So many wines, so little time

Yuki Shimizu, Director Choya Umeshu Japan, ST Gan, General Manager IWS and Chitra Chandrasiri, Director, Sirius Hospitality Consulting.

I had the privilege to attend “IWS Roadshow 2022”, a spectacular wine tasting event held recently at the Hilton Pattaya hotel, organized by a leading wine and spirits company, IWS featuring more than 130 wines from around the world and delicious heavy cocktails prepared by talented Hilton chefs. The main wine producers and spirits distributors present at the event were Banfi, Talamonti, E. Guigal, Torres, Zonin, Lindeman’s, Planeta, Ethicawines, Kendall Jackson, Penfolds, Matua, Concha Y Toro, Wolf Blass, Cosmopolitan Diva, 19 Crimes, Choya and Bacardi.

You may be wondering how can you taste so many wines, where to start? Of course, you don’t have to be a wine judge to taste wines, and you don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate wine. Tasting involves using your senses. Everyone knows the senses. It is with two of these senses, “smell and taste”, that one can truly “taste” wine. It’s not about drinking like a fish.

Charlotte Terouanne, Europvin representing E. Guigal France.

I can’t speak for the other people there, but my game plan was to taste as many wines as possible. I started with lighter white wines by smelling and tasting mindfully, smelling and tasting again and spitting, taking mental notes and taking notes on my mobile device.

As the evening progressed, after tasting almost all the wines, my task shifted from tasting to evaluating “which wines do I like, which are more carefully crafted and which are more expensive”? Obviously, it would not be possible to write about all the amazing wines I tasted.
There were all sorts of offerings from sparkling wine to red, rose and white and I particularly enjoyed Franciacorta which is hard to find in Thailand.

All sparkling wine lovers know that the world of bubbles does not begin and end in Champagne: America produces delicious sparkling wines, Spain has its famous Cava, the Germans drink Sekt, even France has its own subgenre on the non-sparkling Champagne known as Crémant. And, of course, Italy has Prosecco. Like Prosecco, Franciacorta is a sparkling wine from Italy. Made in the territory of Franciacorta, an area just south of Lake Iseo in the Lombardi region. When it comes to wine styles, prosecco isn’t Italy’s version of champagne, it’s Franciacorta.

Andy Wall, Cosmopolitan Diva Sparkling Wines.

For red wine lovers, Chilean wine, Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon was a remarkable red that received top marks from well-known wine critics. The 2019 Don Melchor stands as one of the best Cabernet Sauvignons in the world, competing well with Bordeaux, Napa Valley and other major Cabernet enclaves. Very fragrant and aromatic with notes of cassis, sweet tobacco and cedar. Full-bodied with ultra-fine tannins that develop on the palate and bring fruit and other flavors to a never-ending finish. There is a combination of elegance and power, with subtle mint and harmony. I must admit that I not only tasted this wine, but also drank it.

Ranjith Chandrasiri is a seasoned hotelier, food and wine connoisseur, multilingual with a wealth of knowledge and international experience in hotel management at luxury hotels and iconic brands including InterContinental Hotels Group in Europe, Australia, Cambodia , Thailand and Sri Lanka. He is Chairman of Sirius Hospitality Consulting in Thailand, former Group Managing Director of Jetwing Hotels Group, Sri Lanka and Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Thailand, Founder/Chairman of Royal Cliff Wine Club and deVine Wine Club, Bailli Honoraire (Honorary Chairman) of Chaine des Rotisseurs, Pattaya, Thailand.

Shirley M. Pinder