Vine Talk: Can David slay Goliath in the world's vineyards?

Tue Jul 6, 2010 6:04am EDT
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(Curtis Marsh is a Singapore-based independent wine writer and commentator with nearly 30 years experience in the wine industry. The opinions expressed are his own. His website is

By Curtis Marsh

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - The analogy of David and Goliath seemed fitting for this vinous account as many are familiar with the legend and the substance of message in the outcome.

Metaphorically speaking, The Valley of Elah is Singapore.

The Israelites David is represented by modest wine producers at relatively user-friendly prices (sub S$100 per bottle) facing the Philistines mighty Goliath, personified by the most exalted and expensive realms of France.

The setting and participants are perhaps the most notable factors, Singapore being effectively neutral territory in terms of not producing any wine.

Of more relevance are the 20 participants in this exercise, none of whom are wine professionals but a broad representation of nationalities and all well-traveled, relatively wine savvy, open-minded-palates attending a luncheon.

The host of the luncheon -- a wine enthusiast who prefers unpretentious, wholesome wines -- gave me the opportunity to show wines of unquestionable superiority and emphatic status - no expense spared - against the unassuming and relatively affordable with the caveat that the wines were not too obscure.

To ensure the relevance and impartiality of the exercise, the wines were served with their identity masked and paired with an appropriate dish to bring out the best in them.   Continued...

<p>Workers harvest grapes of Pinot Noir in the Alsace region near Colmar, eastern France, August 31, 2009. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler</p>