Today’s Affordable Wine – a $35 delicious Bordeaux red

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Today we opened a bottle of Diane de Belgrave 2009 that we had purchased from NTUC Fairprice Finest recently.  Diane de Belgrave is the second wine produced by Chateau Belgrave of Haut Medoc, Bordeaux. 2009 was a super vintage year at Bordeaux and so we thought we can’t go too far wrong with this.

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What is “affordable” is of course debatable.  Currently the Singapore excise duty is levied on alcoholic beverages based on the alcohol content –  not quality, not price. So a typical 750 ml bottle of wine with an average alcohol content of 13+% will suffer an excise tax of almost $9 (regardless of  retail price but that will affect the GST payable).  On this basis, we think a $35 bottle is “affordable” wine in Singapore. It is hard (but not impossible) to find decent wines below that price. We bought it at Fairprice Finest which has a pretty good wine selection and sometimes offers some of their wines at promotional prices.

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Our lunch was char kway teow (Penang style) and we thought a young Bordeaux might be a good match.  While we had expected the wine to be not bad, we did not anticipate how good it turned out to be. Although it is only five years old, it was smooth, fruity and had a decent amount of complexity.  We are not wine reviewers so you can google the wine for reviews or read the one here.   The wine tasted even better towards the end of our meal which suggests that you might want to open it an hour or so before drinking.  We are sure you will enjoy it better.   It is made up of 55% merlot and 40% cabernet sauvignon (and a bit of other grapes). which explains its user-friendlness and soft tannins.

We think this is a terrific red wine which is more enjoyable than many wines that are double the price.  We believe that if you join their wine club as a member or buy six bottles, there are some additional discounts (but please check with them first).  We promise that we are not paid by Fairprice to write this !  According to the price tag (see above picture), this wine is available till 22 April 2015.

By the way, the Diane de Belgrave was a great match for the CKT. The freshness of taste and acidity helped us forget the oiliness of the food.  Cheers!

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