Tag Archives: En primeur

Serving up the Finest Wines up above 40,000 feet

Traveling on Emirates should be about a Total Experience. Like a “jigsaw puzzle”, from the moment the chauffeur pick you up from your hotel, to the checking-in process, right up to boarding the plane and enjoying the in-flight entertainment, everything revolves around our Clients’ Experience and every part of the “jigsaw puzzle” should be complete – Mr Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering, Emirates.

Last week, our writer at The Drinking Market had a long-distance phone interview with Mr. Robin Padgett, Senior Vice President, Aircraft Catering at Emirates. Let’s hear what he has to say:

Qn: How does having a whole range of reputable wines benefit a consumer? Is there a wine pairing option on-board the plane?

Ans: In Emirates, we always believe in giving our clients an experience just like a night out in a fine-dining restaurant. Balancing our wine list, we carry wines from both New and the Old World, focusing on both quality and balance. In fact, we normally buy our wines 8-9 years prior to serving them, this does not only ensures that we have the sufficient quantity, but it also ensures that there is a proper storage facility and minimal movements to the wines when we keep it at our private cellar.

Back to the question, Emirates does something a little more interesting, for instance, a trip to Europe, we will feature a more popular wine from the particular country or region, such as a 1996 Chateau Montrose for a flight to Europe! Our clients would not only be able to experience a whole list of well thought through wines, but also some interesting vintages from the wineries in the country they are visiting. Having said that, we do not have a fixed wine-pairing menu on-board the plane, however, our team of air crews have been through strict trainings on wines and spirits, and should be able to do a simple pairing with the meals provided. On top of that, we also recommend our clients to have fun with the pairings, a seafood dish does not necessary have to go with a white wine, try a pinot noir (red) from Burgundy, it’ll definitely go well as well!

Qn: Can the consumers be expecting reputable wines from back vintages?

Ans: Definitely! As mentioned earlier, we often purchase our wines at least 8 to 10 years prior serving them, and we usually store it at our private cellar in Bordeaux or Dubai, a good example is the 2000 Cos d’Estournel that we are currently serving, it was bought 6 to 9 years ago.

Well, since you’re based in Singapore, let me share with you an example of what we serve on-board Emirates on your flight home.

  1. 2000 Dom Perignon
  2. 2006 Domaine Bouchard Pere, Meursault
  3. 2000 Ch La Lagune, Haut Medoc
  4. 2005 Yabby Lake Vineyard Pinot Noir
  5. 1985 Dow’s Vintage Port

Wine Cellar at the First Class Lounge at Terminal 3, Dubai Airport(2)

Qn: Storage of wines on board the plane

Ans: This is definitely one of the best questions, and i am glad you asked that. In Emirates, we take very close attentions to the quality our wines, in fact, we have a strong supply chain system from Dubai which transports the wines on-board the plane through a temperature controlled cargo, which our crews ensures minimal movements to the wines, so as to provide our clients with the best and the most optimal wine experience.

Qn: What triggered the move to go into fine wines on board a plane?

Ans: We have always been serving great wines on-board our planes, however, on a recent note, we are consistently finding the best solutions and strategies to improve our wine programme. The in-house team is one great example, we believe in the “jigsaw puzzle” concept, and wines are part of the “jigsaw puzzle” for a Total Experience

First Class & Business Class Onboard Lounge(5)

Qn: How does a palate differs at 40,000 feet in the sky compared to tasting a wine on the ground? Do the in-house wine team fly to taste?

Ans: There are many school of thoughts about one’s palate that will be affected on-board the plane, however, we do not see that as the main issue, in fact, all our wines are chosen on-premise. Nevertheless, our panel, that includes the President of Emirates travels alot, thus, if any one of us were to spot a wine that does not taste necessary well or doesn’t justify the wines’ potential at 40,000 feet, we will definitely have it replaced.

Having said that, it is uncommon and extraordinary to have a wine that “does not fly”, therefore, we’re glad that the wines we choose have been well-received so far!

