Wine Pinnacle Awards for greater inclusivity | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Jeannie Cho Lee, first Asian Master of Wine, conducts a master class.
Jeannie Cho Lee, first Asian Master of Wine, conducts a master class.


For the past two years, Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore has had amazing runs of The Great Food Festival, where award-winning and Michelin-star restaurants gathered for a multiday gastronomic blowout, introducing over 30 signature and new dishes to the public.


This year, the group took it a notch up by not only serving savories and sweets but also pairing them with Sauvignons chosen by internationally renowned sommeliers.


Tagged The Great Wine & Dine Festival, the ticketed event at the RWS West Ballroom and Foyer Oct. 10-12 was a celebration of food and beverage by some of the best chefs and sommeliers in the region. The master classes were a venue for learning more about the grapes and the issues surrounding them.


Twenty-seven wine merchants set up tasting booths for enthusiasts to sample over 200 wine labels from France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Chile, the United States and many more.


And since the festival partnered with the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, a handful of select breweries gave out samples of sake from a variety of prefectures, including Akita, Yamagata and Hyogo.


To match the guests’ choices of beverage, RWS’ restaurants prepared special dishes just for the event. Chef brothers Roberto and Enrico Cerea of Fratelli Trattoria served crispy focaccia

Genovese-style with Puglia burrito cheese and Carpegna ham, homemade gnochetti dumplings with mixed seafood ragout, and porchetta with marsala sauce and mashed potatoes.


Teppan by Chef Yonemura had smoked duck miso rice cake, beef steak sandwich with Japanese barbecue sauce, and grilled seafood with Israeli couscous salad, while Los Angeles’ cult favorite lobster joint, Lobsterdamus, had half-grilled lobster with garlic noodles as well as lobster truffle fries.


Chefs Richard van Oostenbrugge and Thomas Groot of one Michelin star table65 served innovative modern European food in the form of ceviche with pomfret, passionfruit, coconut and kaffir lime; roast duck breast with berries and sauce royale; and foie gras with seaweed and ginger broth.


table 65’s roast duck breast with berries and sauce royale




Genting Singapore presented the inaugural Wine Pinnacle Awards, a nomination-based recognition of wines without restrictions on origin or need for submissions or entry fees.


It is the first of its kind in the world, providing an independent platform that allows for greater inclusivity, acknowledging even young wineries (under 40 years), those that operate with sustainable practices, as well as those that are under the radar.


“It’s very heartening to uncover wines that are underappreciated, as well as highlight the very best wines in the world to give them the recognition they deserve,” says Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine. “We are learning and already thinking of ways to improve the Wine Pinnacle Awards in the coming years, with a clear goal of providing an authoritative platform to showcase the most deserving wines and wine personalities from around the world.”


Joining Lee in the judging panel were equally respected wine experts—Kenichi Ohashi, Master of Wine and sake expert based in Tokyo, Japan; Doug Frost, Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and wine consultant based in Missouri, US; United Kingdom’s Oz Clarke, book author and leading wine expert; and Sweden’s Andreas Larsson, named Best Sommelier of the World in 2007 by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. (Master of Wine is a qualification issued by the UK-based Institute of Masters of Wine.)


Teppan by Chef Yonemura’s smoked duck miso rice cake




The jury received 1,069 nominations, and through anonymous online nomination and process of elimination, winners were declared in each of the 27 award categories. They were named during a black-tie ceremony held at the RWS Ballroom Oct. 10.


Among the labels that emerged on top were Ao Yun for Best Chinese Red. According to Lee, this brand proves to the world that “China can produce world-class wine, even in the most remote and challenging conditions—in Yunnan mountain at 2,600 meters in altitude.”


Best Friend of the Earth or the most environmentally conscious award went to Miguel Torres from Spain because, according to committee member Frost, “by focusing upon sustainable actions, beyond more narrow and specific philosophies, they have challenged their peers and inspired countless others to live up to the standards of their unrelenting achievements.”


The crown jewel was the Grand Jury Award. The winner was chosen from among all the winners from the other categories and it was handed to Domaine Coche-Dury.


Fratelli Trattoria’s Gnocchetti alla Pescatora


Unanimous decision


“It was a unanimous decision,” says Lee. “The wines of Coche-Dury are the epitome of great, age-worthy white Burgundy. Their global influence as a beacon of quality and dedication is widely recognized but what many may not be aware of, is that the estate remains small; still family-run, dedicated to quality and modest in price when the wines leave the cellar. We applaud the family’s ongoing dedication to crafting incredible, intense wines and influencing generations of white wine growers around the world.”—CONTRIBUTED



Wine Pinnacle Awards 2019 winners

Grand Jury Award: Domaine Coche-Dury

Best 1996 Vintage Bordeaux: 1996 Château Latour, Pauillac, France

Best 1999 Vintage Barolo: 1999 Giacomo Conterno, Monfortino, Barolo Riserva DOCG, Italy

Best 2002 Vintage Champagne: 2002 Salon, Cuvée “S” Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France

Best 2005 Vintage Burgundy Red: 2005 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru, Côte de Nuits, France

Best 2005 Vintage Rioja/ Ribera Del Duero: 2005 Vega Sicilia, Unico Gran Reserva, Ribera Del Duero, Spain

Best 2007 Vintage Tuscan Red: 2007 Tenuta San Guido, Sassicaia Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy

Best Vintage Australian Shiraz/Syrah: 2008 Henschke, Hill of Grace Shirza, Eden Valley, Australia

Best 2008 Vintage Burgundy White: 2008 Domaine Coche-Dury, Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Côte de Beaune, France

Best 2009 Vintage Cabernet Based California Wine: 2009 Screaming Eagle, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley

Best Recent Release: New World Pinot Noir—Ata Rangi, Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand

Best Recent Release: Non-Burgundy Chardonnay—Kumeu River, Mate’s Vineyard Chardonnay, Kumeu, New Zealand

Best Recent Release: Non-Champagne Sparkling Wine—Gusbourne Brut Reserve, Kent, England

Best Recent Release: Sauvignon Blanc—Didier Dagennau, Pouilly Fume Silex, Loire Valley, France

Best Recent Release: South American Red—Almaviva, Puente Alto, Chile

Hidden Treasure: Australia-Tyrrell’s Wines, Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley, Australia

Hidden Treasure: Bordeaux—Château Roc de Cambes, Bordeaux, France

Hidden Treasure: Burgundy—Mark Haisma, Burgundy, France

Hidden Treasure: Piedmont—G.D. Vajra, Petracine Langhe Riesling, Piedmont, Italy

Best Chinese Red: Ao Yun, Yunnan, China

Best Organic/Natural Wine of the Year: Domaine Marcel Lapierre, Cuvée Marcel Lapierre, Beaujolais, France

Best Rosé in the World: Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, Gran Reserva Rosado, Rioja DOCa, Spain

Black Swan of the Year (Most Thought-Provoking Wine): Gravner, Anfora Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Best Friend of the Earth (Most Environmentally Conscious): Miguel Torres, Familia Torres, Spain

Best Young Winemaker of the Year (Under 40): Morgan Twain-Peterson MW, Bedrock Wine Co., US

Top Wine Influencer (Under 45): Masculine Lepeltier MS, Racines NY, US

Unsung Hero: István Szepsy, Szepsy, Hungary


Special thanks to Resorts World Sentosa and Jonathan Tong

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