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  • Wine Access in Singapore

    Hello Lisa
    I was wondering what kind of access to wine you have in Singapore and are there a lot of new retailers/distributors popping up? I'm planning a trip after the MS exam next year and I haven't been back to Singapore since living there from 1972-1980 ~ was a proud student at Ulu Pandan...I was in HK last year for Wine Future, but thought Singapore would be fun to re-visit. Do you recommend I bring wine? ~ and if so, what restrictions are there?
    cheers,
    C
    Christopher Lavin
    "I see a voice!" - Nick Bottom, the weaver
    ITB (Sommelier), Advanced Sommelier
    CSW, CWE (Society of Wine Educators)
    FOLLOW ME (Twitter): @madwino
    Regional Manager ~ Broadbent Selections, Inc.
    http://madwino.blogspot.com/
    http://www.insiderswineguide.com/

  • #2
    Re: Wine Access in Singapore

    Hi Chris,

    Singapore allows each person 2 litres of wines & spirits Duty and GST free.

    Thereafter, each bottle will attract Duty approximately S$7.50 or US$5.35 (to be exact, Duty = Total quantity in litre x S$70.00 x % of alcoholic strength) and 7% GST on the bottle value. Paying Duty and GST is very easy. The Customs office is at the arrival Hall, various credit cards are accepted. It should take no more than 10 mins.

    There are many wine retailers in Singapore and the range is pretty broad. So, window shopping on wines should be pretty fun!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Wine Access in Singapore

      Thank you Tokhong. Do you have a favorite retailer?
      Christopher Lavin
      "I see a voice!" - Nick Bottom, the weaver
      ITB (Sommelier), Advanced Sommelier
      CSW, CWE (Society of Wine Educators)
      FOLLOW ME (Twitter): @madwino
      Regional Manager ~ Broadbent Selections, Inc.
      http://madwino.blogspot.com/
      http://www.insiderswineguide.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Wine Access in Singapore

        Hi Christopher - I'll just add that even though the duty on wine here might look a little daunting, the impact of the set fee (rather than a % on cost) is most felt at the lower end of the market and barely noticeable at the "premium" end (e.g. wines above US$50). In fact a lot of the wines at the upper end are v competitively priced compared to HK, the UK or the US. It is most important however that you purchase from an importer / retailer that ships and stores efficiently and of course correctly, otherwise the wine may be outrageously expensive for what it is or cheap-but-spoiled. Amongst my favorite Singapore wine shop haunts are: Crystal Wines (well-priced & great selection), Artisan Cellars (expensive but v classy & great selection of small / boutique producers that can otherwise be v hard to find) and Bacchus Wine (in the basement of the Paragon building...the place looks like a mess but it's also a real treasure trove!). Good luck with the MS exam!!
        Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Wine Access in Singapore

          Hi Chris, Crystal Wines and Artisan Cellars are my favourites. Have fun.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Wine Access in Singapore

            Thank you Lisa and Tokhong for great insight.
            Christopher Lavin
            "I see a voice!" - Nick Bottom, the weaver
            ITB (Sommelier), Advanced Sommelier
            CSW, CWE (Society of Wine Educators)
            FOLLOW ME (Twitter): @madwino
            Regional Manager ~ Broadbent Selections, Inc.
            http://madwino.blogspot.com/
            http://www.insiderswineguide.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Wine Access in Singapore

              This story might interest y'all: http://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/a201211251.html

              Best,

              Kenney

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Wine Access in Singapore

                Thanks Kenney - read this article the other day with dismay. If an importer specifies Reefer and it is not used then in my view this is the basis of a claim against the forwarder / shipping company. A similar thing happened to me when I was a wine buyer for an importer, a claim was issued to the forwarder's insurance company and we were reimbursed for the full amount. My advice to that importer would have been to get a 3rd party / independent expert in to taste the wines and produce a report for the insurance people. (I have done tastings and produced such reports for importers in the past.) In my experience this is enough evidence to justify the claim. I would not risk wine brand or my company's reputation in the market by selling those wines, no matter the discounted cost or the affixed "caveat emptor" label.
                Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Wine Access in Singapore

                  I would venture to say that wine sent non Reefer would be very hard to detect ( unless it's very old wine) to further this point wine left out in a shipping dock waiting for the shipper gets blasted with heat more times than not,that is to say temp variation both cold and hot...if the bottles showed no signs of lets say cork expansion, or seepage... in fact most consumers drink wines like this most of the time... sure the wine will change, but to what extent, sometimes it actually makes the wine taste better, why? because that is what wine does... who is to say that heating wine does not help some wines ? nobody ! mostly because wine always changes and sometime for the best with heat or cold...

                  wine is such a moving target...to think wine always gets worse with temp variation over shipping is a fallacy, think as we all know of this...



