Dolcetto in the Streets, Shiraz in the Sheets: A Threesome Blind Tasting

With World Cup 2018 finally under way, a lot has been put to the test both on the field and outside of it. The underdogs are ploughing their way through the group stage, bringing fame to their name, which is, as a result, sparking up extra interest for this beautiful game called football. The blind tasting held at Praelum Wine Bistro pulled a similar parallel with three “teams”– France, Italy and South Africa – fighting for the jewel in the crown.

As with many competitions, there are a lot of theories surrounding them. Some of them are utter bollocks, others prove a point. If you’re in this trade, you’re probably familiar with that guy you meet a house party and his classic line – “I saw this video on Youtube where experts couldn’t recognize the difference between a cheap and expensive wine. SO WINE TASTING IS BULLSHIT FOR SNOBS!!1” I never understood why people are so aggressive when it comes to wine. Yes, there is a lot of snobbery in our circles, but there is way more fun and never-ending room for discussion. The ultimate validation for that is a spot on blind tasting held on a hot, sunny afternoon with 20 people coming together from all spheres of life and engaging in a fun activity. Reasons are different. I met this guy who works as an accountant and is part of a French tasting group. He came to refresh his memory of Bordeaux. Another gentleman was from a logistics team who came to meet people of similar interests and support his favourite wine bar. I came to practice my detection skills for the final WSET Diploma exam coming up in a few months. Tasted nine wines, got six right (we had to guess the country). Below are my notes and a more detailed explanation on the process of this particular blind tasting. Continue reading “Dolcetto in the Streets, Shiraz in the Sheets: A Threesome Blind Tasting”

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Singapore’s Holiday Wine Buying Guide (1855 The Bottle Shop Selection)

It’s been almost a year since I attended my first UK wine fair – The Great New Zealand Wine Tasting held at Lindley Hall, London. For some mysterious reason, the universe eventually stirred me to Singapore’s Wakanui, a restaurant with a main focus on New Zealand’s beautiful food and wine. I finally settled in a place that benefits me in all kinds of ways and to which I hope to contribute greatly. One of those awesome benefits was the 1855’s Wine & Whisky Week Christmas Edition, Singapore’s largest wine & whisky event with over 500 labels from over 20 countries. I loved the concept – you come on Monday, try 30 wines, then you come on Thursday and try a totally different flight of 30 wines. This is how the organizers promote different brands and let wine lovers discover a huge chunk of the 1855 portfolio. Besides that, the fair offered 12 Masterclasses (I attended Macallan’s) and amazing discounts that should not have been missed. After tasting cca 100 samples, I cherry-picked a top 10 list as a buying guide in spirit of the upcoming holidays, enjoy! Continue reading “Singapore’s Holiday Wine Buying Guide (1855 The Bottle Shop Selection)”

Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017

Getting a chance to attend the Annual Portfolio Tasting of Liberty Wines in London was a professional beauty in my agenda. The company was founded in 1997 by David Gleave MW as a start-up with just four people working as staff. Today, it employs 130 individuals and has an annual turnover of £45 million. With awards annually pouring in from IWC, Decanter and SWA (On-Trade Supplier of the Year, Merchant of the Year, Wine Educator of the Year…), I honestly don’t see the need to bore you further with data and statistics of what Liberty Wines is in the international market today.

The APT 2017 was held on the 17th of January in the fascinating Kia Oval cricket ground in South London. This is the chief event of the company and gives wine lovers a chance to taste over 600 wines, spirits, beers, ciders and olive oils from over 150 representatives. To be frank, I only tasted around 250 samples. I started off slow and focused on my writing, but after a few hours I figured out how time is soaring by without me trying anything French or Italian. Luckily, eight hours presented a perfect time period to keep me sane and awake (though a lil’ dehydrated), so I cherry-picked the most sophisticated examples in the last 60 minutes. Being a WSET Diploma student, I really can’t complain about the producers selected for this event, because everything I wanted to cover and rehearse for the upcoming Unit 3 exam was there – Barolo, Tuscany, Australia, Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, South Africa, Rioja… Continue reading “Top 10 Wines @ Liberty Wines Annual Portfolio Tasting 2017”

Wine Blown: Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007

Every now and then I start my article with the thought that it would be so cool to be in the epicenter of action, i.e. in the wine region I’m about to describe. Doesn’t every writer strive towards being fully inspired by his/her surroundings and bringing the reader a close to tangible experience? Of course. But hey, an apartment with a sunny view and some imagination is good enough for now. The Rhone Valley will eventually be crossed off the bucket list.

Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007 has one hell of a name and if you don’t know even a tad of French, you’re in for some laughs and confused squints. Drinking it is a whole other story. Continue reading “Wine Blown: Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape 2007”