It used to be that anyone who wanted a taste of some really expensive wine needed to shell out for the whole bottle or hope to get invited to a wealthy friend’s wine party.
At newly opened fine wine bar Park90 at Regent Singapore, you can get some of the most expensive and exclusive wines in the world – like Chateau Petrus and Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC) – by the glass. Its staff are able to do this with a Coravin wine tool to extract the wine from the bottle without opening it.
You still have to be prepared for a hefty bill though. A glass of 2009 DRC Grand Cru, for instance, retails at $5,500 a glass.
The 40-seat wine bar, with its plush sofas and marble-top tables, has plenty of high-end wines and intends to stock around 1,000 labels by the end of the year.
While there are other notable wine critics with their own rating systems, Park90 takes its cues from the influential Robert Parker Wine Advocate (RPWA) rating system and publication of the same name, created by wine critic Robert Parker in 1978.
As the name suggests, most of the wines served at Park90, which is owned by three wine lovers who have years of experience in the food and beverage industry, are rated RP90 points and above. Wines rated RP90 to RP95 are considered terrific, and those rated RP96 to RP100 are extraordinary.
Ms Lisa Perrotti-Brown, editor-in-chief of RobertParker.com, explains that while Park90 has no affiliation to RPWA, Park90 has a commercial licence to use the content published on Robert-Parker.com, including wine ratings and tasting notes, for the wines it offers in its wine list, as well as for its wine tastings, dinners and events.
She feels Park90 is a “means to bring the wines we write about to life in the company of like-minded wine enthusiasts while paired with impeccable service and great cuisine”.
The licensing agreement also extends to RPWA, providing Park90 with a dedicated brand ambassador or sommelier “to directly engage with Park90 customers, offering expert wine education and recommendations”, adds Ms Perrotti- Brown.
Park90’s head sommelier Mason Ng, 23, was formerly the head sommelier at award-winning bar Atlas, which is best known for its extensive champagne collection.
Park90 has been operational since last month, but it opens officially on Saturday.
“Think of going to a fine-dining restaurant where you’re paying half the price for the same wine, but with the same level of service and details, where we recommend the appropriate glassware, or whether you should decant the wine,” says Mr Ng.
Already, Park90 is getting its share of discerning wine drinkers.
“We get customers here who really know their wines and they’re looking for a particular house or a vintage or even a plot of land.”
But he also hopes to educate customers about options outside their typical comfort zones. “On any given night, if there are 10 people here, seven would drink a Burgundy, but I want to show people around German or even Austrian wines and educate them about other wine-producing regions.”
(RELATED: Can South-east Asia ever produce good wines?)
While there are many high-end wines, especially big names from Burgundy and Bordeaux, there are also affordable options, such as wines by the glass that start at $15. A bottle of 2015 Alain Hudelot-Noellat Bourgogne Rouge, a top Burgundy, retails at $59 a bottle.
“People who want to spend, can spend, but for people who just want to have a good drink, there’s also something there for them as well,” he says.
Park90 also offers an annual membership programme priced at $5,000 for premier status and $10,000 for grand status, where the amount paid is redeemable for wines within Park90.
Members are entitled access to RobertParker.com, which includes professional tasting notes and free corkage at participating restaurants. There is also complimentary corkage for wines from Park90 consumed at Regent Singapore establishments, namely Basilico and Summer Palace. Those who wish to sign up can do so at park90.com/membership.
There are plans to open more Park90 outlets in the future.
“There are many more developments, but at the moment, we want to get the first Park90 in Singapore right,” says Mr Ng.
• Park90 is located in the lobby of Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road, and is open from 6pm to midnight daily. For membership inquiries, e-mail email@example.com, call 9749-7049/6725-3246 or go to park90singapore.com
This article was originally published in The Straits Times.