Good day wine lovers!
I am Wai Xin, a wine drinker who has recently embarked on wine education. Unlike most Snooth mentor, I am a Software Engineer who enjoys the art of wine. Outside of work, I contribute blog posts to sgwine.wordpress.com and organize wine dinners with EnjoyWine.sg, a Singapore based wine-dinner community. Recently I started my own wine blog, winexin.wordpress.com.
While I have not develop great love for any particular wine region, in recent years I have been enjoying Italian wines for their vibrancy and Aussie wines for the style diversity. It is especially interesting looking at how wines can pair with local delights such as chilli crab and Chinese food which have traditionally not paired with wine.
Joining the Snooth mentor program, I hope to engage other Asian drinkers and share our appreciation from an Asian perspective. I am waiting for my Certified Specialist of Wine result and planning to take up WSET Advanced Level in 2013.
Chan Wai Xin. Wine drinker turns wine student from sunny Singapore.
- Reply by Craig Bilodeau, May 8, 2012.
Welcome to Snooth, Chan!
- Reply by Wai Xin Chan, May 8, 2012.
- Reply by dmcker, May 9, 2012.
Welcome, Wai. Tell us more about those Aussies and Italians you're drinking! I think you'll have more variety from Oz to choose from in Singapore (plus it's a short flight to Perth and all that good wine in Western Australia if you want to visit) than most of the Snooth users have access to in the States. Let us also know how you're matching your wines to Chinese, Malay and Indonesian dishes, when you do!
- Reply by shsim, May 13, 2012.
Hello Wai Xin! Welcome to Snooth! Good to see a fellow Southeast Asian! I am from across the border and have studied in Singapore half my life. I always wondered about the wine scene back home since everytime I head back (heading back in September!), there does not seem to be much or I just have not explored enough! So please share your experience back home and especially the pairing (which I have a difficult time with... only found one good one.) !!
- Reply by Terence Pang, May 13, 2012.
Thought I'd share my personal comments on the Singapore wine scene.
Actually I've found Singapore to be an average location for purchasing Australian wine. The variety available is limited to portfolios of the big importers, so in Singapore, it is limited to a narrow slice of what Australia has to offer. Kaesler is a very popular label to find, and not surprisingly, as one of the chains in Singapore belongs to someone in that operation. A further hindrance to wine puchasing is the high alcohol tax, which basically doubles the cost of these wines.
The same can be said of Italian, Spanish, Chilean and Argentinian wine, but what I like about the stores there is that reasonable variety is on offer.
On the other hand, Singapore has/had the biggest landed, in-hand stock of high-end Bordeaux. I say 'had' because I'm not too sure whether the Chinese market has shifted that status in recent times. There is a collector in Singapore whose entrance to his house is basically a line up of every single vintage of petrus to date. WOW! There is also alot of stck of DRCs, high end Burgs and Barolos. American wines have yet to receive as much attention there.
The Singapore market is also a key player in the Asian En Primeur campaign (again, that status is probably challanged by HK lately, and due tot he economic climate). Hence the visitations of UGC for annual tastings.
The World Gourmet Summit in Singapore offers the perfect opportunity for food and wine pairings, although it is typically matched with French or Italian cuisine. I love Indonesian Gado-Gado (a tofu salad with peanut sauce and fresh bean sprouts) with a lush Beerenauslese or fruity chardonnay, and Malay satay with an Argentinian merlot.
- Reply by Wai Xin Chan, May 14, 2012.
Terence is right about the alcohol tax which stands at S$70 per litre of alcohol in Singapore. This translates to approximately S$8 of tax for a bottle of wine with 15% ABV, however the tax becomes seemingly negligible when the selling price of the wine is high to start with. Say a bottle of wine with a cost price of S$100, the tax becomes 8% of the cost but this is only applicable for consumers who buy in low quantity.
For importers this becomes a burden since each case of 12 bottles will incur an estimated S$100 upon reaching Singapore. To overcome this most merchants use bonded warehouse to deposit their goods until the bottles are withdrawn to fulfill sales order.
Recent years stars have shifted in the wine business. One chain strikes at the entry level price range, while others operate by 'scatter-shot', getting a few cases of every wine they can find. Online businesses without shop front but partners with restaurants, are also becoming a driving force making it easier for consumers to purchase without lugging it around the mall. Wine tasting, wine dinner, masterclass are a common sight, if you know who to ask. :)
Hong Kong, the door way to business with Chinese, has been the promised land for fine wine makers since the tax removal in 2008. The Vinexpo in two weeks time will be very interesting, a pity I can't make time for it.
For those who are not familiar with Asian food, Satay is skewered grilled meat usually from chicken, beef or lamb. Served with lightly spiced peanut sauce, sliced onions, cucumbers and rice cooked in palm leaf pouch. Love it when its nicely grilled and retain the juice within, can easily see how it coupled with the fleshiness of Merlot. Woo hoo!