The Sommelier’s Palate – Giancarlo Marena, Sommelier at Quattro Passi on the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Giancarlo

“Surely Don Alfonso of St. Agata sui Due Golfi (** Michelin) remains one of the best restaurants in the world” Giancarlo Marena, Sommelier at Quattro Passi on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

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The Wine Escapade of Stephanie …embarking on a voyage of wine discovery (updated)
Stephanie's Wine Escapade

Singapore based Sommelier, Stephanie Rigourd, has an insatiable thirst for wine discovery and is a prolific blogger sharing her explorations and revelations up until recently on the Asia Wine Society website; visit this link for previous posts  (http://www.asiawinesociety.com/sr/). We are delighted to host Stephanie on the Wandering Palate for future confessions on her travels on the wine route and vinous enlightenment. Read More >

THE CLIMATE OF THE VINTAGE – Angelo Gaja on climate change in Italy
Angelo Gaja at Raffles Singapore

It is the change in the climate, characterized by long-lasting summer heat and lack of rainfall, which has caused the significant drop in the production of grapes in Italy’s 2012 vintage; for the same reason, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011 were low-production years as well. To this must now be also added the limited inventory of wine from previous vintage currently in the cellars of the wineries. In a short space of time, Italian wine has passed from a situation of perennial over-production to one of under-production. Read More >

Livio Felluga: Terra e Vini , Friuli Land and Wine
Abbey sits proudly atop the hills in Rosazzo with a splendid view of the vineyards

Our Wandering Palate Shanghai correspondent, Michael Knuppel, is ‘wandering’ the hills of sunny hills of Friuli, soaking up the wine and culture in delirium. Read More >

Sock Juice: The Great Escape
Piedmonte

I left for a week in Piedmont with high gastronomic hopes.  I still recall some of the magnificent food I ate last time I was there (which was over a decade ago, in November, the beautiful and mysterious time of fogs and white truffles).  It wasn’t just the truffles, though.  I adored the Italian respect for raw materials, and the way Italian chefs were prepared to serve a beautifully grown, simply prepared vegetable as a course on its own. Read More >

The Sommelier’s Palate – Alex Calabro
Alex Calabro - seconf from the right, with Giuseppe Mazzocolin, (middle) proprietor-winemaker of the legendary Chianti estate, Fattoria Felsina

(pronounced suh-mal-’yAy)

In Medieval Provençal times they were saumaliers, animal pack drivers who evolved during Middle French kingdom to become court officials charged with transportation of supplies. So what does a modern day Sommelier actually do? Well, Wikipedia outlines as such, “A sommelier or wine steward is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants who specializes in all aspects of wine service as well as wine and food matching. The most important work of a sommelier is in the areas of wine procurement, wine storage, wine cellar rotation, and expert service to wine consumers.” Read More >

Dolcetto in Piedmont – Not a Sweet Wine
The endless rows of Docletto vines

Our intrepid Singapore Sommelier, Shalom Chin, treks through the hills of Dogliani in Piedmont and discovers some serious Dolcetto. Read More >

Sommelier Shalom Chin on Barbera in Piedmont – the People’s champion
View over the hills of Asti

While Nebbiolo makes up only 3 to 6 precent of the grapes grown in Piedmont, Barbera is the most widely grown grape in Piedmont and second to only to Sangiovese in Italy. This is why it is known as “the people’s wine”. However, like Nebbiolo, this is a grape that is used in many different versions. In Piedmont, there is Barbera d’Alba DOC, Barbera d’Asti DOCG, Barbera del Monferrato DOC and Barbera del Monferrato Superiore DOCG. Read More >

Moscato Mania & the little Rascal
Mount Viso in the background at Mustela just outside Barbaresco and inside Langhe

Moscato – A perception problem

In Piedmont, you cannot go to Asti and leave without tasting Moscato. Moscato di Canelli, known as Frontignac in Australia and as Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains in France, is one of the most widely well-received and loved grapes around the world. At parties, it is easily favoured by new wine drinkers because of its approachability and sweetness. It is bought up in cases by people with a sweet tooth due to its affordability. Wineries produce it because it generates good revenue. The bubbles that usually come with it add joviality to the occasion. However, to seasoned drinkers, it is viewed as a boring and unsophisticated wine, which is predominately sugared grape juice. Read More >

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The Definitive Italian Vineyard – Forteto della Luja – Piedmont
Forteto della Luja - www.fortetodellaluja.it

Forteto della Luja - www.fortetodellaluja.it

One of my most intriguing wine discoveries – period – is Forteto della Luja, a family run property which is nothing short of extraordinary; a vineyard that has been run organically since the early 19th Century, or 1826 to be precise, as they know nothing other than organic! Located in the tiny village and municipality of Loazzolo (population 300), the property is surrounded by forest of such incredible biodiversity and unique flora and fauna that it has been designated a World Wildlife Fund Reserve. Read More >

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