SMA-NK Yong Wine Appreciation Chapter

Andrew Chin

The recent event held on 17 May 2022 is a significant one in the history of the SMA Wine Appreciation Chapter calendar for two reasons:

  1. It is the first time that such an event has been organised since the pandemic began, thanks to the official easing of COVID-19 restrictions in our country, allowing large gatherings for social activity in an indoor setting.
  2. The SMA Wine Appreciation Chapter has been officially renamed as the SMA-NK Yong Wine Appreciation Chapter in memory of our pioneer patron, the late Dr NK Yong who passed on last year.

There were 38 participants in total for the event. As expected, the event was fully subscribed to as face-to-face gatherings of this size have been non-existent for the past two years and everyone was looking forward to the in-person interaction over good food and wine.

The venue for the evening was Jade Palace Seafood Restaurant, one of the most sought-after establishments for fine Cantonese cuisine. The starter of Champagne Bollinger Grand Annee 2014 set off the evening with anticipation for greater things to come. Claret-E was the wine supplier for the evening and, in keeping with the theme of Burgundy wines, did not disappoint with a lovely flight of five different wines (two whites and three reds). The managing director of the company, Mr Guy Butterwick, flew in from London just in time to join the dinner and to expound on the wines that were showcased for the dinner.

To make the evening even more memorable, a blind tasting competition of the five wines was organised and each participant was to match the wines to the predetermined tasting notes provided by the organisers. The competition created lots of buzz, laughter and banter as everyone was in full debate over the wines tasted. Opinions flowed ceaselessly as the wines were slowly and steadily consumed. At the end, it was a close finish with a tie breaker to determine the winner, who walked away with a bottle of Bollinger champagne. The food and wine pairing were carefully planned and well executed with nothing left to chance, ensuring that the standards expected of the post-COVID-19 inaugural wine dinner were attained, perhaps even surpassing those held before the pandemic. Finally, a sweet ending showcased the exquisite dessert wine Cuvee Madame 1997 by Chateau Tirecul-la Graviere.

It was a fitting conclusion to the longawaited wine dinner, with participants eagerly waiting for the next one to be held on 27 July 2022, featuring Italian wines. Do look out for future broadcasts!

Andrew Chin is Senior Consultant at the Department of Hand and Reconstructive Microsurgery, Singapore General Hospital. He is a Life Member of the SMA and, notably, was Chairman of the SMA Wine Appreciation Chapter from 2012 to 2017. He is into food and wine pairing and loves travelling.


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