4 New Ways To Indulge In The Finest Wines In Singapore
Singapore’s wine connoisseurs are unlikely to run out of wine to drink, judging by their formidable personal cellars, as well as the growing number of restaurants and bars with fine wine lists. Yet Grant Ashton, the founder and CEO of 67 Pall Mall, believes the wine market is underserved. The renowned London members’ club for wine lovers has done his market research and is rooting his first international outpost in Singapore, expected to open in the third quarter of 2020. The scene hasn’t been idle—in the past few years, wine bars such as 13% Gastro Wine, Wine RVLT, Le Bon Funk, Park90 and more have sprung up to fill the void. Here, we take a look at the three latest wine concepts, as well as a sneak peek at 67 Pall Mall Singapore.
1/4 To Your Doorstep
What if you could enjoy a curated range of champagnes delivered to your home every month, along with video tutorials and even invitations to meet the winemakers? That’s the premise of Emperor Champagne Club, an online wine club that first started in 2017 in Australia and has now made its way into Singapore before setting up in Hong Kong, Japan and China. Kyla Kirkpatrick, known as the “Champagne Dame”, was drawn to the wine region through a story of Napoleon Bonaparte’s love affair with the sparkling wine.
Both the launch date in Singapore on August 15 (his birthdate) and the name of the club pay homage to Napoleon, which she explained during a masterclass tasting session in Singapore. The Singapore chapter accepts a total of 250 members at a time, as the number of bottles sourced are kept limited to maintain their exclusivity. Members can opt to subscribe to one or two bottles a month with just 12 slots for the upper Champagne Collector tier that offers three wines, one of which will be an extremely rare prestige cuvée.
2/4 One-Stop Shop
Culina at Como Dempsey is where you step in for a fresh butcher’s cut of Westholme Wagyu and discover a biodynamic Californian wine to pair with your steak while you’re there. When the 25-year-old gourmet market moved into its flagship 15,000-square-foot home in 2019, it took special care when it came to the wine bar and refrigerated retail showcase. The new Culina Wine Bar is a compact, convivial space where sommelier Wyman Kok oversees a tightly curated wine and cocktail list that includes the likes of champagne mojito and wines served via Coravin. Look out for 15 wines available by the glass, which rotates every month, while a sommelier’s selection served by way of Coravin features rarer and sought-after sips.
(Related: 5 Reasons To Visit Culina At Como Dempsey)
On our previous visit, Louis Jadot Clos Vougeot Grand Cru 2011 was the highlight at $67 a glass, representing one of Burgundy’s most famous walled (“clos”) grand crus. As the 30-plus wineries at Culina are drawn from its own distribution arm, this is the retail space with the most attractive prices and selection of household brands such as Ruffino, Torbreck, Xanadu and Champagne Taittinger alongside family-owned estates such as Cakebread Cellars, Tenuta di Biserno and Château de Laubade, which makes particularly fruity and smooth vintage Armagnac.
15 Dempsey Road, Tel: 6474 7338, culina.com.sg
3/4 Hold My Wine
The opening of Grand Cru, Wine Concierge and Grand Cru at South Courtyard at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore is changing the game for hotel wine bars. Its three primary components are a wine retailer specialising in the largest range of 100-point wines in Singapore; a personalised shopping service that sources your preferred wine from beyond the store; and a space for drinking a range of top wines under $100 alongside signature dishes prepared by the hotel.
(Related: Where To Enjoy Some Of The Best Deals On Premium Wines In Singapore)
Oenophiles can start the evening with an Egon Müller Scharzhof Riesling 2016 ($99) and move on to a full-bodied Bodegas y Viñedos Vega-Sicilia Pintia 2013 ($91), or peruse the menu for gems like Domaine Coche-Dury Meursault 2016 ($835) or an enjoyable vintage of Château Mouton Rothschild 2010 ($1,646). Note that a 10 per cent service charge applies when drinking these wines on premises. For visitors from outside Singapore, the concierge can be a time-saving one-stop service to source wines beyond the list, given a day or two’s notice.
1 Fullerton Square, #01-07, Tel: 9067 8497, grandcruwines.com
4/4 A Social Proposition
When 67 Pall Mall Singapore opens in the third quarter of 2020, it will be sitting pretty at the historic double-storey penthouse of Shaw Centre. Grant Ashton, the club’s founder and CEO, tells us that the centrepiece will be a flowing, curvilinear column that will serve as a 6,000-bottle wine tower. “In the fine wine space, you know how much wine costs,” he explains of his original idea for 67 Pall Mall.
(Related: Here's How You Can Master The Art Of Food And Wine Pairing, According To Experts)
Weary of high mark-ups on wines at fine restaurants, he’s created a club model that appeals to wine drinkers like himself—one that amalgamates a massive wine list, reasonable mark-ups, good food and like-minded company. Social clubs are back in fashion and Ashton is expecting to welcome 2,000 members, who can expect not just one of Asia’s largest wine lists (with 1,000 by the glass), but also to bump into Singapore’s three resident Masters of Wine, who will curate and present wine-related activities.