First Class & Business Class Onboard Lounge(4)

Qn: What can consumers expect to get in the future?

Ans: I hope that our clients would happy with the service and in-flight entertainment we have on-board Emirates. In the near future, our passengers would definitely be able to enjoy and experience more interesting wines and back vintages from both renown and artisanal wineries. The World is our playground, we will consistently find the best wines to list on board the plane.

Qn: Anything else that you wish to tell our readers?

Ans: Yes! I would like to encourage our passengers to go through our wine list, and flip through it, there are definitely more interesting wines and spirirts that is worth a try. Do not just stick to the common ones that you have heard or seen, try something different, whatever you taste on-board, would definitely taste just as well on land.


Avignonesi Wine Dinner @ Buona Terra – Advertorial


Bored of having just a bottle of wine with your whole meal?

You’re in for a change this time!

Come 31st of October 2013, Certain Cellars alongside Chef Denis Lucchi from Buona Terra are organising a FIVE course pairing menu with the great wines from the family of Avignonesi.

For only $118++ per guest, you’ll be in for a treat!

Call or Email them for reservations now!

Tel: (65) 6733 0209    |    Email: reservation@buonaterra.com.sg


TDM-ASIA makes your trip PAID for!

Seen that? Yes, it’s all true! TDM-ASIA alongside WorldVentures and Rovia, an award winning travel agent is bringing you to travel to be paid!

Let’s see what has ROVIA achieved, just in 2012!

  • Honoured with the Golden Apple. Premier Apple and Platinum Apple award for exceptional quality & service
  • Recognised by TRAVEL WEEKLY in 2012 with a GOLD Megellan Award for best community involvement programme
  • Recognised by TRAVEL WEEKLY in 2012 with a SILVER Megellan Award for best travel guides, ratings & reviews

Unheard of? You’ve seen the video, by now you would have realised how many people in the WORLD, yes WORLD have joined us in this PAID to TRAVEL lifestyle programme!

Interested to join us in this journey of travelling to be paid?

Don’t hurry to do it! Like all businesses, there’s always a term and condition. Let’s meet-up over SKYPE, VIBER, FACE-to-FACE, whatever! I just want you to know the whole idea of TDM-ASIA & WV!

Before you leave, let’s see another video of what some others are doing NOW!

CLICK on the PHOTO to view!

Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 3.08.29 PM

Now, what’s your idea of fun? If you’re a self-confessed travel fanatic, LIKE ME, fill up the form at the bottom of this page and let’s keep in contact.

But… If you’re certain of joining the team of travellers, sign-up NOW !


Malat tasting @ Buyan Restaurant- Part 2

Finding your way into top houses in France, California and Germany for a search of quality Pinot Noir should be easier then a walk in the park. In fact, the Burgundians are famous for their Pinot Noirs with top houses like Domaine de la Romanee Conti and Armand Rousseau costing over $28,000 euros per bottle during the auction in Sotheby’s London in 1996. Labelled as the benchmark to Pinots. The Californians and Germans have been fast in catching up with the French in terms of quality and prices.

For those of you who have missed the entry about Rieslings from the Malat Family, click HERE

Blauer Spätburgunder or Blauburgunder, as what the Austrians normally relate to Pinot Noir is grown on almost all the red-wine growing regions in Austria, though they seldom market the varietal despite being a cool climate, which is perfect for the Pinot Noir varietal. In fact, a quick check with many wine consumers in Singapore, many were quick to say that they’ve never heard of an Austrian Pinot Noir.


Today’s topic would be specifically dedicated to the Pinot Noir of Malat Winery, a family-run winery with over 9 generations of winemaking and the most recent addition Michael Malat an avid sportsman and son of Gerald Malat who joined the family business in 2008 . Prior to this, Michael worked at many important wineries in France, New Zealand, California and Argentina.



A flights of 8 vintages were presented to us starting from the younger 2010 to the older, 2003 vintage of the Pinot Noir Reserve.

