Latest Stories

Without Batting An Eyelash

Singapore Airlines lets media in on its food and beverage innovations


THREE WINE MASTERS. United Kingdom’s Steve Spurrier, Hong Kong’s Jennie Cho Lee and Australia’s Michael Hill-Smith, taking a well-deserved breather after the final Food andWine Pairing dinner at Long Beach Seafood resto

The three fantastic wine tasters and consultants of Singapore Airlines— Steven Spurrier, Jeannie Cho Lee and Michael Hill-Smith—laid before us 10 glasses of wine for each of the media guests. They instructed us to taste each one, without us knowing what brand of wine we were tasting. We were told to to rate them—bronze, silver and gold.

I made mistakes about the brands and even in giving them the ratings.

The wine experts gave each an opinion on what they thought of the wine brand we were tasting. I hit a couple of golds; the rest were silvers and bronzes.

There was the Burgundy 2009 and  Bordeaux 2009. Then there were the 2003 Chandon and other excellent wines of 2003, 2006 and 2007.

PRIME Traveller-Russian Federation editor in chief Nadeshda Karavaeva

Vibrant Jennie Cho Lee explained, “If you have a perfect cork, it’s good; otherwise it’s not! A screw cap may look cheap but it cannot be accepted for the airline. It’s an issue actually. And a plastic cork top, I would not recommend for a number of reasons.”

Lee went on to explain that Burgundy is the hottest selling wine category in Asia. “It’s become so expensive, but wine lovers will not think twice in purchasing it. In fact, at the auction at Sotheby’s recently, a Burgundy 1945 went for an awesome $124,000!”


To the amazement of all the media guests, Lee concluded: “People are switching from Bordeaux to Burgundy. It can be accompanied with any kind of food from different Asian countries.”

After that truly educational experience we drove off for the best dinner yet I have experienced in Singapore.

NZ Herald contributor for Viva, Bethany Walsh; Singapore Airlines VP public affairs Nicholas Ionides; Huffington Post and Conde
Nast Traveler-USA blogger and contributor Lee Abbamonte; SIA wine consultant Steven Spurrier

The perfect wine or champagne complemented each of our to-die-for eight-course dinner menu.

We dined at the always-packed (make your reservations early) Long Beach Seafood restaurant at the East Coast Park. There were 12 of us in each of the three tables, with one of the wine pairing masters as our host and consultant.

In my table we had the adorable Jeanne Cho Lee as consultant, explaining each dish with the champagne or wine we were pairing it with.

Asian food and wine

Okay, check this out: Before we began this awesome dinner, Lee explained, “We precisely chose this seafood restaurant to prove that Asian food can be paired off perfectly with wine.” She further pointed out that one should banish the common thought that beer is the only drink for Asian cooking.

We started with the Air-flown Live Canadian Geoduck Sashimi with Superior Stock Steamboat. It was paired off with the exquisite 2003 Moët et Chandon Dom Perignon Brut, champagne, France.

“A typical white wine glass is perfect for this champagne, never a flute,” said Lee. After the first sip of the chilled champagne, the Sashimi was ecstasy. The refreshment factor of Dom Perignon sure beats any beer, dahlings.

MOI with Singapore Airlines public affairs executive Annabel Tan

“Tea is best thing to sip a bit between each wine served,” Lee pointed out.

Next course was the, Steamed Live Scottish Royal Razor Clam with minced garlic served on a huge bowl. It was paired off with 2007 Domaine William Feure Vallons, Chablis Premier Cru, France. Chablis is very refreshing, but it has to be a typical 5-year-old.

Then we dug into the Ginger and Spring Onion Deshelled Prawn. It was paired with 2007 Joseph Drouhin Charmes—chambertun Grand Cru, Côte de Nults, France. A superb choice.

Next we had the restaurant’s famous Black Pepper Crab, paired with 2011 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand. This dish pairing had everyone practically clearing their plates. Magnificent!

Next, we had the popular Chili Crab, another unbelievable dish perfectly paired with a chilled Reichsgrab von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen Reishing Kabinett, Mosel, Germany.

You’d think that by this time we should be shouting, “Surrender!” No way, dahlings. We couldn’t wait for the delectably boiled four-hour Special Roast Chicken. Paired with 2004 Chateaux cos d’ Estournel, Saint-Estèphe, France.

JENNIE Cho Lee explaining the wine-dish pairings

Then the pièce de résistance was the formidable Fragrant Coffee Rib. Yes! coffee rib, accompanied by Blanched Spinach with Trio-Eggs and Fried Rice with Silver Fish and Bean Sprout.

It was paired with 2007 Marchesi Mazzel Castello di Fonterutoll, cheanti Classico DOCG, Italy.

And finally, we had the refreshing Fresh Mango with Seasonal Fruit Platter, paired with 2009 Chateau Filhot, Santernes, France.

I have to thank Ranjan Jha, SIA’s charmant general manager,’and the dynamic Rita Dy, no less, for inviting me to this divine gastronomic and wine-pairing happening. Truly Singapore Airlines is one of the best, dahlings.

So whether you’re traveling first, business or economy class on Singapore Airlines, you can always expect of fab culinary feast for both your taste buds and eyes. SIA offers world-class gourmet signature cuisine from their award-winning chefs from the culinary capitals of the world, plus an endless selection of exclusive wines and champagnes, especially designed to delight even the most discerning taste buds, dahlings.

Call Singapore Airline at  7568899.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Aviation , Food , Lifestyle , Singapore Airlines

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  2. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  3. This is not just a farm
  4. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  5. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  6. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week?
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  5. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  6. South Koreans crave Asia’s smelliest fish
  7. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Ex-Givenchy model fights for ‘Yolanda’ survivors


  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  • Moderate earthquake jolts southern Iran
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • Technology

  • Netizens seething in anger over Aquino ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest