Thursday, September 22, 2016

75CL - Singapore's Leading Online Wine Destination

Invited Review
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If you know me well, then you probably are aware that alcohol and I don't share a very good equation. Probably not the best opening line for this particular blog post but hear me out, will ya? See....for the longest time, I wasn't able to acquire the taste for it and it didn't agree with me either. But over the years, I have had my fair share of alcoholic beverages that I have developed a fondness for. And although, I am primarily a cocktails kinda gal, I do make an exception to the occasional wine. I don't mind a glass of wine on social occasions or special events. I am partial towards light or medium-bodied white wines that have refreshing and fruity characteristics.

When I was invited for a personalized wine tasting by the good folks at 75CL, I was a bit hesitant since I didn't know if I was the right person to write a review given my lack of expertise in the area. But I've always had a fascination for the science behind wine and winemaking (it's called oenology apparently). Not to mention, the art of wine appreciation has been a secret desire too (it makes for great dinner party conversation!) so I accepted. On one laidback Saturday afternoon, I headed out to the wine tasting lab. I asked a wine enthusiast friend to tag along so she could help provide more insight into the tasting experience.

75cl.sg is an up-and-coming e-commerce wine store in Singapore. 75cl.sg was previously know as The Wine Gallery. It was re-branded with a focus on e-commerce to provide customers with hassle free wine buying experience online. They offer free same day wine delivery to ensure that their customers don't have to wait too long for their wine. 75CL imports their wines from a curated selection of International producers and family-owned wineries and sells them directly to customers, thereby stripping away the extra retail cost that comes with the middleman. This gives them a competitive edge over other wine sellers by offering a wide range of quality wines at affordable prices.


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in wine, especially with regards to wine and food pairing. The aim of 75CL is to make wine more accessible to the general public and to shirk the snob factor of wines. They are geared to promote wine as an easy-drinking tipple, which can be paired with many of the local Singaporean dishes which can be found at hawker centres.

Many would agree that it is hard to purchase quality wines without tasting them first. There is a chance that you will end up paying big bucks for a bottle you don't fancy. And if you are hosting a major event, the worry of your guests not liking the selection of wines becomes amplified. To help their customers understand the different wines available and test if a particular wine suits their palate before purchase, 75CL recently launched their state-of-the-art wine tasting lab. The tasting lab features over 56 premium wines from countries like France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and more, which can be tasted by walk-in customers on a daily basis. They also host wine masterclasses at the space which are conducted in a casual and light-hearted manner. Right from the casual social wine drinker to the sophisticated wine connoisseur - everyone is welcome!

First thoughts that popped into my mind on entering the wine tasting lab was that this company means serious business! You will be compelled to gawk at their extensive collection of wines. The space is roomy, elegant and eye-catching with beautifully arranged displays of wines from all over the world.




The faces behind 75CL are welcoming, friendly and easygoing. They make you feel comfortable, provide you with all the information on their wines and make helpful recommendations when needed.

There are two storeys - the first storey has a huge collection of wines, the tasting area (a U-shaped console with seats, taps and basins), the warehouse and a special stash of their most exclusive and expensive wines.





Along the stairway you will find a collection spirits. They have whiskey, beer, liqueurs and other kinds of spirits.



On reaching the second storey, you have more wines (of course!), gift items, a comfy seating area and an office.



The gift section really caught my attention. I thought it would be a great way to put together a premium gift hamper comprising of some of the best wines and gourmets sourced and handpicked from Europe for someone very dear. And did I mention that a butler will personally deliver each gift hamper to your door step?









I thought this rosé looked so pretty!


And I was told that this one is very popular in Singapore 


We were handed a tasting card and explained how to use it. Let me break-down the process for you okay?

Here is how the 75CL Tasting Lab works:

Step 1: Approach the Customer Service consultant for your tasting card

Step 2: Begin your wine tasting. The Customer Service consultant will brief you on how to use the card and select the wine of your choosing

Step 3: Learn about the wines that you like through their website via the tablet or desktop

Step 4: Pass your card to the Customer Service consultant and they will compile the total amount for you (Get $30 refund with purchase of $150 and above)

Step 5: Purchase your favourite wines through their website 

Step 6: Collect then itself or arrange for delivery

Here are some tips I can offer you if you decide to do some wine tasting of your own. I don't want to sound snooty so I'll willingly admit that most of them I learned in the course of this tasting session (hehe!).
  • First and foremost, make sure you don’t go to a tasting on an empty stomach!
  • When in company of people who are knowledgeable about wines, ask a lot of questions. You will be amazed at how much there is to learn. You can get information on the winemaking method, the grapes, the background, history, characteristics and the classic food pairings.
  • Always hold the wine glass gently from the stem. It looks much classier than awkwardly gripping it by the bowl. 
  • You don’t go about “drinking” wine. No. Drinking would be akin to a hasty haphazard superficial consumption whereas with fine wines, “tasting” is what one is supposed to do. A glass of fine wine, deserves your utmost attention. To do this, you will need to engage all of your senses. First, admire the color of the wine. The particular shade of the wine can actually tell you a lot about it, including its age and the type of grapes used in the wine. And before you even think about taking a sip of the wine, be sure to smell it. Take a deep breath to fully inhale its scent. Tasting doesn’t just engage the tongue. It also involves nasal chemoreceptors, which pick up on the wine’s aroma as it travels through your upper airway. Breathing through your nose helps you to more fully engage these receptors, enhancing the tasting process.
  • And because the wine leaves a kind of aftertaste, it is important to cleanse your palate with a few sips of water between tastings.

These are some of the wines we tried at 75CL,

Reds
Sottano Malbec Mendoza Argentina 2015
Sottano Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Fox Creek Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage 2014
Fox Creek Shiraz Vintage 2014
Bolgheri 2012 Tenuta Morala


Whites
Fox Creek Sauvignon Blanc Vintage 2014
IZADI Fermentado En Barrica 2012
Grand Marrenon Luberon 2014


For me, the stand outs among the red wines was the Sottano Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 and among the whites was the Fox Creek Sauvignon Blanc Vintage 2014. These two were the most appealing to my palate and hence my picks for the best. But that's just my humble opinion....to each his own! 

Wine is subjective and appreciating wine simply comes down to whether your taste buds like or dislike the taste of a particular wine. The concept of a wine tasting lab is awesome and if you live in Singapore, I recommend that you go down for a session if you are a wine enthusiast. Go in a big group and it can really be a whole lot of fun! The prices are pretty reasonable too. You can expect $2- $5 for tasting portions and $25 onwards for a bottle of wine.

I am convinced that 75CL is committed to giving their customers the best possible online wine buying experience.

We had a great time at the wine tasting lab. Personally speaking, I'm always delighted to be given an opportunity to learn something new and interesting. And I now even have a favourite red and white wine!

Thank you Nisha and Cedric for extending the kind invitation 



75CL
Address:
8 Jln Kilang Barat
#01-06
Singapore 159351

E-mail: enquiry@75cl.sg
Ph: +65 6479 4506

Hours:
Mon-Fri 10AM - 8PM
Sat 10AM - 6PM
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays


Cheers,
Megha



Disclaimer: This was an invited tasting but I have not received any monetary compensation to write a positive review. All opinions are my own and based on personal experience

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