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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Wine fiesta for all

This year's Wine For Asia trade event has a full day of educational wine clinics for the public
The Straits Times - October 2, 2011
By: Eunice Quek
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Wine fiesta for all Get a taste of fine wine at Wine For Asia, now in its ninth year. -- PHOTOS: ST FILE, WINE FOR ASIA

If you are a newbie to the sometimes rarefied world of wine, here is a chance to learn more about what is in that glass.

The annual Wine For Asia (WFA) trade event at the end of this month will this time around feature a full day of educational wine clinics for the public, called Wine Fiesta.

Past events were limited to just three- hour slots for a select group of wine enthusiasts.

The full-day clinics on Oct 29 for the public are a response to the growing wine culture in Singapore, say organisers of Wine For Asia, now in its ninth year, and which is on Oct 27 and 28 at Suntec Singapore.

Event organiser MP International's executive director Jason Ng, 40, says: 'The people who attended previously were not representative of the masses who drink wine. With Wine Fiesta, we can reach the consumers.'

The organisers note that with restaurants offering wine-pairing dinners and more mid-range wine shops opening in shopping malls, wine is no longer seen as an exclusive drink for the rich.

Many local distributors also hold their own wine events and bring in premium labels as well for exclusive tastings.

Co-organiser Malcolm Tham, 51, also notes: 'During the financial crisis in 2008, people started to scale down their demand for premium wines. But in sorrow, they still drink and gave the mid-priced wine market room for growth.'

The Wine Fiesta will feature 48 wine clinics, which run for 20 minutes each in designated rooms for groups of 15 to 20 people.

If you register early on the website, entry is $5, compared to tickets on the day at $10.

The first 500 people to register online and buy premium tickets at $30, will receive free entry to the event and two complimentary premium-label tasting coupons.

There will also be a Japanese F&B fair, Ganbarou Nippon, to showcase Japanese food products, sake and shochu (a clear distilled spirit) from various prefectures. The event will run on all three dates, but will be open to the public only on Oct 29 from 11am to 9pm.

If the event proves successful, Mr Ng says that they will continue organising the Wine Fiesta as a full-day event annually with the trade event.

Mr Tham adds: 'The event is meant to find the right balance for wine lovers who may be new to the drink or are already experts. Many have different approaches to wine and we want to educate them on what is right and debunk any misconceptions they may have.'



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