Chocolates for the Children
Cacao 7, low card chocolates

For every box of 9 Ginger-aid chocolates (@ $10.90) purchased, cacao7 will donate the 10th chocolate to the children at The Haven, a residential home for abandoned, abused and neglected children, run by The Salvation Army.

Why children?

Children loves chocolates, and cacao7′s healthier, reduced-calorie and all-natural low carb chocolates are healthier for them, considering the high level of sugar intake in today’s lifestyles.

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Dalwhinnie Chardonnay 2006 Western Victoria, Australia
Dalwhinnie Chardonnay 2006 Western Victoria, Australia

Our Wandering Palate wanders into the Australian gold country of Moonambel-Pyrenees, Victoria, to come up with a favorite chardonnay.

I have been on a chardonnay crusade since writing on the subject in October, 2009, and as I taste through the current vintages of top producers from Australian, my headline “Another Brilliant Chardonnay” reverberates. So indulge me as I write a succession of reviews over the next month on the pick of cutting-edge Australian chardonnays.

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Must Have Wines | Related to: , | 2 comments
The original grower Champagne tasting returns
Champagne Tasting Party by Artisan Cellars, Singapore

After two intense trips to Champagne we are proud to be able to share the fruit of our labour. And why do we work so hard bringing in so many different grower Champagnes? Because we love what we do, and because we love to drink Champagnes.

It is our philosophy to handpick growers whose work most significantly reflect the quality of their terroir, with the goal of curating the most comprehensive portfolio of top quality grower Champagnes in Asia.

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The Great Pretender
Hermitage in the Northern Rhone Valley slopes

Many wine lovers consider the 1961 Paul Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle Rouge to be one of the great wines; unfortunately it is very scarce. So is there an equivalent in the offing?

In conversation at a recent wine dinner, the subject turned to the staggering price that a case of 1961 Paul Jaboulet La Chapelle fetched at Christie’s Fine and Rare Wine Auction in London, a staggering GBP123,750 (HK$945187.00) inclusive of taxes and premiums, a European record for a single case of wine. The conversation then turned to the vintages of La Chapelle that might potentially be the equal of the enduring 1961. According to the vintage charts, the 1978 and 1990 are the obvious candidates.

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Buying Wine | Related to: , , | 3 comments
Twitter set to start selling Wine!
Twitter selling Wine through Fledgling Initiative

Micro Blogging industry giant Twitter has announced that they are all set to start selling wine under their Fledgling Initiative.

The company said that they would contribute USD$ 5 for every bottle sold to Room to Read. Room to Read is a non-profit entity aimed to promote literacy for kids around the world.

Twitter said: “The Fledgling Initiative embodies two things that are at the core of Twitter’s mission: providing access to information and highlighting the power of open communication to bring about positive change.”

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Buying Wine, Media Gallery | Related to: , | 2 comments
A tale of two regions
Highbank Vineyard Terra Rossa soil, Australia

The best cabernet sauvignons from Australia and France are arguably of equal quality, but one has ended up on supermarket shelves, the other in the best of wine cellars.

The wine regions of Coonawarra in South Australia and Bordeaux, France have a great deal in common, sharing similar climate and geology (terroir), varietal composition, and even comparable quality during Coonawarra’s epoch. Yet, today, they are poles apart, with Bordeaux surging ahead in prosperity, superiority and finesse in its wines.

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Tement Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ‘Klassic’ – Styria, Austria
Tement Sauvignon Blanc 2009 ‘Klassic’ - Austria

If there’s one white grape variety that has found its nirvana in the tropical climates of Asia, it would have to be sauvignon blanc, where practically every day is a ‘crisp white, summers drinking day’.

If I were a sauvignon blanc producer I would be focusing my attention and campaigning harder on this part of the world rather than seasonally dependent traditional markets. And that’s exactly what savvy Austrian wine producers are doing, with a youthful and energetic Armin Tement from Weingut Tement beating the feet around Asia recently and visiting Singapore on-route.

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Must Have Wines | Related to: , | 6 comments
Coonawarra gone wrong
Highbank Coonawarra Sunset, Australia

Modern farming techniques and big business are sapping the Australian region’s potential, but there is hope, writes Curtis Marsh.

In comparing the similarities of climate and geology (terroir) shared by Australia’s Coonawarra region and Bordeaux in France, there was a period when Coonawarra genuinely challenged the world’s most renowned wine region for quality. However, the Bordelaise have fought back against the new world competition and are clearly reigning at the premium level.

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Sugarloaf Ridge Wine Dinner
Limestone Wines logo

Sugarloaf Ridge vineyard is a family owned vineyard begun in 1998 by Dr Simon Stanley. Simon’s daughter and her husband, Julian and Kristin Colvile, formerly long time habitants of Hong Kong, assumed ownership in 2007 and are now on Sugarloaf’s 8th vintage and each one has been award winning! The vineyard is positioned at 42 degrees south (the same as Marlborough and correspondingly in the northern hemisphere, southern Burgundy).

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Rebirth in Bordeaux
Chateau Branaire Ducru, built in 1824

The French region is enjoying an extraordinary period of prosperity for a variety of reasons, writes Curtis Marsh.

While I continue to refer to regions such as Bordeaux in France and Coonawarra in Australia as “old” and “new world”, I sometimes wonder which is more abreast of pertinent technology and how to best balance it with tradition and nature. There have been exponential advancements in viticulture and winemaking over the past 20 years. Many timeless methodologies have also been maintained. However, advances in the science of chemistry and botany, alongside mechanical ingenuity, has interjected to a point where we are in danger of artificially synthesizing an otherwise purely natural beverage.

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Buying Wine, Profiled Wineries | Related to: , | 5 comments