The organiser of World of Wines talks to us about his personal insights on Singapore’s wine culture.

In the recently concluded World of Wines (WoW) organised by e-commerce website 75cl and wine distributor Magnum, which took place from 29 to 30 May, over 20 wine makers from different regions in the world flew to Singapore to showcase their masterpieces in a bottle. The first day was opened to the public and saw wine enthusiasts — from experts to amateurs — flocking to The Coliseum, Hard Rock Hotel to sample over 200 varieties of whites and reds.

The second day was more on the business side with trade professionals discussing the current wine trends in Singapore, as well as the solutions to continue growing the wine culture. We talked to Cedric Mui, manager of e-commerce website 75cl, to give us an update on what the trends are and what are the newest regions to watch out for.

What was the whole idea of starting WoW?

We pride ourselves as a platform that connects our customers directly to wine makers. We have been doing this through our website, 75cl for almost two years, and our wine event is just a physical manifestation of that concept. In the most recent WoW, the consumers were able to see wine makers face-to-face, and also hear the dining_tatler_stories behind the wines they’ve created.

But what makes WoW different from other wine festivals in Singapore?

First and foremost — our intent is more towards our customers’ experiential and learning experience. We want them to really understand the different wines available and if they suit their palates before they purchase.

Who were the key personalities at this year’s event? Any interesting dining_tatler_stories to share?

One of the wine makers we invited was Christine Kernohann, she’s a Scottish wine maker who live in New Zealand. The story behind this is that she and her husband went there for a holiday and fell in love with the wines there. They permanently moved there and established the Gladstone Vineyard which makes excellent pinot noir.

With all the wine events in Singapore, would you say that we are one of the biggest wine consumers in Asia?

In terms of sheer size, we lag behind countries like China and Hong Kong; but we are one of the most sophisticated drinkers in the continent. In the beginning, consumers here would just buy big names from France or Italy. But they have evolved in such a way that they would look beyond the brand and find niche brands that can provide them the taste, value and interesting dining_tatler_stories.

What do you think are the wine trends in our country?

Singaporean drinkers now are more knowledgeable, thanks to their sophisticated palates. In the past, they would rely on experts’ ratings that tell them what to drink. But now, with exposure to the different kinds of reds and whites, they know what they want. Even if a certain label has been rated high by critics, they still go for what suits their palate even if it’s from a small winery.

Another trend that’s also happening in the wine world is that established wine makers, such as those in France or Italy, are having offshoot wineries in up-and-coming regions like south Africa, Argentina and Chile. They still produce great wines but offer them at a much more affordable price.  They’re also more accessible to us in Asia.

For you, what’s your taste preference?

I definitely love pinot noir; it’s so complex so you can never put a stamp on how it tastes. It depends on many factors such as plots of lands, regions and people.

It also encapsulates the whole beauty of wine. You are not just drinking a pinot noir, you are learning everything from the terroir, culture of wine making and climate in every sip.