What our wine and spir­its ex­perts are drink­ing this month.

Crave - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - Il­lus­tra­tions Tim Cheng

Top picks from our wine and spir­its ex­perts

Sil­ver Heights The Sum­mit 2013

“This is the best red wine made in China so far. From the high­est vine­yards in China [1,200 me­tres], this unique caber­net mer­lot blend has a very con­cen­trated ripe fruit taste and el­e­gant acid­ity with spicy notes. It has more in com­mon with a Côte-rôtie than a Bordeaux, even though the wine­mak­ers use a typ­i­cal Bordeaux blend. This is a wine that shows its unique ter­roir.”

The Ojai Vine­yard Solomon Hills Vine­yard Syrah 2013

“Though I have lived in Hong Kong for nearly 30 years, as a born-and-raised Sonoma County girl, Cal­i­for­nia wines cer­tainly have a sense of nos­tal­gia for me. While those who love a big but­tery chardon­nay or a knock-your-socks-off caber­net sau­vi­gnon can find them, the va­ri­ety of ter­roir, mi­cro­cli­mates and sub re­gions means Cal­i­for­nia has a mind-bog­gling ar­ray of wines. From crisp, dry sparkling wines to bold, fruit-for­ward reds and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, the Golden State has it all. This bot­tle is a won­der­ful ex­am­ple of mod­ern Cal­i­for­nia – fresh, in­tri­cate and full of vi­tal­ity.”


“See­ing a cos­mopoli­tan makes me nos­tal­gic as it was the first cock­tail I ever made in a shaker. A few ways to up­grade it would be to use white cranberry juice, a gin base in­stead of vodka with some­thing light and flo­ral like G’vine, freshly squeezed lime juice [not lime cor­dial] and Coin­treau or Grand Marnier in­stead of Triple Sec. An­other op­tion would be to add freshly squeezed blood or­ange juice.”

Mon­key 47 Dis­tiller’s Cut 2015

“A re­fresh­ing, tangy gin with del­i­cate veg­etable top notes, spicy heart notes, and unique com­plex­ity and den­sity. It has well known botan­i­cals such as gin­ger, co­rian­der and ju­niper, as well as car­da­mon, an­gel­ica root, or­ris, liquorice root, cran­ber­ries, laven­der, rose­hip, pomelo, lin­gonber­ries, el­der­flower and oth­ers. These were the botan­i­cals used in this par­tic­u­lar year, and the dis­tillers fo­cus on spignel, a plant of great cul­tural and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance that grows wild in the Black For­est re­gion of south­west Ger­many. The moun­tain species has strongly scented leaves some­what sim­i­lar to fen­nel, dill and lo­vage.”

Julien Ce­cil­lon Crozes-her­mitage Les Mar­guerites 2014

“The north­ern Rhône is a rus­tic, wild area where tra­di­tion rules supreme. Newcomers like Nancy [from Texas] and her hus­band, Julien [from the area], make an el­e­gant syrah that feels like pinot noir. Les Mar­guerites is named af­ter their moth­ers, and is fiercely char­ac­ter­is­tic yet so com­fort­able. It has all the trade­mark aro­mas of north­ern Rhône syrah that im­me­di­ately trans­ports you to the moun­tains: black­cur­rants, vi­o­lets and white pep­per. But there’s also a touch of or­ange peel, which soothes and sur­prises like a tonic. We love this be­cause it’s clearly a wine close to the hearts of the wine­mak­ers – af­ter all, no­body wants to let their moth­ers down.”

Bul­letin Place in Syd­ney

“There is a bar in Syd­ney called Bul­letin Place that spe­cialises in sea­sonal fruit cock­tails. This bar had a very large roll of pa­per on the wall that serves as a menu. Everyday they tear a page off and cre­ate a new menu ac­cord­ing to the day’s pro­duce. The server asked so many ques­tions to fig­ure out my pref­er­ences and then re­layed the in­for­ma­tion to the bar­tender. One cock­tail was a twist on the cos­mopoli­tan, which used fresh blood or­ange juice. It’s the ex­pe­ri­ence of per­son­alised rec­om­men­da­tions that re­ally sticks in my mem­ory.”

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