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ImageWe found the restaurant Le Pre aux Clercs in the Place de la Liberation in Dijon from the French restaurant guide, Gault Millau. We didn’t exactly pay much attention to what the food was, nor the significance of the venue, we had simply picked it according to the rating from the book.

The restaurant was empty when we arrived at 7:20pm for our 7:30pm reservation. The woman, obviously the proprietor simply said, “oui, tout a fait, a tout a l’heure,” basically telling us to come back later. However, our persistent pleas to have a drink beforehand resulted in a nice table on the terrace overlooking the plaza.

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Burgundy wines are probably the most confusing regions to understand.  Some said the word ‘terrior’ comes from this region, and the wine makers I met in Burgundy all said so!

Driving through the vineyards of Burgundy is so much different from Bordeaux.  Bordeaux is very flat and the vineyards stretch miles and miles away.  In Burgundy, there are small parcels of land along both sides of the road.  On one side the land is flat but then the other side is quite hilly. Continue Reading »

Wine Blending

Some people enjoy wines for pleasure, some for investment, some for sharing and then there are some that like to go beyond the label and learn about wine making.

Recently, read a few articles in the paper about a new shop in Hong Kong that goes beyond just selling wines; the owner is also a wine maker now resides in Hong Kong and offers some interesting wine classes, including wine blending.

Well for one thing, you don’t need a Chemistry degree to attend this 2 hour class.   Continue Reading »

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness….”

This time of year could be quite warm and humid, may not be the best of times to enjoy alfresco dining.  We just have to take our chance when we plan for a seafood and wine lunch at Lamma Island a few months back.

A cool breeze under the sunny sky over the weekend turned out to be the perfect setting for the outdoor lunch.   The worst of times was waiting for the wines to be chilled for the perfect serving temperature. Continue Reading »

Scent of a woman

Artist: Charles Kaufman

The “Do’s & Don’ts” of attending wine dinners?   One thing for sure is that after a few round of drinks, the noise level will rise a few notches.  But by then, who cares?

Attended a wine dinner this week, it was a nightmare!  The worst thing that could happen …  happened!  A lady sitting next to our table, you could literally close your eyes and able to point out where she was.  She wore such a strong perfume you could smell miles away.  Continue Reading »

Half Bottle, Please

Artist: Charles Kaufman

When you go on business trip, do you feel uneasy to dine by yourself in a restaurant? For me, I’ve always enjoyed going to a restaurant, just because they offer much more choices.

But in China, the restaurant experience could sometimes be quite amusing when it comes to ordering wines.  I just learnt something new from a recent trip to Beijing!

Flying to Beijing is always a daunting experience; you could never be sure on the arrival time. This time, the flight was actually on time when we got to Beijing, but it took the pilot 2 attempts to be on the ground and then forever to get to the gate. I was happy when I made it to the hotel, the restaurant was still serving. Continue Reading »

1961 Barolo

As the weather turns cooler, the festivity spirits fill the air and remind us Christmas is just around the corner.  We began celebration last night, not for the holiday though, but for the birthdays of two good friends.

We met at the Piemonte trip, the land of Barolo.  So the best gift to bring along is a vintage Barolo – 1961!  The wine was shipped from Italy and sat in my cellar for more than 2 months, so it should pass the bottle shock stage.   Continue Reading »

Decanters.. we all know about them. They come in different shapes and sizes. Some are round, some shaped like funnels, others like swans, ducks, musical instruments, and even elongated poisonous snakes.

Yes, I’m talking about the range of decanters from Riedel, the company famous for making different shaped and sized glasses for different wine varietals. But while Riedel has certainly made its point with its wine glasses, it doesn’t feel the same way with decanters. In fact, Riedel doesn’t feel anything of the sort when it comes to decanters except that it has to look good on the table, hence its emphasis on design and style. Continue Reading »

For anyone who has spent any time or effort getting to know the different grape varietals and their characteristics when turned into wine, the concept that different wines should be drunk in different glasses should come naturally.

Either through experience or study, we all know that white wine glasses should be smaller than red wine glasses, simply due to the intensity of the bouquet from reds, which requires, perhaps deserves, more room to breathe and manifest itself.

We all know this simple rule, but few of us take the time to explore the idea further and find out how different shapes and sizes of glasses impact the actual experience of drinking different wines. More importantly, few of us ask the question: What is the best shape and size for a glass that is best suited to maximise the qualities of a particular varietal? Continue Reading »

Sommelier

Some times I wonder what is that little sparkle you could add to your job to make it more interesting?  To meet someone that will make the effort to spice up the dining experience, well deserves a round of applause!

At Ristorante Al Cristo in the heart of Verona Italy, we met a sommelier named Icas, whom just made those little steps to make the dining experience much more entertaining.   Pairing the food with wine, was a given, he caught our attention when he poured the wine and we noticed the cork was hanging at the side of the bottle.   Continue Reading »