The Red Prawn visits Singapore for the very 1st time!

FIRST Glorious GAMBERO ROSSO Roadshow in Singapore!

By Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet

The indomitable Travelling Gourmet delves deeply into the wines featured during the 1st visit by the “Red Prawn” (Gambero Rosso)…

MOST wine and food connoisseurs in Italy if not the world, know of Gambero Rosso, arguably Italy’s most famous food, travel and wine magazine. Started in 1985, it provides meaningful insights into ‘saper vivere’ which means the Italian way of life. La dolce vita includes food, wine and beautiful women, but that is another story…

The 5th Edition of the Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wines Roadshow came to sunny Singapore for the first time on 27, October, 2011. The event was inaugurated by my friend, Italy’s Ambassador to Singapore, Anacleto Felicani. Later, I had a tete-a-tete with affable Luigi Salerno, the Director General of Gambero Rosso, and then we proceeded to taste the numerous excellent wines from the wine regions of Italy. There were wines from 51 famous award winning producers for tasting. On offer too were complimentary Wine Seminars to enable wine lovers to learn and appreciate about the intricacies of Italian wines. Italy has 20 wine regions with many outstanding world class wines.

 Luigi Salerno, the Director General of Gambero Rosso & The Travelling Gourmet

 Importers and the  wine press tasted the Roadshow producers’ wines attentively & appreciatively, and were particularly interested in reds (65% of the market), especially softer red wines.  Aromatic white wines and Spumanti & sparkling wines attracted much interest as they are perceived as being more compatible with Asian cuisine. The English-language edition of Vini d’Italia (Italian Wines) is well-known to trade professionals here and highly respected. The tasting seminars were very full with almost all those registered being professional sommeliers and wine journalists. Those who were present for the Roadshow and Wine Seminars were indeed privileged to taste and savour many superb and very expensive wines.

In sunny Singapore at present, France has 38% of the market. Due to SOPEXA’s marketing efforts and also the ‘snob’ appeal to the ‘nouveau riche’, many perceive French wines as the highest point of the consumer pyramid in terms of quality and quantity. Australia comes second with a 24% share. Australian wines, some of which are labelled ‘fruit bombs’ are generally less complex wines that are easy to drink everyday. In 3rd place are Italian wines with over 6% of the market. Premium Italian labels are to be found on the best wine lists in top Italian and European restaurants as well as in the numerous & sophisticated wine shops in Singapore. Chilean and New Zealand wines are increasing getting a market share too due to their good price to quality ratio. The good news is that the market is growing despite the Euro crisis. In 2010 Singapore imported some 22 million bottles, of which 50% were re-exported to nearby countries in South East Asia! The lower value of the Euro versus the Singapore Dollar may also benefit Italian wines by making them more affordable to wine lovers in Asia.

I was happy to see Marina Cvetic, the widow of mi buon amico, Gianni Masciarelli, who makes the most fabulous wines in Abruzzo. Marina told me about her new Agriturismo which Gianni had shown me when it was still under renovation. One of their best wines is the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo marina Cvetic 2007…deep purple in colour, firm yet not aggressive tannins, Rosemarino bouquet on the 2nd nose, silky tannins and a medium finish.

Another friend I bumped into was Dino Addis of Cantine Gallura in North-East Sardinia. Dino with his ‘3 Musketeers’ beard’ makes the benchmark Vermentino di Gallura Superiore Genesi, one of the great aromatic white wines of the world.

Cavit’s Trentodoc Altemasi Graal Brut Riserva was a delicious sparkling wine made by the ‘metodo classico’ that I savoured, as well as their Teroldego Rotaliano Masso made from Trentino’s most famous red grape variety.

Another winery in Tuscany that I have visited twice before, also showcased its wines. Colle Masari /Grattamacco produces an eclectic wine blended from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot aptly named Grattamacco!

