25th Dec 2011 (inaugural feature of

By Lim Hwee Peng, CSW

Sometime ago, I chanced upon a research stating that modern day individuals are generally living longer than their forefathers; men are expected to live beyond 70 years old, while women enjoy a slightly longer voyage.

Such conclusion was believable as enhanced diet has become available and increased health awareness and better wellbeing services have become a norm.

Personally though, life is more than just adding up numbers; I am convinced blessings should be counted, instead.

The creation of is one such blessing, which is the reason I have chosen today (Christmas day) to publish the first wine feature.

This online platform aims to share some of the highs and lows in my wine journey, of which, many blessings, in all shapes, sizes and forms, were featured prominently.

Looking back at the past decades, I must admit that I have been fortunate to have several ‘angels’ watching over me in both my wine and life journey.

For example, in my career soldier days, I could have been blown to pieces in a live firing on at least two occasions; possibly fall to my demise during one of the seven airborne drop, or freefall into deep valley at several overseas training trips. Yet, somehow, I survived. I suspected then, and knew now that those close calls were no luck or fluke; there was indeed a gentle hand that smacked me out of my distraction and put me in the right frame of mind.

During my wine rookie days, angels were there to prod me along, too.

‘Angels’ such as Mr Goh Hock Quee (or Hock, as he is affectionately known in the trade); he was my tutor in wine, took pain to teach and guide, and even brought me under his wing to groom me. Now that he has a role in Temasek Polytechnic, I am confident there will be more inspired individuals excelling in the wine, F&B and hospitality sector in the not-so-distant future.

Mrs Toh Guek Hong (AUSTRADE) cultivated me when I was a coordinator in a Singapore-Australian wine program. She saw value in me though my direct supervisor was happy to look the other way. Nonetheless, the opportunities that she has given to me helped immensely in my early years’ professional growth.

Peter Knipp, admittedly not the easiest person to work under, gladly place a heavy amount of stress on his team of associates. Under such intense environment, most individuals would have walked out quicker than saying ‘hello’. However, as the weeks and months wore on, I realized that the person benefitted most from such ‘hellish’ treatment was me, and those testy times actually prepared me to cope with the day to day demand of an increasingly challenging industry.

By offering me the post of a wine columnist, Amy Van helped opened the door to the dynamic wine world; exposed me to a steep learning curve of the wine trade, and enabled me to establish links with the international wine community.

At the Wine Institute of California, Richard Lieu and Siew Keat generously gave ample opportunities for a not-so-young person to learn the marketing trade in a regional backdrop. Those knowhow assisted tremendously in the establishment of my venture.

In my early WineCraft days, Mr Anthony Wong (Creative Eateries), Ricky Ng (Tung Lok Group), Khun Nantachai (California Wine Company), Khun Bhada Sinhaphalin (Dusit International), Steve Sarle and Barry Wiss, CWE, CSS (Trinchero Family Estates) are some of the key figures of successful multinational-establishments who took risk in supporting a new venture.

Many other angels, such as the Employment & Employability Instititute (e2i), Wine Industry Association of Western Australia (WIAWA), and the increasing pool of CSW program graduates and participants, also played a part in supporting my aspirations.

I am grateful to them all.

In times of success, it is tempting to claim victory as our own effort, when in fact, I am reminded it was others who played a larger and more important role in our achievement.

So today, a special day for the Heavenly Father, besides thanking Him for continuing to send angels to nudge me along in my wine journey, my prayer also goes out to all the angels, and that He will keep them safe, healthy and happy.

Much similar to the expression found on the label of this wine.

Have a Blessed Christmas!


MONTES Cherub Syrah Rose 2009

A playful and cutesy wine label ensures this wine gets its desired attention.

The Montes Cherub Rose is made from 100% Syrah varietal. This varietal is harvested from vineyards that receive cool breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean. Thus, do expect a good balanced of fruit and freshness, which is what this wine offers on both the nose and palate.

Much like what a quality Rose should express, this dry and unoaked Rose wine is unsurprisingly fresh, displaying rose note, a faint Syrah varietal character, with spice scent, and red fruits flavours on the palate.

Overall, a young and refreshing wine that also offers an interesting texture when the serving temperature is correct.

Watch out for service temperature. Best to treat it like a white wine.

This wine is suitable for:

  1. Wine by the Glass selections
  2. Chinese Family Restaurant
  3. Peranakan cuisine Restaurant
  4. Indian cuisine Restaurant
  5. Valentine’s Day celebrations
  6. Gift for Newborn
  7. Gift for Baby Shower

Price per bottle: S$39 nett

Available at: Crystal Wines (

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