Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

Will Cork Wine Stoppers Be a Thing of the Past?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A corked wine smells disagreeable and musty

In the 1950s several US and Australian wineries started implementing screw caps on inexpensive wines for economic reasons. These days wine spoilage in bottles with cork stoppers has been found to be due to tainting of corks by a chemical compound called trichloroanisole (TCA). Presently, 10% of cork stoppers are suspected of being infected with TCA, and in a recent tasting by Wine Spectator in Napa they found 7% of the wines tasted were “corked”. This is a threat that might signal the end of cork wine bottle stoppers.  There have been accusations from the cork producers that bottles with synthetic closures may be prone to another aroma taint: sulphidisation, which arises from the reduced oxygen supply which concentrates sulphurous smells arising from universal preservatives but this has not been entirely proven. The image of opening a bottle of fine wine sealed by a screw cap closure in a top restaurant is an unpleasant thought, at least in my mind. However, it is certainly nothing new, as in many fine restaurants in Switzerland (Swiss wines are mainly sealed by screw cap closures) they have been doing exactly that for many years now, and everyone has accepted it as standard practice.

Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 – Bangkok

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

The price of Georges DuBoeuf Beaujolais Nouveau 2011 in Bangkok is a whopping 1,499 Thai Baht (50 US Dollars) and Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau Georges DuBoeuf 2011 1,799 (60 US Dollars). Again, I will pass on this glorified grape juice due to the price, and I do enjoy having a bottle or two once a year in this tropical climate. For this price, even here, I can buy a much better wine from Bordeaux, or some other region in France. The price I am quoting is the retail price in a wine shop not the marked up price in a 5 star hotel. The same bottles, for instance, are selling in the United States in a wine shop for anywhere from $7.00 – $14.00, in France for about 1 and a half euros, in Japan the equivalent of $5.00 and they must be flown in by air, which is the same process as in Thailand. The big difference is, that in most countries in the world, they do not add the outrageous taxes of up to 400% levied on wines as Thailand does, making it one of the more expensive places in the world to buy wine. Think about Hong Kong with 0% tax on wines.

Beaujolais Nouveau is all about freshness and is better to drink as soon as possible, certainly there should not be many bottles remaining into the first weeks of the new year. Under French law, the wine may be released at 12:01 a.m. on the third Thursday of November however, this rule is not followed in Thailand as they start selling it as soon as they receive it, which could be a few days to a week before the date.

Champagne Spraying Is Over At Voile Rouge, Closed By Authorities – St Tropez

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
image credit: people image 2007, Dita von Teese

French Champagne

Champagne has been the preferred libation to be served at celebratory or festive events such as; weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, grand openings or other special gatherings. The cork of a champagne bottle should always be removed as silently as possible, even though some people seem to enjoy the popping sound.

“Spraying On One’s Self” as pictured above, is a more civilized form of spraying, or in this particular case actually pouring, rather than the recent disturbing emergence of spraying as conceived at Voile Rouge & Nikki Beach or sinking (as in pouring down a sink) that developed due to a very responsible ban on spraying in Sweden. It is a nonsensical waste of a very special wine that took great care and time to make, and showing off how many bottles you can squander as a sign of utmost stupidity, oh sorry, I meant to say wealth, is beyond idiotic.

The Voile Rouge has Closed: Gendarmes have already started dismantling the club in St Tropez

UPDATED: The main thrust of this post was to be about spraying Champagne, coincidentally I got word that a turn of events today November 17, 2011 changed all that, as a bigger story developed and marked the closing and demolition by authorities of the venerable Voile Rouge. This has been a massive shock to St. Tropez and the entire world.  For the past 45 years, this select stretch of sand on Pampelonne beach has been awash with beautiful people, actors and billionaires looking for summer excesses. It was opened in 1966 by Paul Tomaselli and now it is over, at least for Voile Rouge. The party will just have to move elsewhere down the beach.

VIDEO: Spraying Champagne at Voile Rouge St. Tropez
ARTICLE: You may be interest in this link: Voile Rouge St Tropez 

G Four Fine Wines, New Tasting Room – Bangkok

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

G Four Cellar


G Four – Fine Wines

Kwaeng Chong Nonsee Khet Yannawa, 537/220 Soi Sathupradit 37 Sathupradit Rd., Bangkok
Tel.02-284 3055

wine Celler

The New Tasting Room at G Four Offices & Warehouse

Wine Celler

Wine Celler

The Warehouse, Wine Shop – Phnom Penh

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Warehouse 1

The Warehouse
32E1, Street 240, Sangkat Chaktomuk
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh
Kingdom of Cambodia
Tel.+855 023 986 641
Fax. +855 023 986 642

The Warehouse is one of two excellent wine shops in Phnom Penh and the respective owners, although competitors, are good friends. I bought some bottles to take back to Bangkok*, some excellent wines that would cost a fortune across the border.  The owner was very generous and opened a couple of bottles of wine to taste while we were waiting.

The Wine shop has a good selection of wines, both old and new world and they are kept in pristine conditions.

*The Thai tax makes them four times more expensive.

