If you’ve anything more than a passing interest in food, chances are you’re familiar with Marina Bay Sands’ annual Epicurean Market spiel. This year, however, we’re registering a spike in quantity, quality and variety of drink-related masterclasses, so here are the ones we want to highlight.
#1: Five Decades of Penfolds Grange – A journey through time and greatness
Sands Signature Series by Penfolds
Sunday, 14th August , 12-1pm
The crown jewel in the Epicurean Market lineup comes with a price tag to match, but every dollar well-spent, we say. The Penfolds Grange vintages were purpose-built to rival the great Bordeaux reds – a gambit which paid off with some 100-point wines.
The vertical tasting arranged during this Sunday afternoon session will include the Penfolds Grange ’78, ’88, ’99, ’04 and ’10. Stick around and see if winemaking ambassador Patrick Dowling is generous or tipsy enough to uncork a few more – after all, a happy customer is a willing customer.
#2: Mortlach: The Beast of Dufftown
Sands Signature Series by Diageo
Sunday 14th August , 7.30-8.30pm
Close off the festivities with some delicious Scotch – including the Mortlach 25, which is a scarce resource since the introduction of NAS. Fans of Master Chef AU might recognise the host, Sean Baxter, who doubles up as the whisky expert in this hour long session. (Also featured: The Mortlach 18 and Mortlach Rare Old.)
#3: The Enchanting Wines of Piedmont, Italy
Garden Theatre, presented by MW Tan Ying Hsien, with Luigi’s Wines
Saturday, 13th August , 1.30-2.30pm
There’s two reasons why we think this will be a great, eye-opening session. One – most people think this famous winemaking region of Italy only produces Nebbiolo, which is a grave misconception. Two – there’s no better person to expound on the merits of Piedmont wine than Tan, who’s the right type of geek that’ll go all out to educate – and convince, his audience. (Tan sits on our G Top 100 Wine Awards Panel along with other wine buffs.)
#4: Truth and Lies in Whisky
Garden Theatre, by Remy Cointreau International
Saturday, 13th August , 4.30-5.30pm
Last year, regional brand ambassador Richard Gillam impressed us with both showmanship and overt passion for the entirely-hand-operated Bruichladdich (brook-laddie) operation. By the way, he was serious. They use a stick attached to a string to measure depth, and bottle everything by hand. He also unveiled the Octomore 7.1, which blew us away and reignited our fondness of peaty Scotch.
So when the same personality puts forth a tantalising proposition – to shake up what we know of the whisky industry in one hour – to the table, it’s not an invitation we’re likely to refuse. The result will be either comedic or game-changing. Either way, you’ll get the Classic Laddie (that turquoise bottle you always see in bars but never asked after), Port Charlotte and Octomore to liven up your evening.