Pairing people with wine

Whining & Dyning – Shut that Wine Snob Up


By Gerald Lu

Alas, the new year begins and the industry is awash with new projects and plans for 2015. Chefs ready themselves for a carribbean and latin-american invasion, mixologists braving horror stories to bring us spirits and liqueurs from China are Sommeliers are “level-upping” their snootiness with new wines from obscure regions.
In order for us not to be left behind, here are some regions guaranteed to shut the other party up whilst boosting your own wine knowledge !

Discover and improve your wine knowledge

1. Santorini – Greece

Yes, besides being the perfect venue for weddings and instagram posts with yoga poses, Santorini is home to one of the most underrated dessert wines in the world – Vinsanto. Made from the Assyrtiko grape varietal at a minimum of 51%, the grapes are laid out to dry on straw mats for between one to two weeks before being pressed, fermented and aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak barrels.

The result is a dark, rich, velvety dessert wine of dried figs, honey, cocoa, licorice, dates and toffee. The relatively low yields means production is low hence getting your hands on some could be pretty challenging.

2. Duoro DOC – Portugal

Yes, the region where the world’s famous Port wines are made. Whilst the sweet, fortified wines have already established themselves in the market, the still wines, made from Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cão and Tinta Barroca are sneaking in like cheeky ninjas. Portugal’s very own Bordeaux blend, the grapes are individually vinified before undergoing their own blend and aged in both new and/or old, French and/or American barriques and barrels. These babies pack power and complex flavors of figs, prunes, blackcurrant, sweet baking spices and oak influences of cocoa, coffee and vanilla. The best ones come usually from the Duoro Superior and Cima Corgo regions and normally cost below $100 for even the best ones. To top it off, 3 of these babies from 2014’s top 100 wines in the world (by Wine Spectator) made it to the top 5, taking 1st, 3rd and 4th spot respectively.

3.Savennières AOC – France

Love the intensity and opulence of a good chardonnay? Also cant resist the racy zing and crisp notes on a good savvy-blanc? Why not combine them both and let’s get Chenin Blanc! Not just any Chenin Blanc, but one from Savennières, a region situated in the Loire Valley of France. Concentrated flavors of apple, honeysuckle, lemon zest and white flowers are typical accompanied with high acidity levels and a clean, lingering minerality from the schist soils in the region. The wine is typically spread across 3 hills totaling about 300 hectares. (Château Lafite-Rothschild is 107 hectares on its own.). AOC Savennières covers most of the region whilst AOC Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines covers a mere 33 hectares.

To take this Chenin Blanc a notch up the snobbery route, the 3rd AOC, AOC Savennières-Coulée-de-Serrant is a measly 7 hectares and is SOLEY owned by Nicolas Joly, the most iconic name in the region. He makes 3 different wines, and of which, Clos de la Coulée de Serrant, a wine known for its power and longevity and is mentioned in the breadth of the world’s best whites. Give us a call when you plan to open some.

4.Kamptal DAC – Austria

Move aside Champagne, Prosecco and Cava. Here comes Austrian Sekt!
Kamptal gets its name from the river Kamp that flows directly through it, offering a diversity of soils from loess to gravel. Certain aspects of the region have extremely steep slopes, offering maximum light and heat exposure, somewhat like the Mosel region of Germany, where the Rieslings get rich and majestic. Despite being the home to some great still wines made from Grüner Veltliner and Riesling, the secret of Kamptal lies, in a town called Langenlois.

Comprising of some great houses like Fred Loimer, Bründlmayer and Jurtschitsch, Langenlois produces some of the best sparkling wines the world has hardly seen. Lemon and spice line their bubblies accompanied with a lingering acidity and clean minerality only capable by cool climate regions, focused and pure with a fine and persistent mousse, that is the style of the great sparklings of the region. Production is small with an average of 500 – 3000 bottles produced per winery (if they even have the means to make it) with some wineries like Bründlmayer even holding on to vintages from the 50s and 60s still full of life and energy! ( Yes, lucky me has tasted some.)




Now, go out there, get some and blow away your friends going on and on about the same Grand Crus and Classified growths away with your new found wine knowledge !



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