Singapore Wine Fiesta 2012 – Thirteen to one

The Spaniards are known for two words, siesta and fiesta. While we are not a siesta-promoting country, fortunately we still have the latter. Singapore Wine Fiesta back in Custom House once more with wines from 65 producers across 13 countries to one island state, it was a taste bud sharpening and liver busting weekend.

Situated at heritage-rich Custom House, the organiser cleverly assigned each producer a ‘cabin’ and each representative tagged as ‘captain’. While they don’t have many hands on deck, one could see few cabin crews tending the helm while the captains were out. Probably popping champers from neighbours or chomping savoury sausages by Huber’s Butchery, just like how captains are.

Bring this to captain, ya’scallywag!

Regardless of sampling directions, the two numerical ends of the cabin’s order demonstrated the bulk of what The Straits Wine Company has to offer. Australia and France leading the crowd, big share for Italian and Spain, a good mix of Croatia New Zealand, United States with Germany, lastly littered with Portugal, Hungary, UK and Lebanon.

Short of the South America wines for this year’s show, the addition of Croatian wines sparked considerable interested for the mass. While their presence in Singapore is largely unheard of, the price tags ranged from S$60 to $369. Guess that promises something that I have yet to find out.

On the more familiar shores, interest continues for the well-known French and Australian brands. Ladies still love their Moscato and sweet Riesling, and exploring the Italian Brachetto. On Italian coast, the Sangiovese based red blends have generated much buzz, addition to the already known Barolo and Amarone. Spanish wines are gaining attention for their Reserva and Gran Reserva. Hungarian Tokaji was definitely a fast mover.

While language familiarity can affect how people remember wines, the fiesta was an excellent platform for learning. For myself, I dug into some Croatian’s Malvasia. A grape relatively well-known for the making of sweet wines like Vin Santo in Italy and Madeira in Portugal, it is also known as Malvazija Istarska in Croatia. A fairly balance wine with some slight honey and roast from the oak.

In conclusion, the new world whites carried by The Straits Wine Company seem much more appealing than their old world counterpart. Not just simply because of the approachability for local consumers, but also a control of their structure and flavour. The Australian reds like Yarra Yering’s Underhill Shiraz are largely big and bold on the palate. Burgundian whites attracted some loyalists but the reds had received flak for off flavours on the finish. Southern Rhone whites and reds are both appealing with much freshness and uplift in flavours, but Châteauneuf-du-Pape continues to receive more hits. The Italian are drawing lots of interest (and sales too).

While it is going to be another year before the fiesta is back, visit any of The Straits Wine Company outlet if you need a good selection. Oh, did I mentioned there’s a chocolate infused wine? Go check out Rubis from UK.


All photos are provided by Spice In Wine.

the author

One fine day, Wai Xin woke up and decided to throw Java coding out of window in exchange for a career in wine. Believing strongly that wine is for enjoyment and not a trading commodity, he encourages sensible, affordable drinking and the exploration of individual preferences.