A great wine-tasting

I had a fantastic wine-tasting recently, which took place at Graze, Hilton KL. It’s very rare that i love all the wines at these sessions, but man, these were perfectly-selected.

The delicious award-winning Californian wines are under Treasury Wine Estates, and the session was guided by TWE Winemaking Ambassador Stuart Rusted.

The congregation

The congregation

We had several wines before and during lunch, starting with the Beringer Founder’s Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Refreshing & fruity in a citrusy way, soft, but rich as well. Clean grassy finish.

It’s for sure a superb wine, one that could easily challenge New Zealand’s sauvignon blancs. The grapes are from vineyards on the Central Coast mixed with those from the California Delta. I had to go for seconds. And thirds.

Come 'ere u!

Come ‘ere u!

It’s RRP is RM89, which is awesome value. Beringer has been producing since 1876 in Napa Valley.

After i got my late breakfast outta the way we had the Chardonnay. It was the Sterling Vineyards VC (RRP RM117). Again, the right amount of fruit, minimal dryness when it ends, and less oaky that the usual. A citrusy finish.


Main course, NZ sirloin

A little tipsy by the time lunch was served. Food was awesome, as usual.

This was probably the first time i had a Cali merlot, the Stags Leap Napa Valley Merlot 2014 (279). Wine growers have faced a drought there for a decade, giving the grape richer flavours. As is typical of merlots, this one has a dry finish; however not the tongue-twisting dryness that usually puts me off merlot.

I’m more of a cabsauv kinda guy. We were served the Beaulieu Vineyards Cab Sauv 2015 (92). On my palate i got sweet berry. It’s also a little ‘leafy’, with tannin, but these are lighter flavours. Finish is velvety. Another excellent production.

BV_Asia CA CabSauv_750_nvThis was followed by an on-point Pinot, Sterling Vineyards VC Pinot Noir 2015 (117). It does a 10-month bid in American & French oak. The concentrated palate is rich with good depth and complex flavors of dark berries.

Dessert wasn't a dessert wine

Dessert wasn’t a dessert wine

For the finale, our glasses were blessed with the Beringer Private Reserve Cab Sauv 2012 (489). (ABV 14.9%)

The sifu for the day

The sifu for the day, kickin back

Their wines are near-perfect. Amazing stuff.

And understandably except for the Private Reserve, the prices are as enticing as the quality of these superb productions.


I’ll definitely get my hands on some these wines, and not necessarily for special occasions either. Sunday breakfast should do.


Brain damage: 8/10


Wolf Blass Wines + Chinese food

Winemaker Wolf Blass recently had a lunch wine-tasting at this fancy Chinese food joint in Nexus called Dao Xiang Chinese Cuisine and it was great.

Catch of the day...

Catch of the day…

I’ve usually enjoyed wine (white and red) with non-Asian food. Like pizza, bread, roast, grills, cheese, pizza, some pizza, etc. So the opportunity to try it with some hardcore Chinese food was cool.

Wolf Blass is an Australian wine company that has won many awards, the latest being Red Wine Maker of The Year at the International Wine Challenge 2016.



The lunch was a non-rice spread of dishes, the most prominent being a large frothing wok loaded with prawns, fish, crab and pork belly slices. It looked like some sort of gumbo. But nobody seems to know what it is. Haha

20170209_133043The soup in this mix was excellent (had many bowls of it).

We started with the Yellow Label Riesling, very light-tasting, almost bland compared to the heavier Germans. I enjoyed the fruity aroma of the Sauvignon Blanc typical of this grape. It has a slight tang, and pleasant with the soup. Light start with a long citrusy finish.


Then we had the Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is superb. Straight up, some berry fruitiness. Smooth, low on tannins, medium-length finish. Perfectly balanced.

To me, a prefect cab sauv, considering its reasonable price point. (Retail price is about 70, on-trade about 150). Not sure which places have this particular variety, but available at Locker & Loft for sure.

