A random blurp on Singapore Wine Culture
Life on this little island has been sufficiently exciting for the last two years, with the two integrated resorts (a.k.a. casinos which is term equivalent to profanity by standards of the Singapore government, but essentially that’s what they are), and an onslaught of new trendy watering holes, michelin-starred/celebrity chefs outposts, swanky Spanish Tapas bars, Italian pizzerias and local entrepreneurs (usually lawyers/bankers/doctors turned restaurateurs) that burst into the scene so quickly before you can say ‘popcorn’!
Just look at how the urban skyline at Marina Bay has changed… in say, less than 2.5 years? The changes have been electrifying, mind-numbing even. Such vibrancy and energy is almost as addictive as a glass of beautifully-made Pinot Noir. One glass is never enough!
All of a sudden, this thirst for better dining experiences, better service standards and better quality wines starts to manifest. Even the lifestyle of an average working-class Singaporean and the living space of ‘heartlanders’ are not spared – better looking shopping malls with better facilities, high fashion boutiques and fancy restaurants start creeping into the suburban zones.
Even successful wine retailers like 1855 Bottle Shop is opening their latest outlet, right in the middle of Toa Payoh (one of Singapore’s oldest heartlands*). Perhaps, a proof of how life for the man-on-the street is making a turn – have a chicken rice lunch, pop into wine shop for a tasting, decide if you like to buy a bottle of two for the weekend chill-out?
And back in those not-so-early days, didn’t one say its always about ‘location, location, location’? Not anymore it seems. On this little island where you can get around quickly anywhere and everyone seems to own a car, accessibility seems to be irrelevant. In fact, the more difficult and hidden the place is, the better. Look at what came up at a private housing area where its street name is unheard of, and clearly hidden from all kinds of traffic (motor or humans… majority of them at least) – La Pizzaiola! And next to it, some boutique patisserie, an Aussie-themed bistro – Jules Cafe and The Fat Cat – a joint serving upmarket local fare.
Perhaps very soon, we will also have our good o’ kopitiam uncles selling a glass of prosecco to go with your kaya (coconut jam) toast or bak zhor mee (minced pork noodles)?
“Peeeenong Nuahh Yi Bei? Dai Zou!” (Say it in colloquial Hokkien-accented Chinese: One glass of Pinot Noir? ‘To-go’ please!)
🙂 Drink Well! Drink Better!*Heartlands – suburban living zones that mainly consist of subsidised housing