Spitfire Beer
Spitfire Beer Campaign

The Wandering Palate does partake in the occasional beer however not that partial to commercial bilge water that adorns the supermarket shelves and liquor barns. Like wine (grapes), good beer (Ale) starts with good ingredients (hops, malt, yeast, water).

Wine is of course all about a ‘sense of place’ and that all-encompassing aspect the French taught us – ‘terroir’ – which includes man and craftsmanship. Can beer express something as special as a ‘a sense of place’? Well, no if it’s a formulaic brew made under licence all over the planet. However, take a brew like Spitfire – a Kentish Ale – where the hops are from heirloom local varieties, the water drawn from a sole artesian well in Kent and add over 500 years of traditional brewing history, and you have a real story and real beer, or ale as it were.

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Singapore: May 18th – The Allure of Sugar

Our small wine group got together the other night for a horizontal of sweet wines from the 2002 vintage, primarily from Sauternes and Barsac, along with a couple of Australian stickies, two Tokaj and one German Beereenauslese.

It was actually put together by Jeremy, our sole vigneron amongst the group, who as it happens has an incurable fetish for Chateau D’Yquem and wanted to corroborate his penchant for the said nectar by tasting it in a masked line-up amongst the main Sauternes-Barsac pack, verified by the dexterous and multifarious palates of our group.

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I’m in nirvana, “a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world”.  Actually I’m at the Datai resort, Langkawi Island, 30 kilometers off the coast in the northern part of the Peninsular Malaysia where the Straits of Malacca meet the Indian Ocean.

We are at the beach club, nestled amongst the jungle that would have its feet in the sea if it weren’t for a strip of ivory coloured sand. Our poolside table has a view to one side across the tranquil Andaman Sea towards the first islands of Thailand, the largely uninhabited Tarutao Archipelago, with its rugged peaks silhouetted in the evening sunset.

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Man & Wine
Sam Neill with fellow wine experts Curtis Marsh, Josh Jensen and Kai Schubert.

“Last night was a bit of a revelation for me,” he confesses, “I always assumed that when you come to somewhere like this you drink some pink things with an umbrella in them. Or beer.” And his colourful, dinosaur bedecked shirt does betray this misconception. Best known for his starring roles in Dead Calm, The Piano and of course Jurassic Park, Sam Neill was invited by “The Wandering Palate” Curtis Marsh, to host a wine-pairing dinner at The Datai in Langkawi.

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The Standard Newspaper
The Standard Newspaper, Hong Kong

The Standard is the first free English daily newspaper in Hong Kong. The popular daily publication has an audited circulation of 222,413 copies a day. It has evolved into a powerful, influential medium in Hong Kong with a diverse audience and a broad reach since becoming a free newspaper in September 2007. The paper is distributed Monday through Friday throughout Hong Kong.

Editorial quality, integrity and fairness remain guiding principles, with a diverse range of news and features presented in a bold tabloid format.

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