words are equally insufficient to describe in entirety the sensations experienced consuming it: yet uncompromising ecstasy is unavoidable. You simply know when you’ve had one.

My introduction to De Trafford wines was somewhat as audacious. Come a typical afternoon, Drew Master had asked me to be his plus one to a Classic Wine Magazine trophy event later that night. The event was a delight, despite my strange awkwardness as I struggled to contain the excitement of seating across living Cape legends and established wine proprietors.

In the middle of a line up of other remarkable award-winning wines, the creative genius dubbed Chenin Blanc Four V from De Trafford stood out above all else in my eyes. The wine was certainly unconventional having been pieced together from four differing vintages of the same Chenin Blanc grape. The largest component came from the 2009 and 2010 vintages and had been fermented in barrel for two years. Similarly, a single barrel of 2008 featured having spent three years in said barrel. Finally, to give the wine a youthful edge, the then current vintage of 2011 was added to the “blend” (by blend I refer to the blend of vintages).

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Five years on, I still recall the wine being incredibly textured, heavy and concentrated yet still beaming with fresh acidity. I had picked up a tonne of nuts and honey, with a touch of spice. I could not fully comprehend the sensations I was experiencing in my mouth as I hadn’t had as much exposure as I now have, but all the same I was infinitely aware of how stunning of a moment I was getting to experience. As with the really great wines, that will likely be the only time I will ever get to try it. Having been produced in very limited quantities, and further yet as a once off, I doubt there are any bottles of it lying around anywhere in the world. Nonetheless, I do not need to try it again. It set a benchmark of what an exceptional wine should taste like, and to this day, I recall the exact sensation the wine made me feel.

Picture credit to wingchunipman.com

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