A tale of two wines…and the KING!

Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM

Copyright all rights reserved

The inspiring and audacious Travelling Gourmet TM explains about…

MARVELLOUS Pinot Noir and the King of Wines…and super Shiraz. Wines are likened sometimes to people. They are living things and like man has personalities. The Pinot Noir is like Cate Blanchett, the famous actress of “My name is Charlotte Gray”…mysterious, subdued but with hidden depths of fiery passion when unleashed on your palate. The movie was inspired by the amazing heroine of the SOE (Special Operations Executive) in WW2, Nancy Wake.

The King of Wines and the Wine of Kings needs little introduction. Champagne when tasted by a true connoisseur, and not a pretentious “label drinker”…speaks for itself.

Pinot Noir always brings to mind 2003 when I was the first Gourmet in the world to match Mooncakes from the Singapore Marriott with wines. Palliser Estate Pinot Noir from New Zealand with its fresh strawberry flavours and refreshing acids was an exquisite wine I selected. Low in tannin, high in acidity, this thin skinned grape is seductive with a silky texture. The gold standard to many afficionados is the racy Pinot Noir from Burgundy in France. Washington State in the USA also make excellent Pinot Noirs, as does New Zealand wineries with their unique “terroirs”. Pinot Noirs from the Cote de Nuits are extremely elegant and subtle, as are those from the Loire Valley. New World Pinot Noirs are more expressive, but when well crafted are NOT “fruit bombs”. Pinot Noir is one of the 3 classic grape varietals used to craft Champagne.

Sacred Hill Pinot Noir 2014 from Marlborough in New Zealand 13.5%v abv

Tasting Notes

Pale crimson colour, red berries, sour prunes, lifted fruit and red currants on the nose. Spiced cherries and cranberry flavours on the palate. A lovely texture of fine satin. Savoury notes on the end palate with hints of Proscuitto di Parma. Medium in length. As a Le Cordon Bleu and CIA (Culinary Institute of America)  trained Chef, I made Vietnamese Goi Cuon – Saigon Style, which married well with this Pinot Noir. A perfect foil to this classic Vietnamese dish is aromatic and pungent Nuoc Mam dipping Sauce.

Available from Auric Pacific Singapore

#06-03, OUE Bayfront
50 Collyer Quay
Singapore 049321
Tel : +65 6336 2262



Legend has it that Shiraz originated from the town of Shiraz in Persia, now Iran…Like a spook (spy), it has an alias…Syrah. They are one and the same. Like spooks, Shiraz takes many guises depending on where it is from and the winemaking techniques used. Shiraz to me is a bit like attractive Angelina Jolie in “Salt”.  The typical New World Shiraz has distinct and sometimes intense white and/or black pepper notes, hence making it excellent for USDA Tenderloin done ‘medium’ with a Green Peppercorn sauce. Nothing can go wrong with a match like this. Syrah from the Rhone Valley in France is more “rustic” with smoky nuances and red currant flavours, plus subtle hints of pepper.

Shotfire Barossa Shiraz 2014 by Thorn-Clarke 14.5% abv 

Tasting Notes

The fascinating name comes from the “Shotfire”, who is the person in charge of setting and detonating the explosive charges in the gold mines of the Barossa Valley. Deep, dark crimson colour. Fruit aromas  of black cherries and pepper on the nose delight. Complex flavours of dark chocolate, ripe plums and vanilla as a result of careful oak treatment please the palate. Soft fine structured tannins, Full bodied and voluptuous like Hollywood Star Cameron Diaz. A beautiful wine. Complex, balanced & well structured. The history of this winery dates back to 1870! I really like this with Venison served medium rare with a Pommery Mustard sauce…

Available from 1855 The Bottle Shop . The year 1855 is inspired by the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 when Emperor Napoleon III ordered a classification system for France‘s best Bordeaux wines. One reason was to prevent counterfeiting of wines in France (widespread today in China)

112 Katong
112 East Coast Road, 112 Katong
Singapore 428802
Tel: +65 6783 1855

Captivating CHAMPAGNE!


Just ONE click on the link above and you will SEE the map of Champagne in France! Enjoy!

Key Facts

Total Hectares: 33,573

Grape Varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Meunier

Houses: 300

Growers: 15,700

When you see the moon over the Cote d’Azur, smell the gardenias in the air, see the topaz blue sea from the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, and you happen to be with a warm woman… plus a glass of cool sparkling Gonet Champagne, you will never forget it…never. J’adore Gonet Champagne! I have done the Vendange (harvest) there and stayed in their lovely Chateau. The owner is tireless and tres jolie Chantal Gonet, whose classical beauty is only matched by her superb champagnes.

Tasting Notes

 Champagne Philippe Gonet Brut Rose 12% abv

Spicy and pleasantly mineral, it is made with 10% PInot Noir from Vertus and 90% Chardonnay from Le Mesnil sur Oger. Brioche notes from “sur lie” (aging on the lees of Yeast) seduce and entice. A most elegant Champagne with finesse. Hints of fresh lime and citrus. Lovely with Sevruga Caviar from Azerbaijan and Crème Brulee.

Available from

Wine Selection Pte Ltd

605A Macpherson Road Citimac Building

Singapore 368239

Nothing better than Rose Champagne to celebrate Christmas and the New Year that is fast approaching ! Champagne invariably goes very well with any festive occasion! May we all have Happiness and Good Health…and Champagne dreams! A votre santé from The Travelling GourmetTM!

The Travelling Gourmet TM says: I love to cook with Champagne…sometimes I even put it in the food! Wahahahah!

On the 20 January 2017, the Inauguration of President Donald Trump…I am going to pop a bottle of Bollinger 1992!

Cate Blanchett as an undercover SOE Officer in Nazi occupied France…

Angelina Jolie as a Company (CIA) Officer embroiled in balck operations and more…

The KING of Rock and Roll…the one and only Elvis Presley!

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.
This entry was posted in Art, Fabulous Food, Gorgeous Wines!, Gorgeous Wines!, History, Wine Appreciation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s