Into its eighth year, The Straits Wine Company (SSWC) is celebrating its flagship event, Wine Fiesta with a theme that pivots wine as the star while Singapore-styled food and music build around it. Held from 23 to 25 October 2015, guests can expect to indulge in over 350 wine labels and be greeted by 82 global winemakers!
While we are not wine connoisseurs ourselves, I have been slowly learning the basics and it is intriguing indeed to learn that even glassware makes a difference in the overall sampling of the wine! Apart from the wide variety of wines at the event, one can surely pick up important tips from experienced sommeliers and winemakers with free wine masterclasses on various wine-related topics.
With the passing of National Day and our GE, it seems like celebrations for the nation's jubilee year have slowly tapered to a close but expect things to rev up at Wine Fiesta! While wine is the centerpiece, four renowned Singaporean chefs, Matthew Mok from The Rabbit Stash, Bjorn Shen from Artichoke, Malcolm Lee from Candlenut, and Cheryl Koh from Tarte (Les Amis Group) will each be presenting three originally created dishes specially for the event and Chef Cheryl will be creating tennis-themed tarts to celebrate women's tennis tournament this October! For every dish, the sommelier at SSWC had carefully curated and paired it with the right wine to ensure a perfect finishing on one's palate. Wine and dine is never complete without music so guests can expect some local talents such as Dru Chen, Roze & The Family Soul, TAJ, Tim De Cotta, Vandetta, Weish and DJ Funk Bst*rd (Darker Than Wax).
What are the wines and dishes to expect?
Beef cheek rendang burger with achar and cheddar cheese | Chef Matthew Mok
We were largely impressed by Chef Matthew's culinary skills and artistic presentation during our visit to The Rabbit Stash which focuses on a contemporary cuisine. This time round, the chef's new dish stems from its other restaurant, Nectar's focus on casual dining that binds Western cuisine with an Asian flair. We loved the harmonious concoction of flavours that married the savoury beef cheek with the acidity of achar before finding a sweet balance with the cheese to add richness.
Need something to complement? Sommelier Moritz recommends the Spanish Vina Pedrosa "Gran Reserva" 2006, Ribera del Duero or Italian's Castello di Brolio Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG 2011.
Other highlights by Chef Matthew from his Rabbit Stash's creation include:
Smoked meatballs with rosemary brown rice and chorizo | Chef Matthew Mok
Khan Soi Hotdog | Chef Bjorn Shen
This can hardly disappoint and in terms of quality and value. The chicken banger is accompanied by red curry mayo, pickled mustard greens, crispy noodles and coriander. Created based on Chef Bjorn's latest Thai F&B concept, Bird Bird, this was a delight as flavours were perfectly balanced between the fermented greens and heat from the red curry mayo. The crispy noodles reminded us of the famous Mamee crispy dried noodle snack that gave a nice crunch to each bite. Like what Chef Bjorn said, expect to get messy!
Sommelier Moritz recommends the AIX Rose 2014, Provence, France or Man' O War Gravestone 2012, Waiheke Island, New Zealand.
For dessert fans, expect Chef Bjorn to introduce a Cherry Cheesecake Creamsicle!
No, this is not how the new creamiscle will look like but this was what we had previously, a milo dinosaur Neh Neh Pop that was a limited edition treat as part of SG50 celebrations!
Caramelised pork cheek bun with lemongrass blue ginger soy reduction | Chef Malcolm Lee
What happens when you chew on a fluffy steamed bun and have a gorgeous caramelised pork belly melting in your mouth? Well, I leave that imagination to you but this was spot-on in terms of flavours as Chef Malcolm builds on his expertise in Peranakan cuisine to craft a local favourite.
Sommelier Moritz recommends the Carrick Pinot Noir Bannockburn 2013, Central Otago, New Zealand and Scott Wines Fiano 2014, Adelaide Hills, Australia.
If you want something sweet from Chef Malcolm, do not miss out his Five textures of coconut dessert!
Last but not least, guests can tuck in to specially crafted tarts from Tarte by Cheryl Koh! Do expect lemon meringue tarts presented in the form of tennis balls and pistachio tarts made into green tennis lawns!
If the above food are not enough to make you tick, then hopefully the local music artists would!
Tickets for Wine Fiesta 2015 are now available through SISTIC or all 11 of SSWC's retail stores islandwide!
Starting from S$50/nett per ticket or grab two other friends for S$99 (3 tickets), you can bring it to the next level with the opening party- Winemaker's Table Dinner (S$228/++) where guests will sample 75 iconic wines and vintages alongside dinner prepared by four home-grown chefs and the Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore's buffet.
Whether you are a wine-newbie like myself or a wine connoisseur, there are takeaways for everyone at the event. More importantly, walk away learning more about wines and go over the scale with a few more glasses with your friends!
Wine Fiesta 2015 (23 - 25 Oct 2015)
80 Collyer Quay
, by cy