An almost six-hours drive from Monaco to Geneva made it easier to forget about wine for a while. Coca cola at a gas station, some candies and cookies … All these are not the ideal and healthy substitutes of wine. Moreover, I am not a type like the two wild Americans in the movie Sideways, who savoured wines even inside a car during their ride through California’s wine country. I prefer to think of alcohol as the North Pole and the car as the South Pole. Therefore, these two are so far away from each other that it never even comes to my mind to open a drink and sip any kind of intoxicating substances inside a vehicle.

‘Cool’ temptation

The trouble started after arriving to our hotel. Boosting with one of the hottest night spots in and around Geneva – the chic bar at La Resèrve hotel – this was in my case the devil of all devils. Drinking tea there? You’d look so unfashionable. Luckily, I am not as much influenced by trends. I have my own head and do what I want as far as it does not outrage or embarrass someone. The solution this time though was avoiding the bar completely. Spending an afternoon at the spa’s cafeteria has helped. It was the perfectly natural place for tea and fresh smoothies. The lesson from this – try to surround yourself with healthy temptations and avoid popular drink spots.
Soup anyone? On the street in Shanghai

Dinner at a Chinese restaurant

Stick to mushrooms, rice and soups! That was tonight’s moto. Some say that Asian food is difficult to pair with wine, therefore one would assume that it is at its best with tea, the continent’s gold. Others, like CH’NG Poh Tiong, the author of 108 Great Chinese dishes paired, will prove that the opposite is true. There are many signature Chinese dishes including duck, pork, dim sums or beef whose flavors can be enhanced by having them with the right wine. Knowing this I stayed with soups, mushrooms and very spicy seafood dishes. These would either wash out or overpower any wine. A pot of jasmin tea was perfect with all of these, except the soup, a drink in itself. I guess, soups are ‘unpairable’ with anything liquid.
I said xie-xie (‘thank you’ in Chinese), closed my eyes while passing the buzzing bar and went straight to bed.
Day three follows.