6th Jan 2012

By Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS

In the final act of the first season ‘X Factor USA’, a powerful performance by Melanie Amaro delivered enough punch to claim the USD5 million top prize.

I was wowed by all three finalists and it was an enrapture performance enjoyed by millions who watched it.

What moves me in the finale though, was Amaro’s rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Listen’ (

This R&B-soul song makes reference to the tenacity to defer a dream and finally achieving one’s aspiration.

The song also aptly encapsulates the journey and struggle that Amaro and fellow X Factor contestants experienced throughout the contest.

By any account or measurement, Amaro deserves the crowning, but I was equally wowed by some of the other competitors.

(My favourite was Rachel Crow, a talented young Colorado girl with an adorable voice, fearless, determined and genuine personality).

Aside from witnessing the growth and breakthrough of the many X Factor contestants, I felt what made the program so beguiling is the individuality and unique persona of each participant.

For example, there is the gifted and soulful voice of Amaro; while Josh Krajcik (the eventual runner-up) performs with a mature and steady stage presence derived from his early struggled days; and Chris Rene, the talented rapper, who is the shining light for many recovering addict.

Yet, through all the glitter and limelight, one factor shines through – each contestant has an identity that is uniquely theirs.

In the wine world, the individuality of a wine (especially in the fine wine category) represents the ultimate expression of a wine, and the deftness of a winemaker’s skill.

However, due to the increasing commercialization of wine, there is always a concern that more and more wines are losing their unique identity, leading to wines that are common in taste profile (would a Bordeaux red wine still consider as a Claret if it starts to taste similar to a Napa Valley Cabernet blend?).

One of the causes for such trepidation was due to strong influences from renowned wine critics who have a preference for certain wine style, thus, indirectly causing some wineries to make wines pandering to those critics’ preferences.

Thankfully, most conscientious wineries and wine regions understand the relevance of such anxiety.

In most of the classic and new world wine regions, close attentions were paid to emphasize on the importance of crafting wines with distinctive characters that reflect its place of origin, varietal uniqueness, and influence from soil types and climatic condition.

Even though many wines can be made from similar varietals or blend, its distinctiveness is the vital measurement as it represents the ultimate expression of a wine’s individuality.

More so, in today’s intensely competitive market, a bottle of wine requires a distinctive identity to stand out from the sea of wines.

Individuality of a wine should always be a prime consideration for a good bottle of wine.


Chateau Guiot 2009

I sampled a glass of this estate’s wine (a Mas de Guiot 2008, 40% Grenache, 60% Syrah, Vin de Pays du Gard) during my visit to Melbourne as its International Wine Judge of the Royal Melbourne Wine Show in 2009.

One of the Panel Chairs was Philip Rich, of the Prince Wine Store, who shared this treasured find with me (all serious wine geeks should visit Philip and his wine store for a great wine experience).

I was impressed by the honesty, purity, and distinctiveness of this wine.

Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to chance upon a Chateau Guiot at Raffles City while I was out meandering.

Originate from South of Nimes, Chateau Guiot is located at the heart of Costieres de Nimes AOC, along the stretch of Mediterranean. It should be rightfully belong to the Coteaux du Languedoc appellation, yet, officially, it is part of the Rhone AOC.

Made from a blend of Grenache and Syrah (or Shiraz), Chateau Guiot expresses uniquely its association with the two French AOCs, with traces of roundness and generous fruit flavours similar to Rhone’s sub-appellations such as Vacqueyras; yet, it also displayed a clarity similar to many great bottles of Coteaux du Languedoc.

A wine that offers a strong identity and precise reflection of its origin.

This wine is suitable for:


Family-style eateries

Family get-together occasions

Valentine’s Day celebrations

Price per bottle: SGD$25

Available at: Market Place, Raffles City

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