Tuesday 31 January 2017

Wine of the Month - January 2017

This was one of the wines tasted at Dr N.K. Yong's Celebration 90 wine masterclass. It is a hedonist's dream, a pure exercise in pleasure from one of the best producers in the Mosel. Sugar is known to trigger a release of dopamine (the brain's reward centre), and this wine - so complex, rich and sweet, is certainly likely to have people addicted at the first sip. Gold capsules are used to distinguish the best wines of Egon Müller.

Wine: Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel 2010

Tasting note: The Scharzhofberg vineyard, comprising soils of grey and red slate, is the most exalted location for Riesling in the Saar Valley. Egon Müller owns 8.2 ha of the 28 ha site, making it the most prominent producer of wines from this vineyard. The colour of molten gold, this wine showed impeccable balance and freshness, with notes of sweet peach, pineapple, and a limey freshness. There are few wines that could match the finish, an impression that lingered so long on the palate it is etched into memory.

Friday 27 January 2017

A Look at New Zealand Pinot Noir Regions

Financial markets have a saying – as January goes, so goes the year. So far, this month has been all about Pinot Noir. The La Paulée de Singapour (a celebration of Burgundian wine) has just concluded, an evening which saw several esteemed winemakers descend onto our island with treasured bottles of premier and grand cru wines. The dinner took place just a week after a tasting organised by New Zealand Winegrowers and Air New Zealand. While New Zealand’s fame as a wine producing country was built on Sauvignon Blanc, it is the Pinot Noir which has been gaining emerging as a serious contender to red Burgundy. The tasting was billed as a 360° View of New Zealand Wine, and through the creative use of a VR headset visitors were able to experience the magnificent scenery of New Zealand.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

A Ground Report from Istanbul

The first time I visited Istanbul was in the spring of 2008. It was glorious weather – blue and sunny skies, with a crisp breeze blowing as we cruised down the Bosporus. With a fingerhold in Europe, Istanbul represented the meshing of the best of Middle East and European cultures, acting as a beacon of democracy alongside a respect for Islamic values. Visitors were treated to a rich cultural history spanning Greek, Christian and Ottoman rule, and a bounty of exotic foods; raw honeycomb, sweet baklava, moreish hazelnuts. Security was ever-present, but this felt more like reassurance and the dangers seemed no greater than any other European city. Istanbul was truly a Turkish delight.