Donnafugata is undoubtedly one of the world’s great wineries on Italy’s largest island, Sicilia. Donnafugata means ‘escaped woman’ and it originates from Maria Calorina, the wife of Ferdinand IV of Bourbon who escaped from Napoleon’s army, and found sanctuary here in the early 19th Century. The story is immortalized in the novel “Il Gattopardo’ (the Leopard) by Guiseppe Tomasi  di Lampedusa. I was delighted to taste Ben Ryè Passito di Pantelleria 2009 from the small island of Pantelleria with vivacious & pretty Giulia Lazzarini, the Export Manager. The windswept island of Pantelleria is off the coast of Sicily. I savoured figs, candied orange peel, apricots, peaches, mango, toffee…a long persistence. This dessert wine, so good with foie gras, oysters and cheese, is to kill for…


Tasting Ben Rye with Guilia Lazzarini




Another friend’s fabulous wine, Costa Russi Langhe Nebbiolo by celebrated Angelo Gaja, always pleases your palate with its good balance and complexity. Gaja’s Barbaresco is another winner from Peidmonte.

Domini Castellare di Castellina winery in the heart the Chianti region also showcased its excellent wines. I like the fleshy and full bodied I Sodi di SanNiccolo 2005 made with 85% Sangiovese and 15% Malvasia Nera

Italian sparkling wines are also superb especially with Cantonese Tim Sum and I enjoyed Nino Franco Spumanti’s Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut Rustico very much. Pleasing apple and peach flavours plus only 10g/l of residual sugar makes this palate friendly aperitif a winner. When I am in the Veneto,I always join the locals and have Prosecco with breakfast. We jokingly call it “Caffe Veneziano”!

Villa Medoro’s Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane Adrano 2007 has smoky notes of ham with soft ripe tannins and it brought back memories of my visit to their winery, and also of my friend, the charming & beautiful winemaker, Frederica Morricone.

So many wines to taste and appreciate…so little time…that is always the adventure you embark on when you are The Travelling Gourmet. Always remember, life is like wine, enjoy it before it turns to vinegar!

Salute! {:-)


Wineries at the Gambero Rosso Top Italian Wines Roadshow 2011





Cantina Gallura

Cantine Due Palme

Cantino Tollo




Colle Masuri – Grattamacco


Conti Zecca


Di Majo Norante

Domini Castellare di Castellina


Elvio Cogno


Fattoria del Cerro

Feudi di San Gregorio



Gruppo Italiano Vini

Guido Berlucchi & C.


Lunae Bosini

Marchesi di Barolo


Masi/Serego Alighieri

Medici Ermete & Figli

Monte Schiavo

Nals Margreid

Nino Franco Spumanti


Poderi dal Nespoli


Rocca delle Macie


Ruggeri & C.

Tenute Donna Olga

Tenute San Guido

Tenute Sella & Mosca



Umani Ronchi

Valle Reale Velenosi

Villa Medoro

Villa Sandi

Volpe Pasini


About thetravellinggourmet

As a renowned Travel, Food & Wine Writer he has travelled the world in a keen & indomitable pursuit of exotic delicacies & fine wines. His articles have been published in over 20 prestigious publications, both local & international. Dr. Lim has toured and trained in Wine Evaluation & Oenology in most of the world's top wine producing areas from France to Australia. The Travelling Gourmet says, "Gastronomy has no frontier. These are the gastronomic voyages of The Travelling Gourmet. My unending mission. To explore strange new cuisines, to seek out new wines and new culinary experiences, to boldly go where no gourmet has gone before...." Have pen, will travel. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any other information storage & retrieval system, without permission from Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and/or MSN. Material may be works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents may be true but may also be products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance whatsoever to actual person or persons, either dead or living, events, or locales may be entirely and purely coincidental and unintentional. No part of this website may be used to villify others or for criminal purposes. Interests: Travel, Food, Wines, Cooking, Wine Appreciation, Parachuting, Languages, Music, Reading, Swimming, Hunting, Ballet, Fencing, Archery, Anthropology and more... The Travelling Gourmet is a copyrighted trademark. All rights and photos reserved. No part may be reproduced without permission.
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