THE WINE PINNACLE AWARDS ARE back. After a brief hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this prestigious event returns for the second time with a glittery, in-person celebration at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS), a premier gastronomic haven for epicureans and wine connoisseurs. Launched in 2019 to honour the world's greatest wines, the 5-day event runs from Oct 28 to Nov 1, inviting the city's bon vivants to mingle with the industry's Who's Who, while partaking of exquisite food and wine in the integrated resort's award-winning restaurants.
Says Scott Peterson, Vice President, Lifestyle, Resorts World Sentosa, "The Wine Pinnacle Awards have always been positioned as an avenue to celebrate diversity, excellence and innovation in the world of wines. Guests at RWS will not only discover and appreciate the art of wine-making, they can also enjoy intimate and exclusive wine pairing dinners, pairing exceptional wines with exquisite menus from world-famous celebrity chefs; a Masterclass Experience for enthusiasts and investors to discover new gems; and a two-day Wine Industry Symposium for wine and hospitality professionals."
The programme for this year is entirely new, and positions the awards as Southeast Asia's pre-eminent wine festival for oenophiles. Featuring 52 nominees over 18 categories, it is the world's first wine awards based solely on nominations, representing the opinions of 61 international jury members - comprising Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, wine professionals, wine luminaries as well as the illustrious 5-member Technical Committee headed by Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine.
The Who's Who of Wine
Besides Jeannie Cho Lee, the technical committee features equally illustrious wine names: Andreas Larsson, named the Best Sommelier of The World 2007; Doug Frost, the second person in history to attain both the Master Sommelier and Master of Wine certifications; Kenichi Ohashi, the only Master of Wine in Japan; and Oz Clarke, one of the world's leading wine experts.
Says Lee, "Participating in the creation of the inaugural awards and its ground-breaking platform is truly an extraordinary experience. I am honoured to continue the search for the most deserving wine producers and wines in the second edition of the awards, with its refreshed programme and brand new categories.
"This year, I am most looking forward to the comfort wine category - this category was added because of the pandemic and social distancing when most people were enjoying wine at home. It will be fun to find out what red, white and rosé wines below S$56 provide the most comfort to the jury members."
How the Awards Work
There are more award categories this year, thanks to its wide-reaching approach that considers wines from every region, with neither any restrictions on origins nor entry fees required. "We've spread the net wider this year and are on the lookout for budget-priced wines, as well as rewarding the wineries that are making the greatest effort with sustainability," says committee member Clarke.
The 18 inclusive award categories include ready to drink 'Mature Wines', 'Best Recent Releases', 'Best Friend of the Earth', and new categories 'Comfort Wines' and 'Pandemic Hero'. The latter is a nod to "individuals who made a particular attempt to cope with Covid-19," adds Clarke.
Wine and Dine Sessions (Oct 28 to 31)
For a taste of what's to come, look forward to a series of memorable wine-pairing dinners, co-hosted by members of the Technical Committee.
On Oct 28 and 29, score a table at Osia Steak & Seafood Grill as Australia's venerable Chef Scott Webster and Chef Cedric Vongerichten from New York showcase their special creations. Wines from Spain's Vega-Sicilia will be paired with the dinner, and Australia's Penfolds including the outstanding 2008 Grange Bin 95 and 2015 Grange Bin 95 will complement the lunch.
On Oct 30, the restaurant will host a lively Four-Hands Wine Brunch. The sumptuous brunch prepared by both Webster and Vongerichten will be matched with wines from Salon and Delamotte champagne.
From Oct 28 to 30, table65 will present a series of Four-Hands dining experiences by prolific French Chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier from Bangkok along with top chef Thomas Groot from 1-Michelin-starred table65. Feast on sublime creations paired with prestigious wines from Chateau Margaux from the 1986, 1990 and 2005 vintages.*
Over at Ocean Restaurant, be surrounded by stunning views of the S.E.A. Aquarium as you savour stellar dishes by Guillaume Galliot from 3-Michelin-starred Caprice in Hong Kong and Olivier Bellin from 2-Michelin-starred, L'Auberge des Glazicks in Brittany, France. Exceptional Chateau Haut Brion 1982, 1989 and 1996 wines will be served at these dinners (from Oct 28 to 31).
*subject to change
The Masterclass Experience (Oct 29 to 30)
Wine enthusiasts can participate in a series of 6 world-class masterclasses featuring some of the finest labels including Henschke, Maison M. Chapoutier, Chateau Haut-Brion & Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Tempos Vega Sicilia, and Saint-Emilion-Pomerol-Fronsac (there will be 3 classes each day).
At this event, all the members of the technical community including Jeannie Cho Lee and Doug Frost, will lead deeper conversations about wines for the benefit of potential investors.
Wine Industry Symposium
On Oct 31 and Nov 1, dive deep into the topics affecting the wine industry today, as wine experts share their knowledge through talks and panel discussions.
Look forward to engaging discussions between influential speakers Jamie Ritchie (Global Chairman of Sotheby's Wine) and James Miles (Chairman and CEO of Liv-ex) about wine investments in Asia.
Julien Drevon (CEO of Pivene) and Kwang Pyo Eun (Owner of Casa Del Vino) will talk about the opportunities for growth in Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
Also learn about current issues that challenge us globally in the talk, "The Impact of Climate Change on the Global Wine Industry". Other topics include the natural wine movement in Asia, and how the pandemic is affecting consumption habits in China.
Wine as an investment in Asia
Gain keen insights from market leaders into the potential value of wine as an asset to grow investments and wealth, whether in wine production, distribution or the retail business.
Impact of climate change on the global wine industry
Respected industry leaders discuss how climate change is affecting the major vineyards in France, California and Australia.
Organic & biodynamic wines in Asia
This session explores the natural wine movement, its impact on Asian markets and what the word on your wine label really means.
Connecting with customers of the future through digital and social media and NFTs
Panellists discuss how the digital transformation of the industry will impact communications with customers of the future.
Deciphering the Chinese consumer market, during & post-Covid
Evaluate the impact of Covid-19 on consumers' consumption habits in mainland China, changes in BYO challenges, and the changing value of Hong Kong SAR to the region.
Opportunities for growth: Japan, South Korea & Singapore
Industry experts discuss country-specific consumer preferences as well as trends in import, F&B and other beverages.
The Wine Pinnacle Awards Gala Dinner and Ceremony
For the grand finale, the Wine Pinnacle Awards Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony takes place on Nov 1 at the Resorts World Ballroom. Open to the public, the black-tie soirée honours the 18 winners, and will be a star-studded gathering of industry personalities, peers, luminaries and sponsors. Together, they celebrate the best of the wine world, and what to look forward to next.
Tickets are limited and open for reservations from Sep 16, 2022. For latest news and ticket purchase, please visit winepinnacle.com.