Food & Drink

Join This All-Natural Blind Wine Tasting with Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia

Certified sommelier Alison Christ and three fantastic winemakers from around the world lead us in a blind wine tasting via Zoom on October 2. Here’s how to participate!

Alison Christ by Daniel Scholtz. Photo by IL21/Getty Images Pro/Canva

Sep 22, 2021

NATURAL WINES ARE SO HOT RIGHT NOW, they seem like they’re on everyone’s lips. Natural, organic and biodynamic — the buzziest words in wine and some of the tastiest pours. It’s fair to say we at Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia are obsessed with them. So we’re hosting an international blind wine tasting on October 2 in which a superstar sommelier and three winemakers from around the globe will talk us through the world of sustainable wines, while we swish and sip them together.

Quick primer: “Natural” is a sort of blanket term for low-interventionist winemaking, and in that way it takes in organics and biodynamics. It might also mean the winemaker has used no additives while cellaring the wine, such as cultured yeast. Organic wines are farmed without pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. The exact definition can vary as different countries have different rules for certification — e.g., in the U.S. winemakers can’t use sulfur dioxide if they want to obtain an organic label. A biodynamic vineyard goes a step further; it’s a farm that is treated like one living entity, in which all the flora and fauna have a symbiotic relationship, precluding the need for chemicals, and the phases of the moon even come into play here.

Sustainable wines are not only better for the planet, they’re also awesome health-wise, and usually are uniquely delicious because you can really taste the terroir, and the truest version of the grapes.

But don’t take our word for it. We’ve recruited a certified sommelier, Alison Christ, a native New Yorker who’s worked in wine all over the world, founded a wine-centric lifestyle company, and even worked as an assistant winemaker. In KL, where she’s now based, she ran the wine program at the award-winning Troika Sky Dining. She’s a natural-wine evangelist, and is a great guide in tastings.

“Sustainable winemakers put so much love into the vineyard and you can feel it in the wine,” Alison says — which is why she’s arranged for three of them to meet with Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia readers and wine enthusiasts via Zoom.

On Saturday, October 2, 2021, please join us for a very special, super tasty, all-sustainable, blind wine tasting with Alison Christ and three fantastic winemakers from all over the world.

The Zoom event is open to anyone in Bangkok (4pm local time), and Kuala Lumpur and Singapore (5pm local time). Just fill out this quick form to sign up and get the contact of distributor in your city. Cin cin!

How Does the Blind Wine Tasting Work?

You’ll receive three wines wrapped in foil, and numbered. Do not unwrap the foil! But do chill one of them as instructed.

Alison will lead us through tasting each bottle sequentially, using our senses of sight, smell and taste to try to figure out what the wine is and where it’s from. It’s a fun and open group chat, and everyone is invited to participate as much or as little as they want – no pressure!

Once we’ve decided on the wine, it’s time for the big reveal. As we unwrap the bottles, the winemakers themselves will join the call from their vineyards around the world, to share their insights and experiences, and to answer any juicy questions.

More About Sustainable Wines

“A biodynamic vineyard is a farm that is treated like one living entity,” Alison says. “Other fruits and vegetables will grow alongside vines to promote biodiversity. The entire place operates together, symbiotically: the animals eat the weeds and the butterflies and bees pollinate. Flowers promote other healthy insects to thrive while keeping the bad insects away.

“Usually human interactions are considered also, like recycling energy, waste and water. You can think of these things as natural antibiotics to the farm so there is no need for harmful chemicals and pesticides. The overall efforts absorb and reduce carbon for a profound positive impact on the plants’ health.

“Organic and sustainable farmers may farm largely organically or biodynamically but have flexibility to choose what works best for their individual property; they may also focus on energy and water conservation, use of renewable resources and other issues.

“I owe it to myself to treat my body like a temple and to provide it with the healthiest versions of all things that go into it – especially wine.”

We couldn’t agree more. See you at the T+L blind wine tasting on October 2!

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