You don’t have to amass a range of glasses just for serving wine at home. Raffles Singapore wine director Stephanie Rigourd recommends the INAO, a professional wine glass shaped between a bordeaux and burgundy glass, considered ideal for professional wine tasting.
ICE, ICE, BABY
There is never enough champagne – and ice. While store-bought ice is good for chilling wines, those who would like something more special for serving libations on the rock can also consider ice-ball makers, which can range from silicon moulds by the likes of Muji to contraptions such as the Spherical Ice Ball Maker from The Whiskey Ice Company.
A MATTER OF OPINION
A guest unwittingly brings a nasty bottle – what do you do? “A good host never makes his or her guests feel uncomfortable. What I may do is to talk about other wines of the same price range as a gentle suggestion,” shares Rigourd.
Just as there are gourmet treats you should always stock, there are wines that you should always keep to see you through any party. Renny Heng, the executive director of wine cellaring company Only for Wine that offers an e-sommelier service for members, recommends champagne such as a Salon 96, Guy Charlemagne reserve brut, a burgundy such as Echezeaux, Domaine Emmanuel Rouget 2006 and a white wine from Bordeaux, such as a Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux 2008.
Rigourd adds to the list with her picks of a Vin de pays Viognier from Vernay, Rhone Valley, France, which is perfect as an aperitif; a Coteaux du Roussillon “Les Sorcieres” by Le Clos des Fees, from Languedoc- Roussillon, France, which Rigourd says is good on its own or can be paired with simple cold cuts; and a full-bodied yet fresh “Siblings” shiraz from Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River, Australia, which goes well with various dishes and cuisines.
SAUVIGNON BLANC “LE PETIT CLOS HENRI”
Henri Bourgeois is a fantastic winemaker originally from Loire Valley in France and his New Zealand wines are impressive. The entry-level Petit Clos is a wonderful, easygoing wine – crisp and thirst-quenching.
CHAMPAGNE MICHEL DRAPPIER
Often, entry-level champagnes are too aggressive, with a lack of generosity. Michel Drappier is making delicious and affordable champagne which is really a rare find.
DOMINIQUE PORTET “FONTAINE” BLEND OF MERLOT, SHIRAZ, CABERNET
The Yarra Valley region is one of her favourite wine regions in Australia. The Fontaine cuvee is the entry-level wine from the Dominique Portet winery: refreshing, pleasant and well-made.
013 VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO “PRIMO” FROM NINO FRANCO
A complex and surprising prosecco from the amazing Franco Family.
2012 XANADU CHARDONNAY
A rich chardonnay cut through by a great minerality.
2012 FELTON ROAD “BANNOCKBURN” PINOT NOIR
A generous pinot noir with crisp, red fruit aromas.
(Header image credit: Owen Franken / Corbis)