Tasting Notes:

2010 Pinot Noir Reserve

Hints of fresh herbs, toasted pine nuts and smoked animal. The palate reminds me of a young Pinot from Cote de Beaune, young and fresh acidity with slight tannic finish. I reckon it’s good to keep for another 8-12 years for optimal experience

2009 Pinot Noir Reserve

A little tight on the nose compared to the 2010 vintage, a swirl in the glass and a little more aeration would present a more earthy notes with light cherries and a slight hint of BBQ sauce. Well-rounded with silky tannins and a mid-long finish. One of the favourites for the day.

2008 Pinot Noir Reserve

Fresh on the nose with earthy, mushrooms notes. Hints of smokiness and vanilla was also present. On the palate was a lively and fresh acidity accompanied with a well structured tannin that holds the wine well. Recommends keeping for another 10 years.

2007 Pinot Noir Reserve

Getting a little more greenish notes, probably due to a hot year, resulting in early harvesting. The fruit structure was a little less approachable, but hints of floral, herbs and earthiness were still apparent. On the palate, a little juicy, but still with a balanced acidity and tannins structure.

2006 Pinot Noir Reserve

Floral and herbaceous on the nose with earthy and smoked mushrooms aromas.  A little higher in acidity and tannin, but very well balanced. Recommends to age for another 8-10 years.

2005 Pinot Noir Reserve

A little tight on the nose, but after a good swirl in the glass, I’m getting notes of vanilla, dried leaves and hints of tobacco. A slight disappointment on the palate with the acidity that is a tad lower as compared to the tannins, nonetheless, definitely good for rich meats!

2004 Pinot Noir Reserve

Hints of Chinese medicinal herbs with a bitter nose, complexity of the wine in interesting and a little hard to describe. I was really going through my wine journey in my brain, trying hard to get a perfect word for the first impression. As expected, the palate didn’t fail me with a well-rounded balance of acidity and tannins that went well together. Med- long finish

2003 Pinot Noir Reserve

One of the hottest summer in Austria, I’m getting a little more greenish notes and ripe fruits. On the palate, it was still fresh and a good balance of acidity and tannins.

Malat tasting @ Buyan Restaurant- Part 1

Good afternoon and i hope you’re enjoying your Saturday morning!

Today’s topic would be on Malat Winery, a family-owned winery based in Kremstal in the Niederosterreich region of Austria.

-NIEDEROSTERREICH- is Austria’s largest wine growing region with many sub-regions making exceptional wines.


Michael Malat, the 9th Generation of wine maker from Weingut Malat took over from his dad, Gerald Malat in 2008 after working at many important wineries in France, New Zealand, California and Argentina.


Do you know?

 “Austria is situated at the same latitude (between 47-48 degree north) as the famous Burgundy region in France? Austria is one of the World’s ideal cool climate wine regions that produce both fresh and complex white wines and spicy, elegant reds!”

A few days back, the Sommeliers and trade professionals in Singapore were in for a treat when we had the opportunity to taste some 20 wines, both red and whites from the Malat family dating back to the late 90s! Like the previous posts, I won’t be squeezing all the tasting notes into one article, but splitting into two parts. Let’s start with the Whites-Rieslings!

Riesling? That’s probably one of the questions you probably might be asking me, but yes, I’m not typing it wrong, we’re not talking about Gruner Vetliner today, but Rieslings!

Starting with the youngest 2011 to the 1998 vintage, Michael mentioned that the purpose of tasting it from the youngest to the oldest vintage is because the complexity of the wines would be more apparent as we move into the older vintages, we followed suit and it did!



2011 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  aromas of honey, caramel, pineapple and pear

Palate: Oily and hints of pear and fresh minerality as the wine aerate through the mouth, ending with a mid – long finish

2010 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  a little tighter on the nose as compared to the 11’ vintage. Hints of floral, lychee, pineapples with minerals were significant.

Palate: Oily and a tat more acidic. Getting more floral and mineral notes compared to the fruits

2008 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  white flower, pineapple and peach

Palate: Oily and richer on the palate, hints of petroleum, ending with a mid finish

 2007 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  more complex on the first nose, minerals, hints of dried leaves, pineapples

Palate: Oily and hints of pineapple. Fresh with a good balance of acidity and structure.

