One of the real perks of being part of academic life in Cambridge is the possibility of belonging to a college. Cambridge is a collegiate university where you are not only a member of the University, but as a student (and often as an academic) you belong to one of the colleges. The Colleges are responsible for admitting students to the University and is the base while you're studying at Cambridge. College is also where you eat, do a lot of socialising, receive academic and pastoral support, and where you often have your supervisions. Colleges also offer various form of entertainment, social activities and sports facilities.
I feel I belong to Clare Hall College since it was The Professor's college while he did his PhD and we lived as a family in college for 2 years when we first came to England. It is a lovely, all embracing, family friendly college and we have very fond memories of the time we lived in college and the many events we have attended throughout the years. They still use one of my old pictures on their website with a very young version of our Student. Although we didn't move far away - our house is a few hundred meters away - it has been a while since I attended any functions in college.
But that all changed last night when my new friend - an amazingly lovely Norwegian visiting professor from Tromsø - suggested we go to a wine tasting evening. I am so pleased that she has embraced college life as I suggested it to her when she arrived here. It gives such a different experience of life here if there is a college connection.
But it was all about wine last night. I am no expert at all on wine, but I tend to really enjoy Italian wine and we regularly buy from this vineyard in Tuscany. However, it is important to keep an open mind and see what else is out there! The evening was fun, informative and tasty where we sampled 14 different wines. Their prices ranged from £5 to about £20. I let my palate do the choosing and intentionally didn't want to be biased thinking a more expensive wine was the better, so out of the 14 wines - here are my 3 favourites, one white and two red:
I don't often drink white wine, but this was a very enjoyable and neither too dry nor too sweet Cantina Ottoventi 'Punto Otto' .8 Grillo Sicilia IGT, Sicily. At around £6 a bottle you really can't complain!
Villa di Vetrice Chianti Rufina Riserva 2010 gives a very attractive aroma and is very well balanced. Price should be around £10 and well worth it!
And finally, Primitivo di Manduria Dunico 2010. Very drinkable, but more pricey at around £17 a bottle. Perhaps for a special occasion, but I think I would rather have go for two of the former.