Wine appreciation in my experience is a gradual progress which begins by buying and drinking wine of various types. VK wine experience started since 30 years ago was influenced by drinking with his expatriate colleagues and gaining experience from there. On many occasions, I was able to drink on my ex-company’s expense. However, I begin to appreciate wines and I purchased my own wines through the supermarkets.
SHARING MY EXPERIENCE
30 years ago, there were not many wine shops available and my early days purchasing wines from the supermarket were never good because most of the wines were not in good condition as they were not kept in proper temperature. Very often, I was disappointed with the taste of the wines. That is why over the years, I have this longing to know more about wines and 8 years ago, because of my successful flavour business, I was able to realize my dream of starting a cellar and being a wine importer and supplier because I want to share my experiences with my fellow Singaporeans especially those novices in appreciating wines.
PROPER STORAGE OF WINE
Even purchasing from supermarkets these days, many of the wines are not well kept at optimum temperature and humidity. Wines are left standing up right and air-conditioning is turn off in the evening and the wines are subject to temperature variation between day and night. In this case, wines are subject to shock so to speak. Wine being of delicate chemical composition is subject to change or “shock” by constant temperature variation. As a result, the corks are subject to drying and the flavour and colour of the wine will deteriorate with time. Therefore, 8 years ago, I started my own wine import and build a cellar to keep my wines within 17 to 18 deg C and an average humidity of 70% 24 hours a day. In this case, my wines whether they are cheap or expensive are kept in optimum temperature.
AGING OF WINE
After 8 years, I have now gained experience of aging my wines and how they improve with age for those wines with good structure and body like the heavy reds. It is commonly thought that all wines improve with age but it is not so. Some wines are better to drink young but those wines with heavy tannin like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot improved with age. Wine of good vintage can generally age well e.g. Barolo and Barbaresco which are made from Nebbiolo grapes are good for aging. It will develop full bodied and bouquet when aged. We have all these good wines from Italy which are aging well in our cellar.
SPECIALLY SELECTED WINES
From humble beginning of importing 7 different wines from the Piedmonte region, Italy. We have now over 110 labels in our cellar of around 30,000 bottles of wines from Italy, Australia, Spain, France, Chile and Israel. We have a good range of wines that constitute my private collection. All these wines in my cellar are personally selected by myself. In most cases, I have traveled to the vineyard and know the proprietor of the vineyard and hand picked these wines. The criteria for the selection is that I have to be able to drink the whole bottle of wine with ease in one go. If I do not get a headache the next morning, I know that by my experience, this wine is reasonable. Of course some will give you more enjoyment in term of flavour and bouquet or “aroma” that you get by sniffing the vapour pressure above the wine in a proper wine glass.
DAY-TO-DAY DRINKING WINES
Every wine to be aged depends on the grape variety, the vineyard it was from and of course the year in the case of vintage wines. However, there are other wines which are medium bodied which are good for day-to-day drinking. Chianti wines from Tuscany is made from Sangiovese grape. This is a light and dry wine. It can be slightly chilled and suitable for Chinese food, meat and curry. Other wines which are suitable for day to day drinking are Montepulciano from Abruzzo, Italy, Dolcetto D Alba Magallo and Barbera D Alba both from Piedmonte region, Italy.
The other important factor in deciding on buying a wine is with a budget - you really do not have much selection. If you wish to buy wine with great body, fullness but looking for a good and easy drinking wine, we recommend these budget consumers our Rosso Del Convento (red wine) which is a blend of Montepulciano and Merlot from Abruzzo, Italy. It is fruity and easy to drink. We have a complimentary white wines as follows:
- Bianco Del Convento from Abruzzo, Italy
- Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from Golan Heights, Israel
- Emerald Riesling from Carmel, Israel
- Rosado from Spain (Rose wine between red and white)
For complete range of selection, please view our website at www.cffcheers.com.
In order to improve your appreciation for wine, one has to taste as many wines as possible. Be prepared to pay more for wines that are S$30 to S$50 range from time to time for the better quality wines and if your budget allows to improve at a higher level. On special occasion, you can treat yourself with more pricey wines. We have a wide selection for every budget. Our Barolo and Barbaresco are the more expensive wines but not more than S$135.00 per bottle. If you buy a Wolf Blast black label, you have to pay at least S$140 and this price is probably for year 2003. So in relation to quality and aroma, you have a better deal with our Barolo 1990. However, the price for the said wine may not stay at S$135.00. It will increase by the new year.
PURCHASING FROM A RELIABLE SOURCE
I would like to say that if you want to be sure of quality and value for money (VFM) that you should buy wines from a reliable supplier like ourselves. We really take care of the wines and stored at the right condition. That is why we have a guarantee that if you are not satisfied with the wine, we will return the money back.
VK constantly check his wines at random by drawing wines from his cellar to taste them to ensure the quality of the wines because wine is his hobby and passion.
PASSION FOR WINES
People who only buy wines base on the price will not be able to improve their appreciation on wines. If you have the passion, you have to move one step at a time up the ladder so to speak. You should learn how to buy wines by the vintage, name vineyard and country. This is not something you can learn overnight. It takes years to learn by drinking the wines. If you start now, in 5 to 10 years’ time, you will enjoy the food with the right wine from your cellar.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Barolo and Cabernet Sauvignon are two of my favourite red wines with red meats. Cabernet sauvignon is different from vineyard to vineyard. So you can see the endless potential and acknowledge you can gain flavour enjoyment from tasting a good wine. The secret of tasting is by buying the wine at reasonable price. If money is not an issue to you, of course you can buy an expensive wine but it may not be the best wine or you may even be disappointed with the price you pay for in relation to quality. If you are a multi-millionaire, you can buy a Picasso which is already famous therefore expensive, never mind if you really like the painting but to spot a young painter with potential and buy to assess the intrinsic value of that art, that is the most important for that person. Having that feel to say yes I am willing to pay the price for that painting or the confidence to know this wine is worth paying for. You can be sure of the quality (VFM) because you are buying from a reputable importer. This is the secret.
BUYING FROM THE RIGHT SOURCE
You buy the wine to taste and enjoy and not for the sake of drinking only. Some of the very cheap wines may not be that enjoyable and easy to drink. That is why when buying wines, you have to buy from a reliable importer who keep the wines at the right condition. All our wines are kept in our 1 million dollar cellar at our premise, all duty paid. Ask yourself this question: I’m buying this wine for drinking to get high and merry or to enjoy and appreciate the flavour of the wine? Basically, you get what you pay for. Bear in mind the custom duty for every bottle of wine is S$7.50 per bottle regardless of cheap or expensive wines. Therefore, what kind of wine quality do you expect if you buy a bottle of wine at S$13.00? You can work it out for yourself.
You may purchase an assortment of our wines in a carton of 12 bottles. We offer free delivery within Singapore if you purchase a case and you will also get to enjoy a 15% discount from our price list.
Taste the difference with wines from VK Private Collection!