Sunday 30 October 2016

A Natural Revolution

A spontaneous get-together with some wine buddies saw us gathering at what must be the most audacious wine bar to open in recent years. Christened Wine RVLT, this bar was the result of one and a half years  planning by Ian Lim and Alvin Gho, both veterans with more than a decade in the food and beverage industry. Wine RVLT specialises in natural wines and bills itself as a “Real Bottle Bar” promising selections that are, in Ian and Alvin’s words, “living, raw, honest and natural”. It’s truly a labour of love, as both of them maintain day jobs and tend to the bar in the evenings.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Wine of the Month - October 2016

It was a great honour to be assisting Ying Hsien, Singapore's first Master of Wine, in the selection of wines for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix this year. The discussion on what wines to include was intense but on the whole I was pleased by how well they showed on the day itself. One of the considerations which the selection panel paid careful attention to was how the food, catered by Grand Copthorne Hotel, would affect the flavours of the wine. By itself, the Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo 2012 would have been rather tannic, but paired with food it mellowed considerably allowing the fruit to shine through, especially with the roasted Angus beef and selection of aged cheeses. Attendance at the race was down markedly from the year before, which was a pity, as the organisers pulled out all the stops in delivering a great experience. On the flipside, those who did go benefited from shorter queues and easier access to the big-name acts, whose enthusiasm did not seem diminished in the slightest.

Wine: Renato Ratti Marcenasco Barolo 2012

Tasting note: A single-vineyard wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. The Marcenasco plot has a long history of cultivation and was already producing wine since the 12th century. This interpretation has the full-body and fierce tannins that one would expect from a Barolo, leading with classic aromas of tar, licorice and violets. The palate shows an easy harmony, following on with notes of dried fruits and bitter cherry that add a savoury element to the wine. A very well-balanced effort.

Monday 10 October 2016

A Rosé Fit for Angels

Producer: Château d’Esclans

Is it time for rosés in Singapore to bloom? Statistics from the Vinexpo/IWSR market study this year revealed that sales of rosé wine here grew by 24.2% between 2019 and 2014. However this was from an extremely low base and rosé still represents a drop in the ocean compared with sales of white and red wine (an exception being in the sparkling wine category where rosé champagne is doing quite well). “People in Asia are maybe five to ten years late to rosé,” asserts Alex Diard, Brand Ambassador for Château d’Esclans. “Now in Europe, and even in UK and the US, rosé is everywhere. It’s insane how many people drink rosé now – not only women, everybody is drinking rosé.”

Wednesday 5 October 2016

The Largest Wine Region in Australia is One You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Region: Great Southern

Think of Western Australian wine, and perhaps the region that comes to mind first is Margaret River, a disproportionate source of fine wine (it produces nearly a quarter of the country’s premium wine from about 4% of its total crush), or maybe Swan Valley, the oldest wine region in Western Australia. But there is another region on the up-and-coming, a vast and remote hinterland of vinous possibilities. In recent years those in the wine trade have been whispering about the potential of the Great Southern wine region, located at the southernmost corner of Western Australia. This roughly rectangular region spans 150km north to south and 100km east to west, making it Australia’s largest wine growing region in terms of sheer size. Yet for all its immensity, there are only around 70 producers here (by comparison Margaret River has over double that number).