Warehouse 2

Warehouse 3

The Red Apron, Wine & Lifestyle Lounge – Phnom Penh

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Red Apron 3

Red Apron Wine Boutique & Wine Gallery
Monday to Saturday 9am-9pm

NOW OPEN: Wine & Lifestyle Lounge
Monday to Sunday 4pm – Midnight

#15Eo, Street 240,
Phnom Penh
Kingdom of Cambodia
Tel. 855 (0) 23 990
951 855 (0) 17 588 191

The Red Apron wine boutique has been around for sometime now and is well accepted. The new Red Apron upstairs lounge was not yet officially open when we visited, although due to our friend Peter Brongers’s influence, he is CEO of Kingdom Breweries, Cambodia’s premier beer, we were offered some very good vintages. I can see that this will be a fun place to frequent!

Red Apron 1

Red Apron 2

A16 Restaurant, S.F. Natural Wine Week, August 23-29 – San Francisco

Friday, August 20th, 2010


2355 Chestnut St. | 415.771.2216 | Dinner: Mon-Thur 5:30pm-10:00pm, Fri 5:30pm-11pm, Sat 5:00pm-11:00pm, Sun 5:00pm-10:00pm | Lunch: Wed-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm

A16 – The cuisine of Campania and the wood fired pizzas of Naples brought to San Francisco’s Marina neighborhood.

SF Natural Wine Week, August 23-29
Ciao amici!

In celebration of Natural Wine Week, A16 Restaurant & Wine Bar will be hosting seven natural wine making leaders each night this coming week, the masters behind these great wines will be
joining us here at A16 as we will be pouring a lineup of their wines by the glass, carafe and bottle. We are honored to be participating in the city wide celebration of sustainable wine making practices and hope that you can join these wonderful wine makers to learn more about their craft and vision. Here is the line up for this coming week.

Monday, August 23 – Palmina Wines with Chrystal & Steve Clifton

Tuesday, August 24- Robert Sinskey Vineyards with Robert & Maria Helm Sinskey

Wednesday, August 25- Bonny Doon Vineyards with Randall Graham

Thursday, August 26- Unti Vineyards Mick and George Unti

Friday, August 27- Whetstone Wine Cellars with Jamey Whetstone

Saturday, August 28- Peay Vineyards with Andy Peay

Sunday, August 29- Brown Estate Vineyards with Deneen Brown & Stefanie Kelly

For more information about SF Natural wine week please see ( )

click here

Mondo Vino Wine Shop & Cafe – Hua Hin, Thailand

Saturday, April 17th, 2010


Mondo Vino
22/65 Naeb Kachat Road
Hua Hin Sub-district
Hua Hin district
Prachuabkirikhan 77110
Tel.: Retail Shop: 032 531 493
Tel.: Office: 032 511 274-5
Fax.: 032 511 274-5#18

Mondo Vino is an attractive wine shop and cafe offering a wide selection of old and new world wines at very competitive prices, where you can buy bottles to take home or sit down and relax in the pleasant surroundings and enjoy a bottle or glass at the cafe. Mondo Vino proclaims: “We will not sell a wine that we would not drink ourselves, and if we can buy it cheaper, then you will too”. They always have a monthly promotion and a selection of wines selling for less than 500 THB.

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 5

Mondo Vino, Hua Hin 1

Ntsiki Biyela, First Black Female Winemaker in South Africa

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Ntsiki Biyela, First Black Female Winemaker in South Africa

This is quite an unusual story in that, Ntsiki Biyela grew up in the small village of Ulundi, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa without any knowledge of wines or how to make them, and her first taste of wine was unpleasant to her.
She graduated two years ago from Stellenbosch University with a degree in viticulture and enology to become one of the country’s first formally qualified black winemakers and the first black female winemaker.
She is now working at Stellekaya, a small winery specializing in boutique reds, and her first batch of wine is fermenting and will be ready for consumption in three years time.

French Pinot Noir Scandal Went Undetected by American Wine Buyers or Consumers

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Pinot Noir FraudFrench Pinot Noir Scandal . . .

Key French wine executives were convicted Wednesday of selling 18 million bottles (13.5 million liters) of falsely labeled wine to the largest producer of wine in the world E&J Gallo at an inflated price. The wine was ultimately sold under E&J’s ubiquitous “Red Bicyclette” Pinot Noir label, which was described as exhibiting “dark fruit aromas and flavors of black cherry and ripe plum”. In handing down the sentences, the French judge said, “the scale of the fraud caused severe damage for the wines of the Languedoc for which the United States is an important outlet.”
A lawyer for two of the defendants argued that there was no harm, since “not a single American consumer complained.” This doesn’t say much for the American consumer’s ability to discern between such different grape varieties, and even less for the professionalism of the buyers from E&J Gallo who could not tell the difference between the radically different flavors of Pinot, Merlot or Shiraz grapes. A lawyer for three other defendants took a different route, arguing that the wines had Pinot Noir characteristics.
In 2001 the Mondavi company of California was forced by local wine producers to abandon a plan to produce a quality wine in the region after local opponents accused it of planning to make “McDonald’s-style” New World Wines there.

The Languedoc and Roussillon wines from the South-west of France have shown tremendous improvement in quality over the past decade, and they remain a great source of high-value wine at reasonable prices.