Featured: @bringthewines

"Save water, drink wine."

Hello everyone! I wanna introduce today's featured guest, Melvin (@bringthewines on Instagram). Melvin was my classmate from the good ol' school days. His alcohol of choice is wine, which some describe as bottled poetry. Melvin has an amazing way with words, and he describes wines with much delicious detail and passion.

Most people think that wine is a drink that is to be enjoyed in a fancy place, but Melvin thinks otherwise. So without further ado, let us get a taste of the wine life.

Q: You bring your own wines to kopitiams and pair them with zichar. What inspired you to do so? Can you recommend a wine that goes well with these hawker dishes?

I want to show that wine isn’t just for haute cuisine in a white tablecloth setting. And if you can pair wine with zichar, it can definitely go with anything! Riesling is the classic pairing with Asian food as it goes well with sweet or spicy dishes.

"Was really impressed with Leitz’s base bottling which has insane QPR but clearly this is a class apart. Developed complexity with peach and citrus notes, it has the precision and minerality that can only be found in the best Rieslings. Superb with some homely Thai food."

"Can’t go wrong with a German Riesling but if your preference is for reds, fresh energetic reds that see little new oak like Beaujolais or the Envinate Albahra from Spain that I had a while back are good choices. These avoid accentuating the spiciness of Asian food and are able to hold their own against strong flavours in our cuisine."

Here are some other Rieslings you can try:

          2017 Leitz Dragonstone Riesling QbA ($37) 

Q: Can you tell us the story behind @bringthewines? How did you get into becoming a wine aficionado?

It’s purely for pleasure, to remember all the wines that I’ve been drinking. It also helps me to compare the styles of different producers from the same region.

I visited vineyards in France where most producers are still family-run. I saw the amount of passion that goes into each wine. Every wine has its own personality and I love wines for that. Even though mass produced supermarket wines might taste completely quaffable they are just generic and indistinguishable - not what wine should be to me.

Q: What is your favourite wine so far and why? Why did it blow your mind?

I have two actually.

2013 Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo
A wine from the master - the type of wine that you throw descriptors out of the window and just admire the pedigree as it evolved over the course of two hours. World class and so brilliant that I wish you were here.

"Tight on opening but amazing floral aromatics. Such an evocative wine, somehow I tasted the pineapple, sea and Chinese tea at the same time. Gained complexity in the decanter and as they always say, the last sip was the best. "

1999 Jean-Pierre Mugneret Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
My first proper experience with wine when I was with my French host family. I didn’t know wines could be that beautifully balanced and make you think about life. It was truly my epiphany with wine, and the moment I was bitten by the burgundy bug.

But to me it is always the people you are with that makes or breaks the wine experience. All the memorable wine experiences have been because the glasses of wine shared were with people who matter.

Q: Recommend a wine that gives you life after a long day:

Burgundy white - when Chardonnay is done well, it has that acid lift that just refreshes you. FYI Chardonnay is not the buttery vanilla plonk that you get on economy class on planes.

Q: Wine for enjoying with friends/family:

I always like to let people try new wines, so under the radar regions like Loire / northern Rhones are good. Single-grower champagnes is another recently discovered love.

Q: Wine for some romancin':

A Burgundy red or a Barolo. Nothing else gives the same elegance, complexity and depth to spark a meaningful connection.

Q: What is your favourite wine and dine pairing?

Burgundy red and Magret de Canard (a classic French duck dish). It's life changing.

Q: Getting started on wine can be intimidating to some. Any words to beginners that want to get started?

There is actually a lot of value in the market of wine if you venture off the Wine Connection path, but spend at least $40 for a bottle of wine. If you purchase a $20 bottle, with taxes and various costs involved, the value of the wine is probably $2 so it will be very, very commercialised crap.

Don't chase big-names or points, absolutely pointless exercise. If you like a wine then it's a good wine, regardless of price or the label. Trust your own palate, and that's the beauty of wine for me.

Lastly, wine does not exist in a vacuum. Drink it with people whose company you enjoy.

Thanks Melvin for your time and wine recommendations.  Be sure to check out his Instagram @bringthewines!