Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and amidst the hustle and bustle of the celebrations is guaranteed plenty of festive feasting and drinking. What are you drinking though?
Of course, one can always stock up on alcohol for those Chinese New Year visits by buying carton loads of beer specially packaged for this Year of the Dog, but to impress those relatives and visitors that matter, one needs something far more impressive.
It wasn’t an easy task though; we found just two we thought embodied both style and substance, and deserving of mention.
Castiglion del Bosco Zodiac Dog Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva 2011
Eminent Montalcino wine producer Castiglion del Bosco, maker of many a fine Brunello, has made yet another with the limited edition Castiglion del Bosco Zodiac Dog Brunello di Montalcino DOCG Riserva 2011 (main picture) that comes as part of their limited Zodiac collection first launched in 2013. The Zodiac Dog comes with an exclusive label designed by renowned Chinese artist Li Fu Yuan, and is expected to appeal to wine connoisseurs and art lovers alike.
Within the bottle though is liquid that’s meant to be one of the finest expressions of Montalcino terroir, made with grapes harvested at an altitude of 450 metres and so sees plenty of sunshine. In fact, earlier expressions have already won accolades from wine critics, with James Suckling rating it at No. 46 in his Top 100 Italian Wines of 2017 list with 96 points for its beautiful tension with a full to medium body, super fine tannins and a long, tangy and polished finish.
The Zodiac Dog is limited to just 488 bottles and retails at S$1,455.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Limited Edition Year of the Dog.
If whisky is more your thing, there’s Johnnie Walker. Diageo paints the town red with Johnnie Walker every Chinese New Year; unlike last year’s Year of the Rooster special release which came in a beautiful blue livery complete with Chinese calligraphy-style art depicting the rooster in gold, this year’s limited edition Year of the Dog is designed and puts the premium blended Scotch whisky in a more classic bottle with blue tints and a beautiful design by Taiwanese artist Page Tsou that tells the story of Johnnie Walker and his canine companion as they journey around the world bringing prosperity and rejoicing in the arrival of the new year.
According to Tsou, the design was inspired by the precious bond between man and man’s best friend, and features four dogs all chosen for their special meaning in Asia. Then there’s the other man’s best friend, whisky – the Johnnie Walker Blue Label liquid within the bottle is, of course, a blend of rare single malt and grain whiskies each chosen for exceptional quality and character and created by a team of 12 expert whisky makers led by master blender Jim Beveridge. Expect notes of honey, fresh fruits, rich spice and an unmistakable smokiness.
The Johnnie Walker Limited Edition Year of the Dog costs S$238 and can be purchased from online alcohol retailer Asher BWS here.