Irregularities on the World Wine Stage
Irregularities On The World Wine Stage

Curtis Marsh examines the prejudices and misconceptions that distort wine opinion around the world, and how these attitudes are influencing consumers in Asia.

There are many inconsistencies on the world wine stage when it comes to perceived wine quality, popularity (or unpopularity) of particular grape varieties, wine styles, regions or even entire countries. Sometimes, these anomalies have a rational explanation, yet in many instances there are perplexing and illogical evaluations or warped idealisms that render even the unquestionable quality of a highly regarded wine irrelevant and banished to consumer oblivion.

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , | 15 comments
Careful with That Wine Bottle
Wine Cork

One barrel of wine, it has been said, can work more miracles than a church full of saints. But not if it’s been left out in the sun.

At a recent dinner party at an exclusive Singapore restaurant, the proprietor enthusiastically encouraged a choice from a selection of air-freighted and expensive wines.

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: | 3 comments
Acker Merrall & Condit Incredible Champagne Collection!
Dom Perignon Champagne

This incredible Champagne collection spans more than three decades and includes well over a hundred of the best bubblies produced between 1979 and 2002.

Among the many highlights are multiple vintages of Krug and Krug Clos du Mesnil, ten vintages of Dom Perignon, plus a horizontal of the great 1996s from Billecart Salmon!

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , , , | 5 comments
A World Of Sauvignon Blanc
OTU in World of Sauvignon Blanc

No longer delimited to the Loire Valley, France or Marlborough, New Zealand, almost the entire wine-world is now producing Sauvignon Blanc and the whole world is willingly drinking it. Curtis Marsh comes out of the closet in defence of this greatly maligned variety.

Since early Roman times, the wider popularity of grape varieties has been largely determined by its ability to travel or adapt to new environments and, above all, fashion. Achieving global massconsumer appeal for any grape variety in this day and age has long been a very tight clique, namely Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Read More >

Artisan Wine
Cambodia's Newspaper of Record

Many colleagues today bemoan that we are losing our true winemaking artisans to a kind of oenological ‘industrial revolution’, where wines are made in labs, by recipe, to satisfy ‘target consumers’, ‘market profiles’ and ‘Wine Critics’ (gate-keepers as they are referred to by trade insiders). The result being that all we may end up with is a universal mouth-wash so bland and boring as to inspire epitaphs instead of poetry.

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , , | 2 comments
Bordeaux En Primeur
The Chateau La Lagune, France

Red Bordeaux en primeur 2007, an underappreciated, early drinking, mid-term cellaring vintage for devotees, not investors.

En Primeur or wine futures has its logic, after all we are dealing with the most collectable wine in the world, the consumer pays upfront, supposedly at a discount to the projected market price, taking title of an unfinished wine that they will receive in two or three year’s time, the Bordelaise château proprietors achieve a contingent source of finance in an industry that is inordinately capital intensive.

Read More >

Wine is a Perishable Product

When buying wine in Asia, the first question you should be asking your merchant is: How do you transport and store your wine?

Many consumers are unaware that wine is a perishable product, a ‘living thing’ that undergoes a delicate, continuous transformation of chemistry and integration of organisms. Even those who are acquainted with wine often disregard these facts, believing that it is resilient in its youth and that the glass bottle it lives in provides sufficient robust protection. In actuality, wine is almost as fragile and spoilable as any other fresh produce and it requires specialised handling in every step from production to the point of consumption.

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , | 3 comments
Sweet, but not just, Dessert Wine

The noble sweet wines from Sauternes and Barsac in Bordeaux, France are not only underappreciated for their extraordinary complexity but are also misunderstood as being less than versatile!

One of nature’s miracles and an aberration in viticulture is a peculiar mould that transforms the otherwise tart and shy white grape, Semillon, to nectar of unparalleled concentration of exotic fruits, honeyed sweetness, sumptuous richness and a creamy viscous texture, yet with a harmonious marmalade-like piquancy, pleasant bitterness and powerful natural acidity that imparts a perceived dryness.

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , , , | 1 comment
Favourite Wine Shop

The Wandering Palate’s UK correspondent, Alistair Scott considers the gratifyingly tangible aspects of a good old fashion,, family-run local wine merchant.

So, what makes a great wine shop…or off-licence or bottle shop if you prefer? What is it that works best for you as a wine buyer? When the door bell pings and you look inside the store, what excites you and where are the best examples of the species to be found?

Read More >

Days of Wine and Spices

The Wandering Palate Cambodia correspondent, Darren Gall, puts out the fire of spice in his mouth with the requisite wines.

“The year was 1968. We were on recon in a steaming Mekong Delta. An overheated private removed his flak jacket, revealing a t-shirt with an iron-on sporting the Mad slogan “Up with miniskirts!” Well, we all had a good laugh, even though I didn’t quite understand it. But our momentary lapse of concentration allowed Charlie to get the drop on us. I spent the next 3 years in a POW camp, forced to subsist on a thin stew made of fish, vegetables, prawns, coconut milk and four kinds of rice. I came close to madness trying to find it here in the States but they just can’t get the spices right.” Seymour Skinner

Read More >

Buying Wine | Related to: , , | 3 comments