The Wine Whisperer – “Pinot Noir Does Not Fight Back”

“Does anyone not drink wine” I asked in my opening address to a table of ten ladies that I was about to entertain for lunch and talk on the merits of pairing wine with Asian cuisine. Read More >

Burgundy 2012 – From the horse’s mouth… Alex Gambal – Vigneron

Analysis of Burgundy is something that I normally steer well clear of and most happy to leave this Rubik’s Cube of man and environment to the more obsessed dedicated and knowledgeable. I do enjoy Burgundy and visit frequently enough to embrace the subtleties, but not enough to comment on the dissection of a vintage. There is of course much commentary (noise) available on the net and from every quarter of the wine writing fraternity, but here’s some candid assessment from Alex Gambal, a vigneron of the English tongue that gives us a good insight of his toils and what we might expect in bottle. And while you’re there check out the Alex Gambal website for a unique and fascinating story. Read More >

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New releases from Bass Phillip

By all accounts, vintage 2011 was a challenge for most Australia wine growing regions. Phillip Jones is quite forthright about it by describing the conditions at his Leongatha South vineyard as “wet and cold” on the back labels of his current releases. Read More >

Ideal Christmas Gift for the Wine Enthusiast – Wine Courses at Taberna Wine Academy

Tan Ying Hsien - Proprietor of Taberna Wine bar & WIne Academy

If you’re still looking for the Christmas present for the wine enthusiast, chances are this individual, having been bitten by the wine bug, will have a thirst for wine knowledge even greater than the product itself. Tutored wine courses are a great we to satiate this thirst, the better ones more focused on actual tasting with a dynamic tutor, such as Singapore’s Taberna Wine Academy with our very own guru palate TAN Ying Hsien – the man is a wine prophet and excellent communicator – moreover, he has a good sense of humour and his wine course are fun. See below and visit

PS, this is the Wandering Palate’s favourite wine bar in Singapore, away from all the boozing crowds on the Quay’s and pedestrian bar strips, this is a very civilised and cosy wine bar tucked away in Binjai Park (off Dunearn Road). The wine list is extraordinary – a very personal (cellar) selection with some of the world’s greatest producers, at the same time always same amazing discoveries and bargains that Ying has unearthed – One frequently hears that the Singapore wine consumer is purely obsessed with super-fine wine and yet whenever I am at Taberna, I always see the patrons enjoying modest and obscure wines from all over the world – thanks to Ying’s ever-inquisitive palate.

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Passaporto Del Vino

Summergate Passaporto Del Vino

An Inspiring initiative from leading fine wine importers Summergate and Pudao wines showcased 50 of Italy’s most diverse and respected labels from their portfolio for the savvy China market. Read More >


OCTOBER 24 2012.

Our Wandering Palate Shanghai Correspondent and All-Australian, Michael Knuppel, is in the ‘Ruck’ with some of Australia’s finest at Shanghai’s hottest wine spot, the M1NT. Goal!

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Sam Neill Strike’s Vinous Gold

A note came through the email this morning from Sam Neill, proprietor of Two Paddocks, that prompted me to report on their 2008 Pinot Noir, which I have 5 cases in the cellar; well 4 cases now having liberated a case recently to check on how it is evolving – and was consumed within the week! The ‘Prop’ had suggested  “To drink up the 08’s, there’s exciting things ahead”, which illustrates the enthusiasm for the 2009 and 2010 vintages in Central Otago. Read More >

When the Levy Breaks

Our Cambodian correspondent, Darren Gall, fights off going troppo in the rainy season with a mix of Tomaso Albinoni Adagio, boyhood memories, cooking like an Italian and a deluge of Piedmonte wine. We think he’s OK now—Darren… “What do you think you are, for Chrissake, crazy or somethin’? Well you’re not! You’re not! You’re no crazier than the average asshole out walkin’ around on the streets (in the rain)  and that’s it” One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Read More >

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Out of my glass

Our Cambodian correspondent, Darren Gall shares his rational on sensory aspects of wine, “I have also learned that, for me, it is impossible to consider the wine in isolation…” encapsulating this publications doctrine, that wine is singularly boring yet compositely “delicious”. Read More >

Australia’s best kept secret
Guineau Fowls resident at Arlewood Vineyard, Australia

The subject of semillon came up the other day, fresh in my mind having just posted a piece on Mount Horrocks Semillon and notes on a vertical tasting from 2001 to 2010. We, that is Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith and I, were reminiscing on our formative wine days in Australia and some of our mutual mentors with the conversation leading to the Hunter Valley and the legendary semillons from Lindemans, Maurice O’Shea—McWilliams and interestingly, a shared enthusiasm for the barrel-fermented Rothbury Estate Black Label Semillons that Len Evans championed, wines of extraordinary richness and complexity in the vein of opulent Montrachet.

We both agreed it’s a curious thing that few vignerons pursued this style, in the Hunter Valley or any other Australian wine region for that matter, which prompted me to re-read an article I wrote a while back on the subject, “Australia’s best kept secret” and featuring the touchstone wine of this style in Margaret River, Western Australia – Arlewood

It’s time for semillon to step out of the shadows and into the limelight for some much-deserved recognition.

Should you ask me what is the most unfashionable or under-rated white grape variety in terms of quality, in Australia or the world for that matter, my answer would be semillon.

While semillon is acknowledged as one of the noblest of all grape varieties, it has not gained this in a global sense or as a stand-alone variety, rather it is invariably blended with its time-honored partner sauvignon blanc.

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