We have this niece, called Alicia, who seems to have picked up our travel bug. She is a nurse so has enough income to indulge her habit on a pretty regular basis. Anyways, she was getting tired of the snow at home so decided to join us for a few days here in Panama. It was her second time here as she paid us a visit on our last trip a couple of years ago as well. It’s always fun to have her around because she is a sun and pool person so I have some company. She also has an adventuresome spirit so we get to go to all kinds of places.
As a photographer, I always enjoy shooting Alicia because she is usually up for pictures and is comfortable in front of a camera. She is, as I think you will agree, very photogenic. Not often do you find people who have all these traits at the same time. The first shot in this post was taken on our recent trip to Portobelo on the Caribbean side. Note the yacht in the background that she sunk just before the photo was taken!
We decided to stop in to the Trump Tower, in Panama City as she had not yet seen it. There is this little wine bar, very nicely stocked with lots of varieties, that we knew she would enjoy. She is a red wine drinker and enjoys trying new and different varieties. This wine bar is set up perfectly for such a person. There is a whole wall of sampling wines. You get a one ounce sample to taste for a small fee. That way you can try several without having the problem of what to do with a full glass of something you don’t particularly like.
Drinking red wine here is a little different. Almost nobody serves reds at the right temperature. Because of the heat, they refrigerate the reds just like the whites. Even when you see them take the bottle out of a wine cooler, capable of the correct temperatures, the bottle is served ice-cold. It’s just how it seems to be done here! If you drink it cold, as it is served, it will be a tasteless, lifeless beverage. You just need to let it sit for five or so minutes and it will warm up to a reasonable temperature where the flavors are full and as intended. Don’t let that stop you from drinking wine here because they import many very nice wines. My favorites are from Chile and Argentina. Look for Malbec, Carmenere and Mendoza grape varieties because the South Americans do a particularly good job of these and the prices are very reasonable.
The attendant at the wine bar seems very knowledgeable about wines and provided us a bit of information. For a brand new wine store in the Trump, its splashy as expected but when you look closely there are a couple of things we found unusual. They have a glass wall in this place that allows you to see into their wine storage room. It has a very classy stainless steel racking system to display all the inventory but all the bottles are standing up, when they should be stored lying down. Also, when I got into the storage room it was not temperature controlled as I expected. I asked the attendant about the racking and he said that at the last moment, the designer thought it would look better to stand the bottles, even though they had specified otherwise. He says that there is a temperature control system in the storage area but they aren’t allowed to run it because of the cost of the electricity. Oh well, this is Panama!
After a visit to the wine bar, we went out to the deck on the ocean side of the building. There are a couple of restaurants there with a nice view of the coast down to Costa Del Este which is a new part of town so we spent a few minutes with the camera before deciding that the menu was not to our liking. It is a great place for photos anyways.
Well, Alicia leaves soon so I will have to get back to my usual subjects. I have to admit though that it is nice to shoot something different once and awhile.