01: The first wine orders were delivered by bike
While Wine Connection might be a familiar watering hole for big groups in Singapore, few are aware that the buzzy joint first sank roots in Bangkok. When the Thai baht collapsed during the 1997 Asian financial crisis, many high-end wine shops drew their shutters. Wine Connection founder Michael Trocherie, then 24-years-old, saw the opportunity in the crisis to bring in quality wines at wallet-friendly prices. Thus, Wine Connection was born the following year, with an invetory of 12,000 bottles of Cahors wines – all of which were stored in Trocherie’s living room. Those who ordered wines at that time would have been surprised by Trocherie himself, as he personally delivered orders by bike.
02: The Wine Connection team tastes 2,000 wines each year
Wine Connection’s sourcing team goes through a slew of 2,000 wines each year before shortlisting 5 per cent of these wines for their cellars. “We only sell wines we are proud of,” says Caroline Simon, managing director of Wine Connection Singapore and Malaysia. Wine Connection is also the exclusive importer of up to 400 wine labels spanning Old and New World territories, as well as showings from smaller, artisan wineries.
03: Wine Connection is the largest owner and operator of its kind
In two decades, Wine Connection has managed to expand from a one-man operation to one with 1,600 employees and 81 outlets across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea, making it the largest player in the field boasting restaurants, retail outlets, and e-commerce stores. The company imports a staggering two million bottles of wine into the markets it operates in. In Singapore, diners will find 22 Wine Connection stores as well as eight Wine Connection F&B outlets across the island.
04: Three-hour wine deliveries
One should never find his cellar depleted. But if you’re caught out, Wine Connection’s three-hour wine delivery service (orders will have to be submitted by 8pm to qualify for this expedited delivery) will seek to address that. The good news – they deliver to Sentosa, too.
(Related: 1927: The secret rooftop bar in the CBD)