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Sunday, March 30, 2008
Wine Entry : Sake in Japan
Hi readers, sorry for the delay in the postings as I was touring Tokyo. It is now the cherry blossom period (Sakura) and it is their tradition for friends and colleagues to gather under the trees and have sake parties.
This practice of appreciating the flowers is called Hanami in Japanese. True to form, though I did not sit with them, I bought a bottle of sake from the nearby store and sipped on it. Nice fragrance of rice and pretty smooth & favourful in the mouth. Cost less than what we get in Singapore as well, around 350 yen or S$4.90. Appreciate all the wines of the world!
Wine Entry : Scotchmans Hill Geelong Pinot Noir 2006 (Australia)
Purchased this wine at Melbourne Airport for 18.75 AUD for 500ml bottle. Seen it around in Singapore shops before too. Nice clear purple colour.
Smell : Summer raspberries with some woody oak spice.
Taste : refreshing fresh raspberry, plum mixed with the burnt wood vanilla aromas, but some-what single dimensional
After taste : firm confident tannins not common for pinot
Description at back of bottle : Scotchmans Hill was named by the Scottish immigrants who settled the Mount Bellarine area, 50 km south of Melbourne across Port Philip Bay, in the 1840s. The Sctochmans Hill ineyard and winery, family owned since its establishment in 1982, produces wine under the labels Scotchmans Hill, Swan Bay and the Hill.
Wine Fair : Carrefour Wine Fair at Plaza Singapura (7 - 16 Mar 2008)
Carrefour held another wine fair from 7 - 16 March at Plaza Singapura Atrium. The VIP night was held on the 6th of March which I could not attend as I was overseas. They had the Chateau Yon Figeac St. Emilion Grand Cru 2003 going for S$45 (usual $65) and Chateau La Tour Haut Brion Pessac Leognan 2003 going for S$92 (usual $120). I manage to pop by on Monday 10th March to take a look around.
They had quite a number of 2005s available, it was so tempting, I could not resist picking up a bottle each of the last three. Phenomenal prices for some of them especially the 2nd Growth Lalande at $350!
Chateau Kirwan 2005 $169 Chateau Cantenac Brown 2005 $99 Chateau Pichon Lalande 2005 $350 Chateau Duhart Milon 2005 $128 (the 2004 was $97) Chateau Carbonnieux 2005 $89 Chateau La Tour Carnet 2005 $69.90 Chateau Potensac 2005 $75 Chateau L'heritage de Chasse Spleen 2005 $45 (2nd wine of Ch. Chasse-Spleen) Chateau Camensac 2005 $69
The wine fair ends today, but not to worry, most of the wines should be still available in the both the Carrefour stores in Singapore.
Wine News : Sunday Lifestyle Article - Toast of the heartland
A well-written article in today's Sunday Lifestyle section of the newspapers by Huang Lijie. I am impressed by the number of people they have interviewed for the article and detailed description of some of the wine drinkers. I am especially impressed by the gentleman who has 500 bottles in his 5-room HDB flat. Personally, the key few reasons for the bludgeoning numbers of Singapore wine drinkers (heartlanders or cosmopolitans) in order of influcence are :- (1) Increased accessibility and opportunities to try - With many supermarkets, restaurants, food outlets, wine merchants and even petrol kiosks selling wine, consumers have more points of access and choices. It is a common affair to pick up a bottle together with the weekly shopping or dine out. - Wedding dinners now serve mainly red or white wine with the beer as the alcoholic beverages, even people who had never drank wine before would try it during the dinner.
(2) More affordable and fatter wallets - Wine is still a relatively expensive beverage for the masses compared to beers. However, the convergence between the lower pricing of entry-level wines and the healthy economic status of Singaporean households has made wine affordable to many. - Moreover, taxes for wines in Singapore are competitive compared to other SEA countries.
(3) Socially acceptable alcoholic beverage of choice - As more and more people switch from hard liquor to wine, the peer pressure to switch intensifies. - The traditional mindset of wine being a stuck-up drink has dissipated with globalization and widely-traveled Singaporeans to wine quaffing countries such as Australia, USA, EU countries. - The healthier perception of wine towards lowering cholesterol and a healthy heart.
The increased education, wine workshops and media reports on wine all do contribute to the growing trend of wine drinking in Singapore. The mission of this wine blog is also to help further perpetuate the wine culture here. However, in my opinion these are complementary compared to the overwhelming drivers above.
On the recommendation of the staff at The Wine Gallery located near Leng Kee, I purchased this bottle of unique sweet red. Sweet whites are reasonably easy to find, however sweet reds are rarer. It has 11% of alcohol, fairly light purplish colour, came in a 500ml bottle and cost my wallet 49 dollars. We were a little afraid that it was going to taste like port, but thankfully it didn't and was much milder.
Smell : Fragrant rose flora and candided apple scents.
Taste : Coy delicate sweetness, akin to plum juice with some lush ripen red apple flavours. However it had a slight medicinal bitterness near the end of the middle palate.
After-taste : Confident, subtle acidity structure at the end. No tannins making it comfortably easy-drinking.