Ideal temperatures for enjoying your wine

A wine is more enjoyable at the optimum (cool) temperature  so I am not too fussed about  a little
dilution from the addition of an ice cube…..

That said, here are the ideal temperatures for enjoying your wine

18 – 16 C = Ideal for top red wines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone and similiar
styles from the New World

15-16 C = Best for mature Bordeaux; best Spanish/Italian wines; aged Cabernet
Sauvignons and Merlots Chianti, Zinfandel and Cotes du Rhone wines

14-15 C = Great white burgundy, Port and Madiera

11-12 C = Light red wines such as Beaujolais

10-11 C = Sherries

9-11 C = Alsace, Loire, German and Austrian wines, Sauvignon Blanc and

9-10 C = Rose wine

8-9 C = Humble white wines, Lambrusco and sweet red wines

7-8 C = Champagne and other sparkling wines

4 – 7 C = Sweet dessert wines and other sparkling wines

Tip from Etienne Hugel visiting @ Tiong Bahru Hawker Centre : Fill your wine glass with ice and some water, swirl it around and toss it all out. Then pour your wine into the glass. The wine will keep cool for longer – especially when enjoying wine in the tropical heat.

Dry Aged Beef

Beef in various states of maturity, at the David Jones Food Hall, Perth, WA, Australia.

Only the best cuts of meat, usually with evenly distributed fat content are chosen for hanging (left to mature in a very cold room called a ‘hot box’

Two things happen – the meat looses moisture and so flavour is more concentrated (think of ice wine or noble rot); enzymes also break down the connective tissue in the meat leading to tenderisation.

Pair of Syrahs from 2007

Tasted recently a Cape Mentelle Shiraz and a Domaine Clape Cornas. From both ends of the world yet they showed an uncanny similarity – like brothers.

The West Australian version was exellently balanced, with a nice entry and lots of flavours including dark fruit and red peppers and hint of earth. The Rhone version was the bigger brother with just a little more of each – sexy tannins, refreshing floral nose with some almonds and flavours of soy, earth, chinese herbs, voilets and a minerally finish – though not much longer than the Australian Syrah.

Exotic Coffee

The Jacu Bird wants claim to the glory of the Palm Civet cat!  We tasted both coffees and yes, they are both worthy of the eminence. The Kopi Luwak (from the Palm Civet) was all fruity with bright berry flavours; the Jacu Bird coffee was
similar but with higher notes and was quite refined. In case you were wondering what we are blogging here… we are talking about cat- and bird- shit. The Asian Palm Civet in Indonesia consumes coffee beans and the enzymes in its
digestive tract changes the peptides and more amino acids are produced – the result, a less bitter and quite aromatic coffee.  It’s called Kopi Luwak. By now you will have surmised that the Luwak coffee is made from the beans defecated by
the cat. (This was the subject of a good joke in the movie ‘The Bucket List’.
As for the Jacu Bird of South America, I discovered that it is more discerning and consumes only the ripest Arabica beans (as opposed to the Robusta beans that the civet cat consumes). Its droppings , coffee connoisseurs claim, are more uniform and make for a smooth balanced coffee with some earthy overtones. Whilst Kopi Luwak commands very high prices (10 to twenty times the price of normal coffee), I think the Jacu Bird coffee is more affordable (four times the price of normal coffee) and is my preferred exotic coffee.
You can find Jacu Bird coffee in Paris.

Great Reds from Great Terroirs

Sarah Mayo of flanking a host of wines at the ‘Great Reds from Great Terroirs’ tasting organised by the Austrian Wine Board. We tasted a perfumed Sassicaia 1982, a  floral-mint-soy nuanced Costa Russi 1998 from Gaja;  a delightfully aromatic, dry, herbal wine with minerals called Spitzerberg Blaufrankisch 2006 from Muhr van de Niepoort; a dense, layered Pichon-Baron 2003 with red pepper and soy marmite overtones; a  Pinot Noir reserve 2004 from Markowitsch with lashings of  forest fruit with sage, coriander and soft silky tannins and more. Twenty-two memorable wines in all.


The larger community, of which I am in contact with….

They include friends in wine, in food, in music, in art, in movement and all things about living well…..

The Local Nose :

Asian Culinary Forum :

Vietworld Kitchen:

Patricia Guy :

Wine Korea:

Food Gal :

The Still and Moving Center:

Marta Media:

Art 2

Sculpture at the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building

Above by Julien Martello. See also at his website

Beneath: Light Installation by Nathalie Junod Ponsard. See more here

Hilton Hawaiian Village

J-C Chiaberge, Yoyo and sculpture

Won Ton Soup

I had to go away and eat around the world – and finally I began to truly appreciate why I craved for wantan/wuntun noodle soup. Imagine, noodles at the perfectly al dente state – firm yet never hard or starchy soft; soup as exquisite as consomme; slivers of pork as juicy and tasty as asado de Puerco (yes the piquant chilli flavours are somewhat similar). HK style, Singapore style, KL style – the weekly won ton noodles (preferably dry) brings on a contented smile.