Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Perfect Picnic Wines

Every Sunday, the Singapore Botanic Gardens puts on a concert at the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage. I attended one such event two weeks ago, under a glorious spell of warm, sunny weather. We had a picnic in front of the open air stage, and brought KFC, pasta and wines. There was a pretty large crowd made up of locals and expatriates living around the area.

With the numerous kids (and quite a few friendly dogs) running around, it is a good thing that Jasmine brought wine glass holders, a metal holder that could be staked into the soil to hold our wine glasses. She obtained them from Margaret River, but I notice that Amazon also sells them (USD12.50 for a set of two). A perfect solution for where to put our wines without worrying about them spilling. We still had to keep an eye on them to prevent curious kids from trying them out though (those budding alcoholics!).
We started the picnic with a Vinho Verde Alianca from Portugal. Made from the indigenous Pederna and Azal varietals, it was light and fruity with a slight spritz caused by the injection of carbon dioxide. I had brought a bottle of M&S 2009 Beaujolais, a forward, fruity red with lively notes of cherries and bananas. Neither of these two wines were terribly complicated, and should be drunk sooner rather than later, but they were accessible and refreshing. In fact I was pleasantly surprised by the range of wines offered by Marks and Spencer, there were some easy drinking wines at very reasonable prices (around SGD25-30). Alcohol was a definite consideration when selecting wines for the picnic, I chose those that were on the lower side to account for the warm weather.

As the full moon ascended we moved on to a more contemplative wine, the 2009 Ata Rangi Martinborough Pinot Noir. To me Pinot Noir is a wine for night time drinking, its seductive, layered nuances beg for laid back conversations and the companionship of close friends.

I can't recall the last time Singapore had such fine weather (it's been afternoon thunderstorms for the past few weeks), but I am grateful that nature was in a generous mood that day. Looking forward to the next picnic session!

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