Many medical experts say a glass of red wine with dinner is good for your heart. They, of course, stress people should drink only one or two glasses. I used to drink red wine with dinner but have now taken a liking to white wine. Some people, especially people in Europe, like to have an aperitif before dinner. I love to have an aperitif before dinner and do this most evenings. When I was in London and Paris on vacation recently I had several aperitifs every evening before dinner to relax! If you take a liking to something, it means you begin to like something. An aperitif is an alcoholic drink before dinner to whet (stimulate) the appetite.
Popular aperitifs include champagne, vermouth, and dry sherry. I am not a fan of champagne but do enjoy dry sherry. My favourite aperitif is a martini with green olives. I used to prefer gin martinis, then switched to vodka martinis, and now prefer gin martinis again. In the US, every bartender knows what a martini is. Most bartenders in Hong Kong also know how to make martinis. I was surprised that most bars and restaurants in Paris and London didn't know how to make a martini. I hunted high and low in Paris and London for a martini before dinner. If you hunt high and low for something, it means you search everywhere for something.
I found only one bar in Paris near my hotel which knew how to make a proper martini. A bartender in London said she knew how to make a martini but what she made was not a martini! I think it is because French people prefer wine and British people mostly drink beer. On my Cathay Pacific flight back to Hong Kong I drank whiskey as an aperitif. I always fly Cathay to support it because it is a Hong Kong icon. The flight was full, which meant I could not be upgraded even though I am a Marco Polo member. But I didn’t mind. I was happy the flight was full.
許多醫學專家都說，晚餐時喝杯紅酒，對心臟有好處。他們當然也強調，人們只應喝一至兩杯。我過往晚餐時經常佐以紅酒，現在倒是開始愛上了（taken a liking）白酒。有些人，特別是歐洲人，喜歡晚餐前來杯開胃酒（aperitif）。我也愛晚餐前一杯開胃酒（aperitif），許多傍晚時份我也會這樣來一杯。我最近去倫敦和巴黎度假時，每晚晚餐前都喝上幾杯開胃酒（aperitifs）去放鬆一下！若你take a liking to something，即是說你對某事產生好感，開始喜歡某物。An aperitif就是晚餐前的開胃酒，用以刺激（whet）食欲。
受歡迎的開胃酒（aperitifs）包括香檳、威末酒和雪利酒。我不是香檳的擁躉，但我享受喝雪利酒。我最喜歡的開胃酒（aperitif）是有綠橄欖的馬丁尼。我過往喜歡氈酒馬丁尼，後來轉而愛上了伏特加馬丁尼，現在又重回氈酒馬丁尼的懷抱。在美國，所有酒保都知道馬丁尼是甚麼。香港大部份的酒保都懂得怎樣調製馬丁尼。巴黎和倫敦的許多酒吧和餐廳卻不懂得怎樣調製馬丁尼，令我相當意外。我在巴黎和倫敦，四處尋獵（hunted high and low）晚餐前的一杯馬丁尼。若你hunt high and low for something，意即你到處尋找某物。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