Last Updated: October 28, 2017
Wine connoisseurs and whisky enthusiasts, ’tis the season to be jolly!
Returning for its fourth edition, the Wine & Whisky Week is here once again in time for your Christmas preparation needs.
1855 The Bottle Shop will be holding Singapore’s largest wine and whisky event from 1 – 12 November 2017 at Suntec City. Look forward to wine and whisky samples, and even masterclasses conducted by renowned experts.
During a sneak preview, I tried nine different wines and whiskies. Organised into three different flights, I sampled golden bubblies, festive Amarones and cask-strength whiskies.
If you’re out of ideas for festive gifts, why not get a bottle of bubbly for the party? It’ll surely perk your guests up. Choose from classics such as Champagne and Prosecco, and even Spanish Cava.
The Val d’Oca Prosecco DOC Extra Dry Blue Millesimato is a classic prosecco through and through. Fresh and sparkling with a hint of sweetness, this bubbly was fuller bodied – or as they call it, off-dry. Its fruity flavours and slight tartness made it an easy bubbly to drink. Be sure to sip; you wouldn’t want those bubbles going to your head!
If you’ve heard of Cava, you’ll know that it’s actually sparkling wine from Spain. Similar to Champagne, the Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava Brut NV is the second bubbly in the sparkling wines flight. Drier and less sweet than the Prosecco, the fizzing bubbles were mesmerising to watch and slightly bitter on my tongue.
The final sparkling wine in the flight was the Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs NV. Rated an impressive 91 points by Wine Spectator, this bubbly has the most body of the three. Bubbles lingered in the glass long after pouring, and a slight hint of yeast wafted up upon nosing it. The distinct flavour of toasted bread rolled around my tongue upon tasting. This Champagne is complex enough to be drunk on its own, but you might want to pair it with fatty fish like salmon or cod. Too much of a good thing can be overwhelming, after all.
Next up is a flight of wines in shades of deep red. Pair that hearty Christmas meal with Amarone, a rich dry red wine. Famous in the Italian region as a festive wine, this is a highly-esteemed selection.
Using partially dried grapes, the sugars in the wines are concentrated further – this also boosts the alcohol content. A hint of light spices permeated through the Masi Brolo di Campofiorin Oro Rosso Del Veronese IGT 2012. With a complex, full-bodied flavour, this red wine can easily be drunk on its own. It rolled smoothly on the tongue and slid down my throat like an elixir.
The second wine in this flight is the Pagus Bisano Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2014. A deep, rich red like the first, this has more structure than the Campofiorin. Made from three different Italian grapes from the Veneto region, this young amarone was more bitter than most reds.
The final red wine in the amarone flight is an older wine. The Masi Costaserta Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2012 holds a lot more complexity and power in its deceptively smooth texture; a whiff of the wine easily reveals its 16% alcohol content. Slightly astringent in the manner of an English Breakfast tea, this bitterness is precisely the reason why it’s revered for ageing so well.
For the final flight, I was delighted to sample cask-strength whiskies. Having fallen in love with this liquid gold in Scotland, this flight goes down as my favourite.
Get in the spirit of the festive season with this intensely-flavoured spirit, best-enjoyed post-dinner with family and friends.
Made in India, the first whisky of the flight is the Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength. Distilled from barley grown at the foot of the Himalayan mountains, this whisky had a distinctly honeyed flavour. Slightly sweet, the complex flavour of this whisky ran the gamut from woody to fruity, before settling on a vanilla-and-honey aftertaste.
The next whisky is darker in colour – the Taiwan-made Kavalan Solist Sherry Single Cask Strength ushered a waft of chocolate and walnut as you nose it. Bitter like black cocoa powder, this sherry cask whisky gains its woody aftertaste from the strong infusion of wood during distillation.
The final whisky, and final drink of the evening, is the smoky Kilchoman Original Cask Strength. Highly exclusive, this whisky is limited to 12,000 bottles worldwide. The smoky flavour lingered long after the last drop had been drunk – like kissing a smoker, the flavour stayed and tingled everything in my mouth with a touch of burning peat.
These three flights represent but a small fraction of the exquisite selection at the event.
If you need another reason to head down, how about the chance to win over 30 bottles of wines and whiskies? That’s practically a year’s supply!
Dates & Times: 1 November 2017 (11am – 5pm), 2 – 12 November 2017 (11am – 10pm)
Prices: Free admission (masterclasses are individually priced at S$28 per ticket)