7 wine and spirits masterclasses you shouldn’t miss at Epicurean Market


This weekend’s Epicurean Market by Marina Bay Sands at Sands Expo and Convention Centre from 12-14 August 2016 is one of the most highly anticipated events in Singapore’s culinary calendar. Now in its fourth year, this three-day festival continues to bring exciting new offerings to the table.

The biggest draw this year has to be the debut of award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami, which will be doing a pop-up at Epicurean Market offering patrons a taste of its signature Southern comfort food before its official opening in Marina Bay Sands next year. Other main attractions include one-time appearances by North and one Michelin-starred Indian restaurant The Golden Peacock, both from Venetian Macau. They will be joined by renowned chefs such as Daniel Boulud, Nancy Silverton, Tetsuya Wakuda, David Thompson, and Justin Quek, all of whom have restaurants in the sprawling Marina Bay Sands.

There is going to be plenty for wines and spirits lovers as well. Spirits distributor Diageo returns to Epicurean Market again this year, while Proof and Company will be officially launching their retail brand EC Proof that will be offering a comprehensive but curated array of craft spirits, home bar kits, cocktail recipe and guide books, and everything else to outfit your bar at home except a bartender (which, for a price, can probably be arranged as well). New to the festival will be Singapore microbrewery Little Island Brewery.

But for true connoisseurs, it is the slew of fantastic Sands Signature Series masterclasses that will prove irresistible. We sort out the great from the good to highlight the ones we strongly recommend:

[Whistlestop Terroir Tour of Australia], Friday 12th August, 12.30-1.30pm, $25

This wine masterclass by Merchants Wine Store brings participants on an experiential journey of Australia through wine and explore regional variation of the same grape varietals. 2 winemakers will be on hand to share amusing anecdotes in their work.

[Japanese Sake Master Taster Competition], Friday 12th August 9.30pm to 10.30pm, $68

Shigefumi Matsudaira, certified as Master of Tasting by the Brewing Society of Japan and Sake Sommelier by Sake Service Institute, will guide a tasting session presented by sake purveyor Epicurean Nomads as well as a blind tasting competition that will see the winner walk away with a sake hamper worth over $600.

[Douglas Laing Malt & Grain Whiskies by Le Vigne Wine & Spirits], Saturday 13th August 2016, 3-4pm, $75

jan beckers douglas laing

This whisky masterclass, led by Le Vigne Wine & Spirits whisky educator Lewis Mitchell and Douglas Laing’s global malt ambassador and Keeper of the Quiach, Jan Beckers (pictured above), will be presenting the following lineup from the independent whisky bottler during the session:

  • The Epicurean Lowland Malt Scotch Whisky (latest release in the Douglas Laing Regional Malt Series)
  • Syndicate 58/6 12-yr old (pictured)
  • Laphroaig 18-yrs Single Cask
  • Port Dundas 27-yrs Single Grain
  • Glenturret 27-yrs Single Malt

[Mortlach: The Beast of Dufftown], Sunday 14th August 2016, 7.30-8.30pm, $88

sean baxter

Whisky expert and former Australia master chef contestant Sean Baxter (pictured above) will be on hand to guide this Mortlach whisky masterclass and take participants through a vertical tasting of Mortlach Rare Old, 18 year-old, and the rare 25 year-old.

[The Rise of Grower Champagne, Champagne Tarlant], Sunday 14th August 2016, 12-1pm, Free

Beverage director of the American Club, Alvin Gho, will introduce one of the most notable trends in Champagne – the rise of grower champagne. This tasting explores the individual expression of terroir-driven Champagne using with Champagne Tarlant, voted Decanter Magazine’s top 10 Grower Champagne of 2015. Note: Unlike the other paid masterclasses listed here, this masterclass will be held at the Garden Theatre and is free to attend with a general entry ticket.

[Five Decades of Penfolds Grange – A Journey through Time and Greatness], Sunday 14th August 2016, 12-1pm, $400

RP penfolds grange

The priciest masterclass of the entire festival but totally worth paying for, this wine tasting session brings participants through an intimate five-decade vertical journey of Penfold’s most iconic wine range, the Penfolds Grange – Australia’s most celebrated wine.

Penfolds winemaking ambassador Patrick Dowling will be on hand to guide attendees through vintages from 1978, 1988, 1999, 2004 and 2010, most of which are regarded as some of the finest and most valuable vintages produced.

[Coulée de Serrant – A Retrospective], Sunday 14th August 2016, 1.30-2.30pm, $80

Analogue Wine Merchant’s Ong Yi Xin will be presenting six vintages of the legendary house of Coulée de Serrant from Savennières in the Anjou-Saumur wine region of the Loire Valley in France, whose winegrower Nicolas Joly is one of the pioneers of the biodynamic movement. Guests will taste older vintages of the wine – made with wholly with Chenin Blanc – stretching back to 1987.

Tickets for these and other paid masterclasses – which does not include entry to the general Epicurean Market area – can be purchased here.