Mummy blogs …
Recently, I was invited to a dinner “The Winemaker’s Table”. It was billed as an opportunity to get up close and personal with 20 winemakers around the world. (Really quite prestigious considering there would be winemakers from award winning wineries)
Well, as I was getting ready for the dinner, I decided to put together what little experience/knowledge I have about wine:
1. I don’t drink wine! I don’t drink beer! I don’t drink!
2. It amazes me why many are preoccupied with ‘sniffing’ their wine glasses before take a sip. How does that enhance the experience? We don’t sniff our food before eating! :)
3. There’s RED wine and there’s WHITE wine. I never knew the difference! To me – it is just WINE!
4. Wine comes from grapes. And I think people still do their traditional dance on the grapes to extract the wine.
So armed with such a *rich* experience, I went for the dinner. You can imagine there was really quite a bit of apprehension as I stepped in!
Dinner was at Jing, at 1 Fullerton. It is a beautiful place, overlooking the Singapore River. Now…this was something I was looking forward to!
The FOOD. The 10-course meal was glorious! Really. Look at the fish…
(So sorry, no other pictures of food. We loved it so much, and were sooo hungry, it was gone before we could take any pictures!)
Check out the chef’s credentials!
Now the WINE and the winemakers.
The Winemakers were assigned White Covered seats that were distributed all around the room. As luck would have it, the seat next to mine was a Winemaker’s seat! And with each Course, the winemakers would change seats among themselves! As they moved around, they would bring along their wine (some up to 4 bottles) for us to try! It was kind of like musical chairs! You know speed dating – it’s exactly the same formula!
When we started, I felt like a hypocrite! These highly honoured men (& some women) would be able to see right through me! Alas! Should I go along with the pretence?
Hmm… I am proud to say Truth prevails and the truth will set you free. I simply put aside my prejudices, and positioned myself as an ignoramus. I asked genuine questions that I was interested in, and had a really good time!
Q1: Do you own a vineyard too?
A: Not necessarily. Winemakers own wineries or work in wineries. Some wineries buy grapes from vineyards, some have family members who own vineyards, and some have their own vineyards.
Wineries which don’t have vineyards have the option of picking and choosing the best grapes, and deciding on the quantity of wine they want. On the other hand, with a vineyard, the wineries have to contend with bad harvest and create various grades of wine accordingly.
Q2: Do your children drink wine?
A: YES! It was resounding! In fact, in Italy, one of the winemakers pour wine on good ol’ Italian bread, and sprinkle sugar over it as afternoon snack for his kids! This is a common dish served at mid-day! They believe the wine gives EXTRA energy for kids to pull through the second half of the day!
Q3: What’s your personal favourite?
A: This was the best question I asked! Cos if I didn’t, they would get you to try all the wine that their winery produces!
Q4: Is this your first time in Singapore?
Q5: What’s your favourite food here?
Q6: Have you tried the durian?
You would notice the subsequent questions are all small talk with the winemakers. Haha!
After all that drinking, feasting, talking and merry making, this is our table.
That large glass of red wine is a combination of many many many glasses of wine that we couldn’t finish! They call it the tipping glass—you tip the wine that you don’t want into that glass! It was comforting to know that even the experts don’t finish their wine!
Now, for my personal favourite! If I have to bring wine to a dinner, this is what I’d bring. It’s refreshing, light and cleans your palate. (quote and unquote from the Winemaker himself!) And trust me, it really does! I like it!
Maybe this choice also reflects my aptitude for wine appreciation… it is the cheapest wine presented that night! Costs only $28.80 a bottle! But it wins hands down for me!
Thank you Denise The Wine Shop for organising this event. And of course much thanks to Henry for the invitation.