Thursday, February 4, 2010

A new wine retail outlet: Wine Cottage

Found this relatively new wine retail outlet yesterday called Wine Cottage. Its located at Wilkie Edge, Wilkie Road, #01-15 (Tel: 68359126); across Peace Centre. Its been operating for around 3 months now. Normal hours are from 12.30pm to 10pm; and the place is closed on Sunday.

Place is run by a Ms Sheau Ling; a friendly and hospitable lady. This outlet carries a range of old and new world wines and they also carry a variety of unique bottled beers (drank two but forgot the place of origin). An item I found interesting and bought to consume was a half-bottle rose ($16) made from black muscat. it was in a floral, grapey easy drinking style suitable for a afternoon glass or two. Another bottle was a cremant de bourgogne ($50) which was refreshing with a citrusy and green apple background, and engulfed by acidity. Though short in depth and finish, it made a good complement to the grilled, black sauced pork ribs I was having it with later that night.

The outlet makes a quiet place to drop by in an afternoon or evening for a beer or a bottle of wine with a friend or two before one heads home. Alternatively, its located conveniently for one to drop by to pick a bottle or two before heading home for dinner. In fact some customers were doing just that when I was there.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

BYO wines to Sin Hoi Sai eating house

Found another place which has a corkage free BYO wine policy. It’s a Chinese seafood place called Sin Hoi Sai Eating House, #01-59, 55 Tiong Bahru Road (Tel: 62230810). Its coffee-shop style, laid-back, non-aircon ambience here and the great thing is it’s opened till early morning. So it becomes an ideal option if you crave for a late, late, late dinner.

They do provide wine glasses but for those particular on shapes and sizes, I’ll recommend you to bring along glassware you prefer. They have large tanks from which you can choose your crabs, shells and clamps; makes a lovely visual treat. The menu is sufficiently comprehensive and you can indulge in an array of dishes.

I tried the chilli crab, fried mee goring and clams; all tastefully done though the prices ain’t exactly the cheapest in town. I must say the portions are large and it is advisable to go as a group if you intend to try a few dishes.

I would recommend off-dry sparkling wines like moscato d’asti (Villa M can be easily bought at Denise wine outlets) or slightly off-dry white wine like traminer-reisling blends (Rosemount Estate from Australia makes this blend which can be easily bought from supermarkets). These will go well with chilli and/or spicy based dishes. Another white wine option would be a spatlese or auslese level Rieslings from Germany.

Alternatively bring along a Lambrusco, cremant or sparkling rose; but given a choice, I would lean towards an off-dry style most time. Happy dining!

Note to readers: It’s always good to give the establishment a ring and reconfirm its BYO policy before heading down; things in life have an impulse to change :)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

... in the eyes of the beholder

Pretty women and beautiful poses have been used to promote and market almost every other product and service on the face of this earth. Is it any wonder to see pretty women gracing wine labels?

Took these pictures during a wine trade fair in Singapore.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ever thought of equipping yourself with a CSW wine certification?

Those residing in Singapore and intent on sitting for the Certfied Specialist of Wine (CSW) program can do so in Febuary 2010 and do so right here in Singapore.

For those unfamiliar with this certification, it is one of the professional wine educator certification program conducted by the Society of Wine Educators (USA). The other 2 certification programs conducted by this Society are the Certified Specialist of Spirit (CSS) and the Certified Wine Educator (CWE).

For more information on this certification and exam to be held in Feb 2010, you may wish to contact:
Academy of Wine Singapore Pte Ltd
Address : 109 North Bridge Road #02-15, Funan Center, Singapore 179097
Fax : 65 6835 0819 Tel : 65 9664 7979 (Mrs. Lam), 65 9835 0238 (Tommy Lam)

Unlike 10 years ago where there was hardly any wine courses available, one positive change at present in the Singapore scene is the availability of wine courses under different bodies. At present wine professionals as well as wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to pursue professional courses under WSET, Court of Master Sommeliers and Society of Wine Educators. Local institutions like Singapore polytechnic and Temasek polytechnic have also initiated wine courses of their own at certificate levels.

This broods well for those in the wine trade and for enthusiasts who prefer to equip themselves with knowledge about an area of interest they are passionate about.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Corkage free monday through wednesday for the 1st bottle at Table 66

Its always nice to find food establishments with a corkage free policy. Early this month I had lunch at a recently opened place called Table 66, located at 66 Tras Street (Singapore), a few minutes walk from Tanjong Pagar mrt station. Corkage is waived for the 1st bottle you bring along from Mondays through Wednesdays.

The d├ęcor is primarily minimalist, with a soothing green prevailing the dining area. It offered a quiet, uncluttered place where one can unwind and dine peacefully. They had appropriate wine glasses, ice buckets to chill wine and service staff proficient in handling a wine bottle.

Apart from an ala carte menu, they also offered set meal options for lunch and dinner. I opted for their set lunch which I must say came reasonably priced. For main course I settled for a lamb shank, while my lunch date opted for salmon. No regrets with our choices; we did not find the food wanting or lacking, they tasted good. I brought along an Alsatian red and Austrian white to accompany the lunch. Certainly intend to revisit this place in the coming month.
Note to readers: It’s always good to give the establishment a ring and reconfirm its BYO policy before heading down; things in life have an impulse to change :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wine Angels spread their wings.

Wine Angels, a boutique wine merchant in Singapore began their first wine event for 2010 by introducing a portfolio tasting and organizing 2 wine masterclasses for trade professionals. This event was held in Sheraton Towers (Singapore) on the 19th and 20th of January.

Wines from 8 wineries were shown. They came from Australia, NZ, S.Africa, USA and France. Both masterclasses were conducted by Frank Kammer MS (a Master Sommelier from Germany). He discussed on various factors (in fact, covered 30 of them) involved in tasting and appreciating wine. At the end of these classes participants gained a deeper understanding on how to evaluate wine in a glass and gather information using a systematic approach.

Mr Frank Kaemmer MS

A layman consumer can be contented with deciding between whether he likes or dislikes the wine placed before him; absolutely nothing wrong with a subjective evaluation in this instance at all. However, a wine professional creating a wine list for his establishment certainly requires to know more in terms of objective evaluation and to be able to communicate his findings with those in the trade. A good initiative by Wine Angels, I must say.