It bubbles in Singapore
You are more than a few that have emailed me and wondered if I just smelled the earth, butterflies and plants in Singapore. Have the Champagne expert left the bubbles and totally converted to scent religion and become natural philosopher? Oh no it's quite not so bad. The reason I spent a week in the scented paradise was of course Champagne as usual. It is the third time in a short time as I steered my bubbly-ship to the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and it is of course no coincidence. Some of the world's largest and most reputable win ecollecors are found here and the interest in fine wine is extremely genuine, just like in Hong Kong where I also have a large fan club. What makes this part of the world, particularly interesting is that Champagne has long been neglected, but that striking many suddenly switched to Champagne from the red wines mainly for the fresh light elated beverage fits both the local cuisine, climate and temperament significantly better than the heavy red wines.
Just like us Scandinavians, Czechs, Balts and "Beneluxians" they have discovered that there are so many hidden treasures among the new boutique wines and the prices are more reasonable than the bottles DRC and Lafite as they hunted for over a decade. The most affluent Asians often have a keen interest in Western culture, and this slides Champagne just right into the new "eastwestern culture" that is being created primarily in Shanghai, Taipei, Jakarta, Bangkok, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore.
The positive health aspect of moderate wine drinking with meals is also a strong driver of the educated elite to take an interest in wine and leave the booze behind. The problem is unfortunately Asians tolerate alcohol very badly and I realized after a while why, as I first saw it, saving was on the Champagne amount to the various dishes during dinners who drink large quantities of wine and spirits are at greater risk for stroke than heavy drinkers in the West. Moderate alcohol consumption may indeed protect against both heart disease and strokes, but for Asians is the amount of alcohol that is considered healthy only half as large as westeners is that many Asians lack the enzyme that effectively breaks down alcohol. According to studies, about 60% lack this enzyme. In addition, Asians are more prone to strokes and brain haemorrhages and heavy drinking increases the risk for them. If a Swede can safely break down three glasses of wine, an Asian can quit drinking after one or two according to the researchers. So moderation was no sign of meanness but simply a logical precaution.
My new focus on lifemaximation, mindfulness and totally concentrated scented and flavored to penetrate every last molecule of Champagnes appreciated enormously by my Singaporian friends and my message delivered from the man with the photographic scent memory is seen almost as a revolutionary discovery for those curious, thirsting for knowledge and wonderfully open people. Rarely have I received so many comments like, "You have opened my forgotten senses and now I understand why champagne is the God-given drink above all others." Of course it is extremely encouraging and satisfying to achieve such an effect of my dedicated teaching vocation. It is not exactly the worse of that this time I was accompanied by one of the world's top chefs, Eric Frechon at 3-star Epicure, located in the magnificent Hôtel Bristol on rue Faubourg in Paris. A four-strong core team from the legendary tavern flew with lot of French commodities and tailored their parade dishes to the finest Champagnes I opted out to dinner for three days. I'm late to forget how well Sologne-caviar on a bed of lightly smoked mackerel and potato married 1988 PR, or how well the 1964 Moët Grand Vintage Collection and 1955 Mumm Rosé managed the Breton lamb tenderloin. It was not surprising that the Asian-inspired fish dishes of Turbot and lime marinated sole rang clear as a bell with a blanc de blancs as 1988 Dom Ruinart and 1985 Charles Heidsieck Blanc de Millènaires. Two of the meals taken in the perfect Hotel Fullerton Bay dining The Clifford with a hard drilled and super psyched asian young serving brigade of world class. The interest and my own commitment to champagne culture spreading in this part of the world has now become so large that we along with Fullerton Bay plans to start a Richard Juhlin Champagne Club in place this fall with new performances and dinners.
The last dinner was held in one of the most beautiful private homes I've ever seen like nirvana nestled in the botanical garden's outskirts. It was actually where I got my greatest personal high this time. This week most magnificent champagne was the now mythical and legendary rarity 1975 Deutz Aÿ Vinotheque. A wine I discovered in Deutz cellars before Millennieprovningen 1999 only made 200 copies. I wonder if this magnum was the deepest and most monumental I have tasted so far and most of the table was touching agree that it was the biggest mushroom ever encountered.
In just the same Olympic level, I met a red wine with the equally legendary status. After the Champagnes got served a surreal tender duck breast to three dreamlike red wines and because the atmosphere has become high and high spirits for all champagnes and my controversial statements about our basic sense of smell is close to the Orangutangs, I felt that I in good conscience could sit quietly and close your eyes and total anthra my own mental bubble without anyone disturbed by my a-sociala wine meditation. I have long vainly longing for the 'wine orgasm' as my first sip of Chambertin gave me as a twenty year old. Now I ended up close. Unless an orgasm so still an angelic answered kiss into the universe all the most beautiful corners. The three 85: s from the world's top wine producer DRC side by side. I tested Romanée Saint Vivant and La Tâche at embarrassing many occasions, but the Holy Grail Romanée Conti, I have only tested sporadically and from less than perfect vintages. Now they stood beside each other and I could kiss them every other time minutvis with closed eyes. La Tâche meandered around the graceful silky tongue with a citrus fresh acidity and austere elegance like no other, but when I let myself fall uncontrollably into Contis well deep I fell in love! There is a dizzying accelerating force, an orchestration and monumental domination unparalleled. A simpler way to describe the wine would be to say that Conti is more concentrated, longer and more complex with hints of purple roses, Asian spices, curry powder, sandalwood, liquorice and mandarin, but the description is so pathetically meager in comparison to my house mega experience that I just want to say that life can be adorable beautiful if you have the tools and the will to understand the beauty of the small workpieces shifts.
Lidingö March 22