World Gourmet Series Wine & Restaurant Experience 2011 WRX Wine Journey
Due to a race that morning and a much-needed carb-laden lunch after, only managed to catch the last few hours of the WRX Wine Journey, part of the World Gourmet Series Wine & Restaurant Experience 2011. Billed as an affordable gourmet wine and food fair (S$38 for wine activity centres and masterclasses, S$88 for additional “Gourmet Pairing Market food and wine”) i thought commendable effort was made to try to educate consumers. It wasn’t quite as crowded as expected, possibly because it was difficult to get to Grand Copthorne Waterfront in the rain, but this meant more space to move around and time to talk to the wine educators present.
The WRX Wine Activity Centers, themed wine stations meant to be hosted by local wine experts, included The ABCs of Italian Wine, Hot Holiday Wines, “Know Your Pinots” Blind Pinot Noir Challenge,
BUBBLES!!! – hosted by Britta Giese,
Glorious Grüner – a whole selection of Grüner Veltliner from Austria! hosted by Maxim Sokolov from Unique Food and Wine (facebook). Amazing how variations in terroir, climate, processes can create such differently delicious products from the same grape grown in the same country – some of the wines actually tasted like chardonnay or had the aroma of a sauvignon blanc:
started with Jurtschitsch Little J, followed by Jurtschitsch Loiserberg Kamptal Reserve Osterreich 2010, Huber Alte Setzen Erste Lage Traisental Reserve, Huber Berg Erste Lage Gruner Veltliner Traisental Reserve, Leth Scheiben 2009, Markowitsch Alte Reben 2009, Prager Hinter der Burg Federspiel 2009, Weingut Brundlmayer Lamm 2009, Franz Hirtzberger Smaragd 2009, and finally Rudi Pichler Reserve 2008. From my notes, i liked the Prager and Markowitsch but that’s probably not all;
Global Cabernet Sauvignon hosted by Tan Ying Hsien of Taberna Wine, who was patient enough to have a prolonged chat about how to taste wines, chide me for marking down cab savs because of their youthfulness and suggest some books to read to teach myself at least the vocabulary of wine-tasting. Another person who happened to be at the table very kindly took me through smelling and tasting a corked wine – very useful! This n00b was grateful.
The WRX Try-and-Learn Masterclasses were similarly exciting:
“Rising New Zealand Reds” was presented by Man O’ War winemaker Duncan McTavish. We tasted Mt Difficulty Estate Series Pinot Noir 2009, TerreVin Pinot Noir 2008, Vynfields Reserve Pinot Noir 2008, Escarpment Kupe Pinot Noir 2009 (which i liked), Man O’ War “Ironclad” Merlot Cabernet Franc 2009 and Man O’ War “Dreadnought” Syrah 2009.
“Western Australian Masterclass” by Jeremy Oliver, where we learned to distinguish Margaret River wines by taste (and i showed a strong preference for Peccavi wines) (flight: Xanadu Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009, Peccavi Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2011, Wignalls Unoaked Chardonnay 2010, Peccavi Chardonnay 2008, Xanadu Chardonnay 2008, Wignalls Premium Chardonnay 2009, Wignalls Pinot Noir 2009, Voyager Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2007, Peccavi Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, Voyager Shiraz 2009) and the difference between technical scores (like Robert Parker’s) and wines that wine critics actually like to drink at home, and
“Stickies and Puddings” by Britta Giese, where the challenge was to match the different desserts with the given dessert wines: Small Gully Mr. Black’s Concoction Moscato 2009, Oremus Furmint Late Harvest Tokaji 2008, Markus Molitor “Zeltinger Sonnenuhr” Kabinett 2008, Tchida Zweigelt Strohwein, NV Ratafia de Champagne Henri Giraud, Cockburn’s Special Reserve Port. (There was a mild flurry of excitement when a chap in the front row keeled over onto the floor mid-session. Fortunately, it was only the after-effects of mixing cold medicine with alcohol. I was afraid i might have to dust off archived CPR skills.)
“casseler” (smoked pork in sour dough bread with “spreewald style”sauerkraut and spicy mustard) (Jan Touschil, MAGMA German Wine Bistro, Deli + Shop) x MAGMA
roast baby chicken with truffle, brioche, jamon and pinenut stuffing, rosemary and garlic potatoes (Christopher Millar, Stellar, 1-Rochester Group) x Grant Burge