Event Report: Wine Fiesta 2016 x Burnt Ends Surprise Pairing

Wine Fiesta this year was a bit of a special event because of their feature on natural wines. These are wines that have no additives, chemicals and preservatives and could also feature organically grown grapes without pesticides. Basically, hipster wine, which is becoming sort of a trend. Anyway, I had the pleasure to attend Wine Fiesta at Clifford Square last month which had 350 wine labels from 70 winemakers around the world, with 9 of these labels as natural. I was there because of a special wine pairing menu with renowned restaurant in Singapore, Burnt Ends.

Here's the menu for the day. I am guessing it's called a 4x4 surprise pairing because not many people will think to pair natural wines with charcoal grilled food.

First course: Sweet, fresh scallop which went down so well, with a mouthful of CRFT's Gruner Veltliner Longview Vineyard 2015. There's a 2016 description on their website, which said "grapes are picked in a the cool of the morning," and "fermented cool and slow" with minimal additives. How's that for artisanal? Personally I thought it was quite a refreshing and easy-to-drink wine. I was expecting something rougher, I guess?

Thanks CRFT for bringing your wines to Singapore! Cheers.

The flavours got heavier as we went along, both the wines and the food.

Second course: Kingfish and Miso with BK Wines' Rosé 2016. This was probably my favourite food and wine combination. I loved how the scrumptious kingfish played with different textures, and the fruity rosé just elevated the fish to greater heights.

Third course: Jamaican Chicken, paired with Lucy M Noire de Florette 2016. This pinot noir from Australia is 100% natural - and provided an equally strong counterpoint to the smoky slightly charred Jamaican chicken. I wished there was a bigger portion of the food so I can chew on more of it! 

Lastly, we tried the Burnt Onion and Bresaola Tart, which was paired with Ochota Barrels Texture like Sun 2016. Unfortunately, this was the most jarring pairing in the sense that the food made the wine taste more bitter than it should. The food itself was also perhaps a little too complicated for my liking, even though the tart base was yum. Still it was fun to experience how wine can be changed when you try it with different food.

It was indeed a surprising pairing after going through the 4 courses with Burnt Ends at the helm. I had a really fun time at this year's Wine Fiesta 2016, even if it was slightly humid and very crowded! I thought the food vendors at the event was well-curated (from Good Chance popiah to fine Italian risotto by MONTI, among others like Tin Hill Social and Cheek by Jowl) and of course the selection of wine labels. My friend bought so much Argentinian malbec because they were surprised to find it at the event. Till next year, can't wait to taste what it will be like.

Thanks to Straits Wine Company for the invite!

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