Booze, Bottles & Bottles, and Underground Wines

It must be a challenge coming up with a catchy name for a wine store. Almost as hard as coming up with the name of a wine, like Bastard Box for instance. Maybe that’s where The Big Red Wine Book got it so right. Anyway, to the wines for this weekend……

Booze WineShop

I had a look at Booze’s online offerings for Australian wines ( and found that they list two brands, Penmara and Yatalla Creek. I couldn’t find any data on Yatalla Creek, but Penmara popped up in the ratings from time to time. Here’s what I found:

2007 / Penmara / Reserve / Orange / Shiraz / S$42 – When was the last time you had a wine from Orange? Yes, I thought so. Turns out that they can produce quite a reasonable drop from that area. The Big Red Wine Book gives this wine 92 points and James Halliday gives it 94 points. Not bad at all. Recommended drinking is from now out to about 2018. The RRP is A$20, so to fit within the BBI, the wine should be about S$36, at the outside S$39. It isn’t, so you’ll have to be the judge. 14% alc.

Underground Wines

Have a look at for some interesting Kiwi wines. Here’s one I picked:

2009 / Summerhouse / Marlborough / Sauvignon Blanc / S$30.50 –  To be honest, I don’t know this brand at all, but Michael Cooper does and he gives this particular wine 4.5 stars. It retails for about NZ$22 so Underground’s price is spot on for comparative value. I think the catchphrase for sauvignon blanc should be “drink often, drink early” – have this whilst you’re waiting for the Stonewell (see below) to mature.

Off the shelf – a random selection of wines from shopfront or supermarket  retailers. This time from Bottles & Bottles in Parkway Parade.

2005 / Peter Lehmann / Stonewell / Barossa Valley / Shiraz / S$98 – OK, so definitely not your quaffing wine then, and nor should it be. The Big Red Wine Book gives it 96 points and James Halliday gives it 94. It’s one to put away for a while with recommended drinking from about 2017 to 2024. If you’re an expat in Singapore on a two-year stint, you’ll need to think about where this wine might end up. For the rest of us who can wait that long, Stonewell has a grand reputation for rewarding patience. My records show that it retails in Australia for around the A$85-A$90 a bottle or A$75 for an on-line case purchase, so Bottles & Bottles price of S$98 for a single bottle purchase looks pretty fair to me. I’m guessing it will come up at the Singapore on-liners somewhat lower too but if you just want one bottle to slip into your grocery bag whilst the boss is not looking, then this might be the place to get it.

Hong Kong auctioned more fine wine than the entire US in the first quarter of 2010. Let’s hope it was all genuine.” – Attributed to ‘A Famous Wine Writer’, Decanter June 2010.

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Wine quotations

"A good bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world" - Louis Pasteur

“The unexacting palates of the masses…are content to ask no question [on origin] so long as a florin or half-a-crown will purchase a roomy flagon of strong , full-bodied, fruity wine” – CE Hawker writing in 1907