The year is speeding to a close, beckoning Christmas parties, special release expressions, New Year’s Eve and a looming reset button labelled “2018”. It’s natural to feel caught up in the rush, and one of the best remedies to keep you in check is to unwind with a quality glass, or a bottle of something new.

Cloudy Bay’s latest Sauvignon Blanc 2017 makes for a worthy contender if you’re a wine enthusiast. The New Zealand-based winery faced many challenges with creating this year’s vintage, especially with the climate. This new Cloudy Bay baby is the result of, as viticulturist Jim White put it, “a very difficult birth”. More to come below on whether this struggle made its 33rd vintage any sweeter.

Those raring for parties to arrive can anticipate the next edition of Cé La Vi’s Sky High Brunch coming up in early November. Although arriving a little later than usual this year, the upcoming brunch promises to spoil you with quality booze, food, and an entertainment duo you can’t miss.

Whisky exclusives, a new dinner menu at Catchfly, a wine clinic and a shopping opportunity for all your festive liquor requirements are also slated to arrive soon. Here’s what the drinks world has lined up for you this month.

1
Cloudy Bay's Sauvignon Blanc 2017 shows that strife doesn't get in the way of quality

Sauvignon Blancs lie at the heart of Cloudy Bay, and the 2017 expression put its winemakers through the wringer. Cyclone Debbie hit the winery during the harvest period, and this caused some issues towards the tail-end of the season. The wine did pull through, though, and the vintage we sampled was chock-full of fresh, citrusy notes, tapering off to a crisp, acidic finish that lingers.

Available at leading wine retailers at S$50 per bottle.

2
Johnnie Walker's Blender's Batch presents a new Wine Cask whisky

Johnnie Walker’s Blender’s Batch whiskies have been pushing the boundaries behind the craft of blended Scotch, and its latest expression is a whisky matured in former wine casks. Master Blender Jim Beveridge experimented with blender Aimée Gibson to perfect this exclusive whisky, and it was the latter that discovered the potential of wine casks. This new Johnnie Walker blend is a fruity one, with hints of ripe berry and toffee. Enjoy it with ice, tonic and a little cranberry juice for an easy cocktail.

Price TBA. 

3
Cé La Vi's Sky High Brunch returns with The Cuban Brothers

Cé La Vi’s Sky High Brunch returns again this November, promising four hours of free-flow daytime drinking, good music, and decadent bites to power you through. Held in the newly revamped Skybar, the upcoming Sky High Brunch will play host to entertainment group, The Cuban Brothers. The funktastic musicians are set to impress with both songs and stunts — don’t expect any less from a trio that’s been hired by Elton John and Damien Hirst for private parties.

Held on 5th November, Sunday, from 12pm to 4pm. Pre-sale tickets at S$188 per person. Door sale tickets priced at S$198 per person, subject to availability. Call +65 6508 2188 or email reservation-sg@celavi.com to book.

4
Wine And Whisky Week is back with over 500 wines and spirits

One of the best things about a year coming to an end are the pre-Christmas booze sales. It’s never too early to stock up, and 1855 The Bottle Shop’s upcoming Wine & Whisky week is where you ought to head. The roadshow event promises sales on everything from sparkling wines to cask strength whiskies, with 500 different labels from around the world ready for your perusal. Highlights include the exclusive Kilchoman Cask Strength whisky, limited to just 12,000 bottles worldwide, and the Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava. The latter is a must-try to renew your appreciation for bubblies.

Wine and Whisky Week will be held from 1 to 12 November, at Suntec City’s East Atrium, Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038984, between 11am to 10pm.

5
Catchfly at 12 Ann Siang introduces an all-American dinner menu

Plush basement bar, Catchfly, has expanded its food menu to include substantial dine-in options. Sticking with the bar’s American-focus, the food reworks the country’s classics with an Asian slant. Start off with the roasted bone marrow appetiser, where a massive hock of bone is cleaved in half, and roasted into creamy goodness, topped with a generous serving of fried garlic. Spread it on the accompanying rounds of toast for maximum satisfaction. Vegetarian diners can order the spinach pasta, made with creamed spinach, macadamia nuts, Turkish cheese and cherry tomatoes. Despite the heavy ingredients, it’s a surprisingly light dish, allowing for the freshness of the greens to shine through. If you ever find yourself in Ann Siang, make Catchfly a pit stop.

6
Penfolds to bring its re-corking clinic to Singapore this November

Wine collectors, mark your calendars. Penfolds’ re-corking clinic returns to Singapore this November, offering wine check-ups for your Penfolds vintages that are 15 years old and above. Chief Winemaker Peter Gago, and Senior Red Winemaker Stephanie Dutton will be at the clinic, offering one-on-one consultation services with wine owners, as well as re-corking services. Re-corking is an extremely delicate and technical process, not to be attempted by the inexperienced. The re-corking clinic will also feature in Penfolds’ upcoming National Geographic digital documentary, A Story In Every Bottle, which celebrates this unique service and client experiences with the brand.

The wine clinic will be held on 14 November. Register for a slot here.

7
Quaich Bar celebrates its 10th anniversary with two new single malt whiskies

Quaich Bar recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion, it has released rare single cask expressions from two lesser-known Scottish distilleries. The first is the Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old, a cask strength whisky made especially for Quaich. This Islay whisky is a briny, sweet expression without the heavy peatiness associated with whiskies from the island. The second is Deanston’s 14 Year Old Spanish Oak whisky, matured in refill casks for nearly a decade, and finished in Spanish brandy butts for five years before bottling. This spicy, sweet whisky is extremely rich on the palate, packed with notes of oak and chestnut.

The Bunnahabin 12 Year Old is priced at S$398 per bottle. The Deanston 14 Year Old Spanish Cask is priced at S$450. Limited quantities available at Quaich Bar.

Beatrice Bowers
Features Editor
Beatrice Bowers writes about beauty, drinks, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she moonlights as a Niffler for novels and can be found en route to bankruptcy at your nearest bookstore. Don't tell her boss.