                  The islands of Madeira have a long winemaking history, dating back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. On the long sea voyages, the wines would be exposed to excessive heat and movement which transformed the flavour of the wine. This was discovered by the wine producers of Madeira when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high as 60 C (140 F) for an extended period of time and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. Because of this unique process, Madeira is a very robust wine that can be quite long lived even after being opened.[1]

                  Click on me







                  as noted above a wine that is heated can become very robust and live a very long time... on a few occasions I have had the pleasure of making wines that somehow had a unintentional heat exposure, one was from a woman who placed the bottles next to the oven and wondered why the wine was leaking, so after explaining the reason why, I replaced the bottles and took in the leaker's that were cooked over the years, yes years...

                  opened up one bottle to taste and was blown away by the complex wine I was drinking, would have never guessed I produced this great wine ever...have not had a wine I made that to me ever tasted that good...

                  I call BS to all the temp association with the destruction of the quality of wine... could it happen, yes...yet it could just as well be so much better...

                  now on the very idea you pay for a Reefer and wine is not shipped that way, this is a problem, not for the wine, but because you paid for a specific method of shipping and did not receive what you paid for... if this happened to me I would called the supplier make my claim and offer to buy the wine at a deep discount and sell it with the disclosure of the shipping method, if that was my hook to sell wine, that is Reefer wine only... if not my hook then I would have made a dam good purchase fearing nothing but dust, wind and a lot of hot air...

                  sorry for the thread drift... now if you don't like this post I am sure there are many more talented posts that could replace it...

                  1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a

                  barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.



                  flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo


                  "if I cannot move heaven I will raise hell"

                  Virgil's Aeneid, book VII.312




                  we all have thoughts that envelop us and it's the expression of those thoughts that sometimes remains elusive

                  John D. Zuccarino

                  Silver Springs Winery L.L.C.


                  AKA Don Giovanni Wines tm.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Wine Access in Singapore

                    Hi John, thanks for posting. I absolutely agree with your point: 'wine is such a moving target'. Storage temperatures historically and still are a huge variable contributing to marked differences / bottle variation. The further a market is from source (the winery) the more likely it is that a wine from the same label & vintage will taste notably different from an example consumed at or near source. That's just the nature of the beast. Even subtle differences can be a real nuisance for students of wine, e.g. those doing Master Sommelier or Master of Wine Exam, when they are asked to nail a region and vintage but due to where the live they might be accustomed to recognizing it differently. Critics' descriptors, particularly of older bottles where the effects are drawn-out and more dramatic, could in cases be of debatable relevance. It is idealistic to expect all bottles to be treated identically and there exists therefore a massive grey-area between "the perfectly preserved bottle" and the most undrinkably cooked / oxidised / volatile one. And a lot of those grey-area bottles can be absolutely delicious even if they have one foot in the cooked zone. (In fact, I'm pretty sure I had one last night...a '92 Meursault Perrieres that was not at all prem-oxed but had that slight burnt caramel character that you don't get with maturity alone...and it was still a glorious drink!) All that said, we have a massive problem here in Singapore with being able to purchase a good, clean, fresh bottle of wine at the lower to mid-range price points because 1) they are at that ultra-competitive price range where the extra expense of a reefer would push them beyond what folks are willing to pay for them 2) they tend to be young / fruity and relatively fragile wines that are not robust enough to withstand some heat. There's nothing worse than walking into a wine bar here and ordering a glass of young Sauvignon Blanc only to be handed something brown and tasting like liquid straw. I think that importers have a responsibility in this respect to be able to offer something that meets customers' expectations. I'd rather pay more for some confidence in my purchase than be offered a discounted lucky-dip. But I'm a wino and I can spot the difference between a bad draw outta the bag and a pleasant surprise. The big issue is when someone relatively new to wine gets a bottle in a sub-standard condition and, not realising it's 'off', they decide they don't like that winery/brand or worse - they don't like wine. These are my biggest complaints about the situation.
                    Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Wine Access in Singapore

                      Originally posted by Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
                      The big issue is when someone relatively new to wine gets a bottle in a sub-standard condition and, not realising it's 'off', they decide they don't like that winery/brand or worse - they don't like wine. These are my biggest complaints about the situation.
                      Lisa,

                      I agree with you on this point...I often wonder how many people have written off a wine or wine in general due to bad wine...?... this is my biggest frustration too ...

                      Cheers !!!
                      1478: George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence, was executed by drowning in a

                      barrel of Malmsey wine at his own request.



                      flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo


                      "if I cannot move heaven I will raise hell"

                      Virgil's Aeneid, book VII.312




                      we all have thoughts that envelop us and it's the expression of those thoughts that sometimes remains elusive

                      John D. Zuccarino

                      Silver Springs Winery L.L.C.


                      AKA Don Giovanni Wines tm.

                      Comment

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