2005 Riesling das Beste

Nose: a tat more savory on the nose, fresh white mushrooms, more floral then fruits. Honey-liked nose.

Palate: Oily and hints of pear and fresh apples after some aeration in the mouth, mid-long finish

 2002 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  candy, osmanthus and honey

Palate: fresh acidity with a well rounded structure. Long finish

1999 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  a little more complex, notes of pineapple, pear and apples with white flowers and hint of petroleum.

Palate: Oily and notes of apple and minerals were apparent. mid to low acidity

 1998 Riesling das Beste

Nose:  perfumy, smoky, scented mushrooms, aromas of honey, caramel, butterscotch, pineapple and pear

Palate: Fresh and lively, full of minerality with hints of pear and apple as the wine aerate through the mouth, ending with a long finish – good to keep for another 10 years

“… Austrian Riesling became for me a happy middle-ground between the dry Alsace Rieslings and the semi-sweet German Kabinetts.” – Dr NK Yong, Singapore Business Times | Wine Columnist





Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass – Part 2


Hi TDMers!

I know it’s been really warm these few days and today’s sun is getting into my skin! Probably not a great time to be enjoying a red instead of the ever so refreshing Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio!

Nevertheless, i’m keeping to my promise of writing down Part 2 of the Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass at the Buyan Restaurant! For those of you who have missed Part 1 of the topic, click HERE to view the post!


Today, we’ll be chatting a little more about the reds in Rhone Valley, on that note, perhaps it’s good to introduce to you a little background on the grape varietals in Rhone. For more info on the varietals, please click on the link HERE.



2010 Cotes du Rhone Parallele 45

Grape Varietal: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: hints of spices, star arneis, and dark red prunes

Taste: Well structured with soft and elegant tannins, mid- full bodied.

2009 Gigondas Rouge – Pierre Aiguille

Grape Varietal: 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre

Colour: Deep ruby colour

Nose: hints of earthinesss, spices, ripe red fruits

Taste: a wine with flavours opening all around the palate, high levels of tannins and acidity, preferably to keep for another 5 – 8 years

2008 Chateauneuf du pape Rouge – Les Cedres

Grape Varietal: 70% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, 5% Mourvedre

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: a little more distinctive on the nose compared to its peers of reds from Paul Jaboulet. Very ripe fruits with notes of Chiku, old wooden cigar boxes

Taste: A very powerful wine with a long and spicy finish, capable of pairing with a red meat (preferably w/o sauce)

2009 Cotes Rotie Rouge – Les Jumelles

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Colour: Ruby colour deep purple hues

Nose: hints of spices, earthiness, dark cherries and violets

Taste: soft and velvety, good acidity and tannin structure, potential to age the wine for another 5 years before tasting.

2009 Cornas Rouge – Les Grandes Terrasses

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah

Colour: Deep red ruby colour

Nose: ripe strawberries, hints of earthiness, cigar box and a touch of liquorice

Taste: full bodied and tannic wine, perfect for meats that are rich in proteins


2009 Crozes Hermitage Rouge – Domaine de Thalabert

Grape Varietal: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

Colour: Bright red ruby colour

Nose: tight on the nose, requires a little more decanting, intense dark cherries, violets, ripe prunes, old leather and animal notes

Taste: a full-bodied wine with a powerful tannin structure, juicy and salivating, mid-long finish

2009 Hermitage Rouge – La Petite Chapelle

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah (old vines of 40-60years_

Colour: Deep back cherry colour

Nose: dark cherry fruits, intense sweet spices, ripe fruits, violets

Taste: high level of acidity, intense spice flavours, full bodied

2007 Hermitage Rouge – La Chapelle

Grape Varietal: 100% Syrah (Old vines, 40-60 years)

Colour: Deep bright red ruby colour

Nose: perfumy with hints of spices, herbacious, dried flowers, woody, dark fruits

