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#607

WINE NATURALLY, WINE BRAVELY

26 Sep 2018 By

Meet Philippe Chin, OFC’s newly appointed Wine & Operations Manager. His first “order” of business? Natural Wine

SINGAPORE – September 2018 – The following wine tasting took place in OFC (Open Farm Community) on an unexpectedly wet September afternoon. The day is Wednesday, and I am just sending the last of “hope you are well” messages to friends residing in Hong Kong, who is, by the way, as we speak, experiencing a record cray cray typhoon-of-the-century, Typhoon Mangkhut. Hosting us was Montreal-born and newly Singapore-based Philippe Chin – OFC’s freshly minted Wine & Ops Manager. As he uncorked what must have been the fifth bottle of natural wine, we sat and sipped silently. Perhaps because the thunderous pitter-patter is drowning out any possible conversation, but also because it is mighty impressive to witness Mother Nature in her element.

 

Philippe had already won us over. We spent the first four bottles discussing his passion, natural wines. Undeniably the most exciting styles in the wine world right now, natural wine is wine created with minimal chemical and technological intervention. More than just a trend, natural wine is a rejuvenation of style that requires wine-makers to revisit an era, and honour archaic practices that were in place long before industrialisation and commercialisation of agriculture came on the timeline.

Born in Montreal, Canada to a Chinese father and French-Canadian mother, Philippe Chin grew up spending most of his youth between Montreal and Hong Kong. At 15, Philippe picked up his first job as a dishwasher in Montreal, Canada, where he worked his way up in the industry. Today, he has accumulated over 20 years of food & beverage experience and on his CV are impressive houses such as Au Pied de Cochon’s, Sugar Shack, Le Filet, La Salle à Manger.

A sommelier at heart, Philippe’s passion for natural wine begun in the mid 2000’s and grew as he studies wine in the company of Laura Vidal and Etheliya Hananova, both owners of celebrated new restaurants including the Paris Pop-up that took over Open Farm Community in December, 2017.

Upon becoming Wine & Ops Manager of OFC, quite naturally, Philippe’s first order of business – quite literally –  are thoughtfully curated cases of natural wines he has had the privilege to come across. 

After all, OFC is a revolutionary community food project whose purpose is to re-connect urbanities with nature – and natural wines are, well, a natural brand fit.

At Open Farm Community, their “farm to table” concept extends even to their wines!

We take advantage of the following Q&A to to simultaneously conduct a taste-test.

 

Parched: Hey Philippe, recommend something from your cellar, and help us pair it with your famed OFC food creations. 

Philippe: Here are three

la cave se rebiffe

Frantz Saumon, Loire / France

pet’nat of gamay/grolleau

+ best with our watermelon wild honey salad

It goes without saying, colour paired, and thematically paired together, both the food and the wine shouts freshness and garden

 

elpidios

David & Nadia, Swartland / SouthAfrica

carignan.syrah.pinotage.cinsault

+ pair it with our spice braised beef cheeks

The roundness and silkiness of this fruit-driven South African beauty goes perfectly with the spices used in the braised beef cheek

 

bertand jousset

les andouines

Chenin at its best, silky honey-esque with a strong mineral backbone.

+ best with our steamed barramundi with dashi butter and seared tapioca

The richness of the butter and tapioca style polenta dance together in harmony with the chenin.

 

Parched: And your personal favourite?

Philippe: – marcel lapierre mmix 2009

one of the last if not the last vintage from famed godfather of natural wine marcel lapierre, before he passed away. Note: mmix is only released when the year permits it.

This one I don’t pair it with anything, I just appreciate it and stare at the horizon.

 

Parched: What’s your favourite part of your job? 

Philippe: Meeting like-minded people who share a passion that goes beyond reading labels. To be able to satisfy one’s desire and curiosity and bring them along for the dance is the greatest reward.

Parched: Tell us about this country you know call home and her relationship with “Natural Wines” 

Philippe: Singapore is still fairly new in terms of natural wines, although people drink them without actually knowing they are natural wines. Natural wines are everywhere and already on the market, they are some of the greatest wine in the world as old wineries always worked naturally, and never adopted commercial and extensive use of chemicals modern engineering.

Singapore is a very modern city with a population that travels a lot and are very receptive to new ideas, concepts and flavours. I tend to believe the flavour profile of natural wines is a fit for Singaporeans as, natural winemakers tend to harvest earlier, and keep a lot of freshness and lightness to the wines. great for the weather we are living in.

Things to keep in mind as we talk about the relation of Singaporeans and the upcoming movement of natural wine, is that, although a trend and subculture as risen from it, the base of the winemaking is purely to make wine as clean as possible, and that is here to stay forever. The trend and subculture that goes with it is to democratize wine and make it accessible to all, as wine’s purpose is not to be only  enjoyed by a certain few lucky one.

About Natural Wine

Natural wine is wine created with minimal chemical and technological intervention. More than just a trend, natural wine is a rejuvenation of style invites you to hop on a time machine, to an era long before industrialisation and commercialisation of agriculture came on the timeline.

This unadulterated form of wine is widely regarded as healthier, since it is sans additives, preservative, and stabilisers; and is friendlier on the environment as it pushes for biodiversity and sustainability.

Read More at >> Open Farm Community

Article By >> Xin Hui

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