Fun & Work in NYC

I went to NYC last week to take the Certified Specialist of Wine exam. I definitely did not study nearly enough for it, but I think I did fairly well. The exam was multiple choice, 100 questions. I feel extremely confident about about 10 questions, and fairly confident about about 25 of them… not great odds but it’s so difficult to tell with multiple choice. And to add to the stress of it all, not only do I need a 75% to pass, but only 50% of participants actually pass the exam.  So now comes the waiting part – a grueling “4-6 weeks” to find out my results/fate.

Although the exam was my primary reason for going to the city, most of my best friends live there so I got a chance to spend some quality time with the people who matter most to me. I stayed at John and Cayla’s beautiful apartment overlooking the Empire State Building…

Wednesday night after my exam,we all went to Eataly, Mario Batali’s new Italian Eatery and shopping center in NYC. It was amazing! The selection of cured meats and fresh pasta was outrageous. Afterwards, John and Cayla invited everyone over for food and drinks. It was so great to see everyone! I always miss them all terribly, but it’s so comforting to know that when we do see each other we fall right back into what we know. After we had eaten, my good friend Arion surprised me with a box of cupcakes, complete with a candle and a congratulations on completing the exam song. It was so sweet having all my friends be there and supporting me in such a silly and wonderful way.

The next day, John, Arion and I spent the day wandering around the city. We headed to Times Square so John could pick up a Christmas present for his parents, and we went to Bryant Park’s Christmas Village and had some hot chocolate and fun!

Arion & I in a Christmas Ball in Bryant Park

Afterwards we headed to this great little beer store for a Dogfish Head tasting. We had no idea how excellent it would really be. We each got to purchase their last remaining bottles of Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute IPA, as well as taste through some of their greatest beers, all on tap. As well as one very special, one-off style brew. They took their World Wide Stout and filtered it through espresso beans that have been soaking in a bourbon mash.

The dark container in front holds the espresso bean/bourbon mixture.


The resulting beer is about 30% alcohol and is amazing! We brought home 3 growlers of it – one for us to drink that night, one for Arion to take home, and one for me to take home for Jeff and I.

All in all, it was an amazing trip, and it was of course amazing to see all of my friends. Thanks to Arion, Steve, Joe, Katie and of course John & Cayla for making my trip amazing!! Now it’s time to wait… hopefully I’ll have an awesome update on the exam soon!

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