Special limited-time label for the Shiraz

Special limited-time label for the Shiraz

The Gold Label Shiraz also impressed me, tho am not usually into this grape due to its spiciness. I guess this isn’t a typical shiraz, as it’s not in-your-face. In fact you could easily have several glasses quite quickly. Maybe the slightly spice soup played a factor.

All in all, a palate-opening experience, knowing i now can easily wine with my char kueh teow or dim sum. The whites and surprisingly the reds paired well with Chinese dishes.

Wolf Blass from Barossa Valley makes wines that very few will dislike or reject, and suites a variety of palates. That is probably what makes them such a successful winery. And the Yellow Label range is one to watch out for.


Brain damage: 7.5/10


Malaysian fruit wines

It’s strange that a fruit-rich, tropical country like ours doesnt seem to have any fruit wines. Until now that is!

Reiss Jaden Wines is a new brand that currently has four wines and a liquor in its portfolio. I managed to score a sneak peek at the range, with full samples of course.




The wines are targeted as table wines, to be enjoyed chilled at restaurants or at home. They’re produced from natural products, made from Malaysian fresh fruits.

There are more types being planned; as for now the range of wines are ginger, lemon, ginger-lemon and pineapple. And a coffee liquor too.


The darkest of the lot

The darkest of the lot

Unlike many grape wines, these are simple and uncomplex beverages. The Ginger Wine is obviously the most lively and spicy of the lot. It feels a lot like ginger beer actually. Haha. But with a good side-effect.


The Ginger-Lemon Wine has strong ginger aromas too, with a citrusy tinge. Taste-wise it’s more lemon than ginger. Some of my tasting buddies say they’d prefer more ginger, but i found it perfect. The ginger was light, so was the lemon, and it enabled quicker consumption. Balanced and exotic, the sweetness was just right. A fruity-spice drink I’ve never experienced before, that’s for sure.


Reiss Lemon Wine is very fruity and quite sweetish, with a sweet-sour finish. It feels more like a lemon liqueur. Pretty interesting.


And the Pineapple Wine gives out the sweet aromas of pineapple; kinda puts the beach into my head. And in the mouth it’s fruity and even caramel-like. Awesome with ice.   .

In fact, all these wines should be enjoyed cold, and with ice as well if you prefer them to be less sweet.

The Coffee Liqueur is a 40% ABV drink. You can enjoy it on the rocks or a mixer of your choice. I went for Milo (as well as choco milk), with lots of ice. Good stuff!

These unique wines have a good ABV of 14.5%.

The tasting session was enjoyable and a nice change from the usual wines. All these wines tend to go down pretty easy, and make for a fun day or night out. I foresee purchasing some for consumption. They’d make unique gifts too. Throw in a huggaz wine transporter and you’re good to go!

The company has been making other wines for 25 years now. These fruit wines are yet to be launched. However, if anybody’s keen to order a bunch, i’d be able to make arrangements.

Be good boys and girls and drink your fruits now..


New booze gear from huggaz

huggaz drinking accessories has new designs for its Road Series beer can koozies.

The choices for drinkers has increased quite a bit, and some of my buddies are collecting all the designs.

The new designs use colour more significantly.

huggaz Rainbow

huggaz Rainbow


huggaz Beachy

huggaz Beachy


huggaz Sarong

huggaz Sarong


huggaz Nam

huggaz Nam


huggaz Army

huggaz Ranger





...and Smiley

…and Smiley!


Mock - Copy

The Kinky Blue Fairy has customized huggaz koozies


As does a Mexican restaurant in Penang

As does this Mexican restaurant in Penang


huggaz can koozies, beer bottle koozies (stubby holders) and insulated wine carriers are available at the online store or at the outlets here.

huggaz will also be available (by one of the bars) at Urbanscapes 2014 on Dec 6 in Genting Highlands.

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