I was invited by the Treasury wine company in December 2016 to a very special wine tasting in Singapore with world renown Californian wineries. Invitations were given out to wine suppliers from other countries in Asia like Vietnam and Miramar and Malaysia and there was a big reason why this was done. The USA has a very small market in these countries and of course they would like to expand into these countries which have been dominated to this day by the French and Chilean wines. Besides not being very available here and I must say from my side, especially in Bali, the USA wines have the reputation of being more expensive than the wines from Chile, Italy and France. This was exactly what the Treasury wanted to know from us the visitors, right from the beginning of the two day visit. We had a little workshop in the morning where we told the Treasury our thoughts on how wines from Napa Valley could be promoted in our countries.
A very interesting exchange of ideas and thoughts from all of Asia I must say. For me the best thought was in a way to make wine schoolings more interesting, which means introducing a more interactive method like being on a round table where everybody can ask questions and add thoughts. It is a shame that the current teach method is like this, rendering a lot of the wine schoolings fairly useless. The fact is, the words went into one ear and came out the other of the polite smiling wine students of Asia.
The second part of the meeting and wine tasting was to meet the real epicurean artists of the wineries, the people who make the wine and what better place to show this than in the home of Mr. Kirk Wagar, the US Ambassador to Singapore. We were warmly welcomed by Mr. Wagar into his cozy house with white wines and canapes to start off the evening with. Later a buffet with Turkey and Beef filled our bellies and the private talk to each of the wine makers and their wines made us feel a little special and privilege to be here in such a nice place. However one question was on the tip of my tongue, heavy like a big Shiraz, so I asked the Ambassador: “What do you think, Will the Indonesian people welcome American wines after what the new president of the USA said, that no Muslim person will get a visa anymore?” So he answered wisely, “let’s see when he starts, many bad things have been said and unfortunately only these words are remembered”.
However in my opinion American wines do belong to the list of best in the world and I wished that more kinds would be available in Indonesia so I could put more varieties of Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon on my wine list and not only the ones coming from Chile or France.
THE WINE MAKERS WERE:
The oldest winery in the USA with great white and red wines which nearly every two years belong to the best 100 wines of the Wine Spectator Magazine.
Sterling Vineyards a quite new winery compared to Beringer with great red wines made for aficionado people of the world who do like being there where new things do happen.
The winery does excist two times and funnily they are nearly side by side. Very famous winery with a dear on the label and a wine list with red wines from the USA has mostly this wine on the list.
BV is a classic American winery with roots to the legendary André Tchelistcheff, the pioneer in both vineyard and winery innovation who helped develop the world-class wines at Beaulieu Vineyard that Georges de Latour first envisioned in 1900.