Wine for Dragons

Singapore Wine Blog... Wine Reviews and Tastings... Review of Wine bars and Wine accessories...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wine Clubs : Just Wine Club - 3 year Anniversary


I have been a member of this NTUC wine club for some years. It start out with quite a good fan-fair and I got a wine cover for the twenty dollars that I "invested" for the membership.
However, I noticed as the years went by the number of newsletters start to diminish, from monthly to quarterly and now sporadically only. The benefits of joining the wine club does seem somewhat lacking, the only one I am aware of is you can buy 6 bottles and get 5% discount, which is not a lot! Or that I am not aware of or not interested in their events that they hold. Which also shows the lack of marketing or not knowing what the consumer wants.

In comparison, Cold Storage Wine Club, "The Vineyard Club by Jasons Wine Cellar", has a regular monthly newsletter which I receive in the mail and they hold regular tasting events. Carrefour is also very active in the wine sales arena, having twice yearly wine sales with tasting alternating between it's two outlets. And the turnouts are always excellent, educating many people and making French wines more accessible. So my feeling is that Just Wine Club, despite this glossed up advertisement in Today newpapers, has quite a fair bit of work to do in order to gain a better market share of the Singapore wine pie.

But I am willing to give them an opportunity to prove themselves, i.e. their new Bukit Timah Plaza Fair Price Finest. A review of the place is on the way.


Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wine Question : Urban Legend or Truth (?)

Dear readers must wonder why there is a durian in this Wine blog. Well one of the lame excuses for not posting more reviews on wine, is that it has been the durian season. And I have been chomping down on them rather than pouring wine down my throat. There is lots of advice not to be drinking and eating durian together. Here is more evidence for this abstinence, though I doubt some of the claims.

Article 1
Rarely does durian season pass without newspapers somewhere in Southeast Asia reporting a durian death. The fruit, which is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat and sulfurous compounds (thus the smell), is said here to be “heaty,” and can therefore be deadly for those with high blood pressure, according to Wilailak Srisura, a nutritionist at the Thai Department of Health. Tradition also dictates that mixing alcohol with durian should be avoided at all costs.

"Durian makes you hot and alcohol makes you hot, so it's double heat," said Somchai Tadchang, the owner of a durian orchard on Kret, an island on the Chao Phraya river north of Bangkok, where special Gan Yao (long stem) durians sell for upwards of $40 a fruit, the equivalent of several days' wages for a laborer here.

Songpol says he has not found a scientific reason why durian and alcohol are incompatible, but would not dare consume both at the same time.

Source :

Article 2
SIBU: Durian and alcohol can be a deadly mixture. Ask Rimong from Rumah Paong, Batu Niah, and he would advise mixing the two which nearly caused him his life.

"I thought I was a goner. I felt my head spinning, and it was hard for me to breathe. The pain on my chest was unbearable," he related his experience some years back. Rimong, in his 40's, was fortunate as he was a quick thinker. He drank a lot of water till his stomach was full and vomited.

"I don't know how much water I drank at that time but I can assure you that it was a lot. I repeated the life saving method for several times till my body weakened. "I fell unconscious after that," he said , assuring that would not dare to eat durians after having alcohol drinks.
Ambau ak Japang, 32 from Semarak Estate in Bintulu had seen the potent mixture when he experimented a few years ago.

"After hearing so many stories of durians and alcohol, I decided to experiment out of curiosity. When I dipped the durian into a glass of alcohol, I could see gases coming out. "Then the liquor changed colour from brownish to black.

"Alcohol and durian can generate so much heat if taken. If both are taken at the same time, the human body would not be able to stand the heat. That's why so many people died after taking durians and alcohol at the same time," he said.

His advice: "If you have taken alcohol, wait at least 12 hours before you can eat durians. But like the don't drink and don't-drive saying, it is better not to drink and eat durians at the same time."

A middle aged man in Batu Niah was recently found dead on the floor of his room by friends. He was covered with foams of mixed saliva and blood in his mouth.
Friends found that Panggau, in his 50's had been drinking four bottles of branded liquor and ate some durians in his room. "It was horrible. His face had turned dark with foams of blood and saliva coming out of mouth," they said.

=> I seriously doubt gases are emitted when durian is mixed with alcohol

Article 3
A page titled Durian Talk from the Bao Sheng Durian Farm in Malaysia also mentions the taboo against mixing alcohol and durians. Here's their explanation: "The flesh of the durian is rich in protein and when high protein mixes with alcohol it becomes yeast. You will feel uncomfortable and you may need to visit a doctor then."

=> This has really no scientific basis, the yeast in the wine is dead with all the alcohol.