Taste: mid-full bodied, silky tannins and a long finish


2010 Muscat Beaumes de Venice – Le Chant des Griolles

Grape Varietal: 100% Muscat

Colour: golden-straw colour

Nose: pear, apple, pineapple, peach, sweet candy and hints of honey

Taste: fresh and sweet, finishes with notes of candy and honey



For more information of the wines and purchasing options, please contact The SIngapore Straits Wine Company at:


The Straits Wine Company
Website: www.straitswine.com

Contact Number: +65 65936333

E-mail: info@sswc.com.sg

* Special Thanks goes to Indra Kumar (Buyan) and Ian Lim (SSWC) for making this Masterclass possible!

Paul Jaboulet Aine Masterclass – Part 1


Today, the sommeliers and trade professionals in Singapore were in for a treat over at Buyan Restaurant.


Together with the Straits Wine Company and the Sommelier Association of Singapore, Jean Luc Chapel, Sommelier and Brand Ambassador for Paul Jaboulet Aine conducted a Masterclass, showcasing 13 different wines ranging from the whites to the reds and then the sweet. Also, moving on from the Northern part of Rhone Valley to the southern part of Chateauneuf du pape.


Some of the wines tasted were indeed far above just good. To certain extend, i’ve not seen anything bad that comes from Paul Jaboulet Aine.

For me to list everything down may cause this post to be a really really… really long one, nevertheless, i’ve decided to break down this post into two parts. The very first portion of the tasting notes would include a brief background about Paul Jaboulet Aine alongside the whites that were showcased in today’s masterclass. Following on, i will be posting the reds and a sweet wine from Paul Jaboulet in part two of my post.

So if you’ve got any queries or questions, do feel free to email me at – thedrinkingmarket@gmail.com and i will try my very best to answer your questions.

Paul Jaboulet Aine has been more then a reputable winery for over two centuries, their passion for the Rhone Valley is clearly seen in their continuous efforts to improve consistency and excellence in wine-making. On top of making excellent wines, they have also been constantly practising sustainable agriculture and are moving towards being organic. A dynamic winery which prides itself on it’s vines, wine-making and people, Paul Jaboulet Aine is definitely one of the most reputable houses in the circle of fine wines.



2011 Cote du Rhone Blanc – Parallele 45

Grape Variety: 50% Grenache blanc, 20% Marsanne, 20% Viogner, 10% Bourboulenc

Colour: Pale Yellow with greenish hues

Nose: Aromatic notes of fresh white flowers, apple, pear, hints of apricots

Palate: refreshing and lively on the palate with hints of minerals and fresh acidity

2011 Crozes Hermitage Blanc – Domaine Mule Blanche

Grape Variety: 50% Rousanne, 50% Marsanne

Colour: Pale Yellow

Nose: Fresh white flowers (cyrstanthemum, lilies), honey & nectar

Palate: well-balanced and fresh on the palate with hints of honey. Off-dry, good to pair with seafood.


2008 Hermitage Le Chevalier de Sterimberg

Grape Variety: 65% Marsanne, 235% Rousanne

Colour: Pale Yellow and brightly tinted

Nose: requires a little more breathing/ decanting and notes ripe apple, pear, danish pastry, apricots, caramel and honey

Palate: well-rounded structure with a fresh acidity and finesse. recommends to keep for another 5-10 years

2010 Condrieu Domaine des Grands Amandiers

Grape Variety: 100% Viogner

Colour: Pale Yellow-white with greenish hues

Nose: Notes of fresh white flowers (lilies, jasmine), pear, hints of apricots and lychee

Palate: freshness and notes of minerals covers the wine with a balanced acidity and a long finish. A grew wine to pair with seafood and grilled asparagus.

For more information of the wines and purchasing options, please contact The SIngapore Straits Wine Company at:


The Straits Wine Company
Website: www.straitswine.com

Contact Number: +65 65936333

E-mail: info@sswc.com.sg

* Special Thanks goes to Indra Kumar (Buyan) and Ian Lim (SSWC) for making this Masterclass possible!