Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some info on upcoming wine courses in Singapore for year 2013

Here's a little 'mid-year update' on upcoming wine courses in Singapore.

A. WSQ Provide Advice on Wine

This course is ideal for those who have the time to attend courses on a full day basis. It'll provide you with a quick introduction to wine and wine service.

Its a '2 full days' course held on 13th and 14th August 2013; between 9am - 6pm each day. Full fee is $400 (+GST); but there's subsidy available for those working in SMEs and non-SMEs.

It covers areas like:
- Wine Knowledge
- Wine Marketing and Sales Skills
- Wine Services Knowledge
- Wine Labels interpretation Skills
- Provide Advice on Storage
- Tasting Practice

B. Certificate of Performance in Science and Business of Wine
(The 31st intake just commenced on 1st July.) The next intake is scheduled on Sept 2013.

For more details on both courses, you can visit : www.sp.edu.sg under (Continuing Education) or call 67721288.

C. WSET wine courses
I came across a new course provider in town for WSET wine courses. Those keen may want to visit the website for more information: www.winelanguage.sg

For information on other wine courses and course providers in Singapore, you can read an earlier blog entry 'on wine courses for year 2013'. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Churton wines - A Masterclass in Singapore

Churton winery from Marlborough. Sam Weaver (owner and winemaker of Churton wines) swung by Singapore 2 days ago to introduce his wines to a roomful of sommeliers and tradespeople. The Singapore office of Berry Bros and Rudd organized this event and it was held at Buyan Restaurant & Caviar Bar.

Sam Weaver (owner and winemaker of Churton wines) 
Sam comes off as a passionate man; passionate about the wine he produces, passionate about the art and science of wine making, passionate about viticulture and very strongly passionate about treating the land right. He knows his trade and during the masterclass he enthusiastically shared his knowledge and experience on grape growing, wine making and respecting the land which provides the harvest.

In the wines he produce, he tends to strive for three elements (often mentioned during the course of this masterclass): 'fruit weight' in the wine, 'layers of flavour' within the body of his wine and a 'lasting finish'. His grape growing and wine making endeavours seem to be directed towards yielding these 3 qualities within his wines.

Towards this end, he has gone on to do things a little differently from most other Marlborough wineries. Unlike most wineries in Marlborough which locate themselves in the valley floor, Sam situated his vineyard (22 and a half hectares in size) on a hill (upon a ridge which has a north east facing). This elevated site provides soil composition a little different from that found in the valley floor. It also helps to avoid excessive exposure to cold air (which has a tendency to sink to the valley floor) at night.

Likewise, rather than adopt the practice of winemakers who buy grapes from other vineyards to produce wine, Sam only uses grapes grown in his own vineyard.This ensures the quality and health of grapes from the time they are grown until they are harvested and transported for wine production. Other initiatives like green harvesting, restricting yield per hectare, hand harvesting most of the grapes and managing the vineyard organically (and biodynamically) all add up toward producing good grapes in a sustainable manner.

Churton wines
We got an opportunity to taste the following 7 wines during this masterclass:

a. 2009 and 2011 Churton Sauvignon blanc
The Churton SBs showed differently compared to other SBs from Marlborough. You don't get that upfront 'passionfruit, goosebery, cat's pee, capsicum, cut grass' aromas easily identifiable with Marlborough SBs. The 2009 and 2011 both convey citrus and grapefruit aromas (mildly I must add; nothing upfront or showy on the nose) with the 2011 vintage having an additional floral aroma. The palate shows the 'fruit-weight' which Sam mentioned. Leaving the wine on the lees, oak aging a portion of the wine and allowing for bottle aging all have contributed to these wines gaining depth and complexity witnessed in the palate. (This is certainly atypical when compared with the production methods of other SBs in Marlborough; though as an exception, to an extent,  Cloudy Bay's Te Koko comes to mind).

b. 2011 Churton Viognier
This is Churton's second vintage for a Viognier. Aromas sway more towards floral in nature (though subtle), medium plus body and not 'oily' in texture (as most viogniers are known for). A couple more vintages should see this varietal show itself better.

c. 2007, 2009 and 2011 Churton Pinot Noir
The 2007 vintage showed ample cherry and earth flavours with medium intensity in its palate but somehow lacked the silky texture and integrated body displayed by both the 2009 and 2010 vintages. The 2009 (apart from cherry notes) also carried a lovely floral aroma and a hint of muskiness. The body is soft and elegant with cherry, earth and spice flavours at play in the palate. Like wise, the 2010 vintage showed itself well in aroma, flavours and texture, something like the 2009 but a stronger and bolder wine. The 2010 will do well with food. All three wines provided a long finish.

d. 2010 Churton 'The Abyss' Pinot Noir
'The Abyss' is produced in exceptional years when the fruit quality justifies its production. The fruits for this wine comes from a particular parcel of land located on the hill slope north east facing in nature. Its Sam's opinion that this site is the most favourable place for growing high quality pinot noir within his vineyard. The 2010 Abyss shows aromas of black cherry and floral notes (though muted); it has a medium plus body which impresses with fruit concentration rather than expression of flavours for now. Still some way to mature before expressing itself I suspect.

2010 Churton 'The Abyss' Pinot Noir

I personally enjoyed the 2011 Churton Sauvignon Blanc and the 2009 Churton Pinot Noir during this tasting session; wines which I find very approachable at this moment :)

If you like to see the pictures taken during this masterclass, you can view them via this link:
Churton Wines Masterclass pictures.

(If you are keen to purchase any of these wines locally, just contact Berry Bros & Rudd at 66312716, they'll assist you.)

... morgun pathi

Friday, May 10, 2013

Wine Voyage at Audi Fashion Festival 2013

An upcoming wine event. I think it will be more appropriate to say 'an upcoming wine and gourmet food' event.

The Straits Wine Company, organizer of the 'now annual' Singapore Wine Fiesta, is bringing a wine and food event this time round.

Its held over 5 days and is called 'Wine Voyage at Audi Fashion Festival'. While the 'fashion festival' part will see a series of fashion related activities over the 5 days, the 'Wine Voyage' part strives to bring a wholesome food and wine experience to the visiting public. A good range of wines, attending winery representatives and gourmet delicacies prepared by celebrity chefs have been planned to satiate one's gastronomic leanings.

Some details about this event:

Tent @ Marina Promenade (Next to Singapore Flyer)

Dates and Time:
15th May, Wednesday (Opening Show): 6:00pm to 10:00pm
16th May, Thursday: 6:00pm to 10:00pm
17th May, Friday: 6:00pm to 10:00pm
18th May, Saturday: 12:00pm to 11:00pm
19th May, Sunday, (Closing Show): 12:00pm to 11:00pm 

Ticket price details:
Tickets can be purchased via SISTIC.
$38.00 per person/day
(entitles ticket holder to one free wine tasting from each fashion capital. Additional wines will be sold at $5 to $10 per glass. Dishes prepared by gourmet chefs are priced from $5 to $20 and are sold on a per consumption basis.)

Organized together with Mercury Marketing & Communications, it showcases wines from around the world and gourmet food from fashion capitals like Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Sydney and Singapore. Food will be prepared by chefs from Deliciae Hospitality Management and My Private Chefs, and will include tapas and canapes.

Good thing is, for those keen to explore the interaction between food and wine, it offers an opportunity to purchase a variety of tapas and pair them with different wines. You need not purchase a whole bottle of wine; instead buy a few 'wine by glasses' and do some exploration :)

Further details can be found at Straits Wine Company's event page on Facebook.