The pandemic came fast and furious. Next thing we knew, all of us were on lock down and had nowhere to go. Then came the Zoom wine sessions. My close friends who got me into wine drinking became my social group after we knocked off from our work from home arrangements. From weekends it became close to something like four times a week.
We talked ALOT about wine and when we ran out of topics, we started looking at wine price lists and then came the group bulk order of wine and it was at the time when the currencies were in our favour. What did you expect us to do. Lol.
It occurred to me that we had a beautiful thing going on. No pretense, no ego, no facade, everyone was comfortable with who they are and what they liked. Everyone exchanged knowledge about wine and was all eager to learn. I thought to myself, there must be public groups out there that allow people in Singapore who love wine to connect and I started my search.
There were a few Facebook groups about wine in Singapore, some a few thousand members strong, but when I looked at their content, it was all either filled with promos and deals or it was just one person posting in a broadcast way. There must be a group where people come together just to get to know one another properly without the constant bombardment of posts by wine merchants. Alas, there was no such group. I think there is a need for one, so I discussed with my wine friends and I decided to create a group on Facebook, a non-commercial Facebook group where people shared their wine adventures and also got to know one another not just virtually, but in real life, sharing good bottles of wine over good conversation and friendship.
We needed a name and after quite a few ideas, Desmond who got me into wine back in 2015 suggested a great name and Little Red Drop was born on 28th April 2020.
It started slow as we had only a small handful of members, then I shared content from LRD to other wine Facebook groups and slowly other wine lovers in Singapore started taking notice and started joining our group.
I welcomed new members almost weekly and encouraged them to introduce themselves as this was the main purpose of the group, for people to get to know one another. From bankers to doctors, from divers to cabin crew, from people in the trade to your everyday working class and even a guy who is still in the Army as a NSF. I seriously got to know alot of new people because of LRD.
Desmond also made a good point that no one will join if there is no content, so I started making content series and scheduling them. I curated content about Italian wines, notable wine people and even asked people about their favourite wines. Here are some thumbnails of the published Facebook posts. Each series I did a roundup, then shared it on the larger Facebook groups.
But what was fun was not just content about wine, but content about the people in the group and I started to try and do some interviews with some of the members that joined very early on. There was Liko Kheh who was a student then Micheal Juya who is in banking. Fun conversation over chats, then crafted the posts accordingly. I should do more.
Then I became adventurous and thought, hey, why not a video interview. And then I got to know Charine Tan who happen to be a Singaporean working in Croatia and in the wine business too interesting. Some hiccups on the FB Live stream at the start, so had to re upload the video and lost the comments on the live stream.
Slowly but surely, we welcomed our 100th member Christine Sou and then 200th member Shermaine Ang just before the end of 2020. Today as of April 2021, we have crossed 270 members.
Then came the main event. Without any prompting or nudging, the very first in real life meetup which I would like to call LRD#0 happened organically. Dibbs and Felix meetup and that made history.
Then we organised in small groups allowed by the law (due to covid restrictions) to meet up at BYOB Restaurants to share wine.
LRD#1: 22 Aug 2020 @ New Ubin Seafood Zhong Shan Park (What you are into now)
LRD#3: 30 Oct 2020 @ Communal Bistro Delicacy (Bordeaux vs Bordeaux Inspired)
LRD#4: 28 Nov 2020 @ Kam’s Roast Pacific Plaza (Pinot Noir Evening)
LRD#5: 17 Dec 2020 @ Empire Nee Ann City (Xmas Blend 3 grapes or more)
LRD#6: 29 Jan 2021 @ Wah Lok (Rhone Night)
LRD#7: 19 Feb 2021 @ Wee’s Family Coffeeshop (No IAFU Italian, Australian, French, USA)
LRD#8: 18 Mar 2021 @ Po Restaurant (OldisGoldOldWorld > 10 years)
LRD#9: Whole of April 2021 @ Anywhere (Horizontal or Vertical)
1 Apr 2021 @ Homeground Grill & Bar (09 Horizontal, Bordeaux vs Tuscany vs Burgundy)
2 Apr 2021 @ David’s place (Bordeaux 2nd Growth not really Horizontal but still fierce)
more to come…
The amazing thing is I did not arrange all of them. Instead it was the community that arranged most of it. I thank Shirley, Darric, Angela and Sylvia for helping to organise all the events and coordinating with their own small groups. And the best part is there are alot more unofficial LRD meetups as members started making friends and started hanging out separately! This is EXACTLY the purpose of this group and I’m so so so glad it took just about 1 year for this to happen.
Initially my wife did not join me in the events as she is quite an introvert, but she did join me at LRD#5 and that changed everything for her. She found the people really nice and easy to get along and is super supportive of my doing this LRD thing.
I personally got to know alot of new friends. People from all walks of life and I’m so happy to have setup this group. Even if I quit and stop LRD today, some of these new friends will be for the long haul.
So we started to host at our place for some of the friends we knew from LRD. First session was in honour of Charine Tan as she came back from Croatia for a bit during CNY period so we had to share a few bottles. :)
Then we organised a 90s themed night where we all brought bottles from the 90s, dressed up in 90s fashion and also listened to 90s pop all night. Super fun night. My bottle was the year my wife and I started dating and my wife’s bottle was the year we got married, I’ll let you guess which is which.
To more good friends, good wine and good times. If you wanna join us, join Little Red Drop on Facebook an I hope to share a bottle or more with you. If you have been in this group for a while, I would love to get any feedback so that we can make this group even more awesome.
The idea of a vertical night came almost 2 – 3 months ago during the prime of our circuit breaker. Our friends were meeting on zoom almost every other night and drinking wine alone in our own houses. We talked about how when the lock down is lifted we should meet up and have a good drink. Somehow the idea of a vertical night with Tertre Roteboeuf came about as it is one of our friend Robby’s favourite red wine from the Bordeaux region in France. We all committed to getting each a bottle with a different vintage and the event was one.
As we are only in Phase 2 meaning we can’t meet in large groups, we managed to find a venue that had private rooms which could fit 5 so we booked 2 of the rooms and went ahead. Thanks to the great service staff that could help us serve the food and the wines.
What a night. With a few close friends, this vertical night is really a night to remember. Because it’s so epic I simply had to make a video about it.
Thanks to all that made this possible. Robby Sucipto for working with Corney & Barrow Singapore to get connected with Mr François, Gabriel Teo for organising the venue at Kyoaji Dining and facilitating the session, Desmond Khoh for the technical setup of video conferencing and everyone else for bringing a bottle generously to let everyone else taste. But once again to thank Robby for introducing all of us to this beautiful wine and also availing some from his stash.
Ok, here come my tasting notes as per the sequence we drank as recommended by our beloved winemaker. As you can see, further down the night, I became quite happy and the notes were lest academic.
Tertre Roteboeuf vertical tasting night notes:
2004 – Big perfumed floral noes. Bright red fruits, structured and very balanced. Maybe I’m too excited for the night to begin.
2002 – Mid bodied. Dark fruits, cooler than the 04, structured and long soft finishing.
1999 – Beautiful nose. Dark fruits and liquorice notes with hints of vanilla. Full lengthy and elegant.
1994 – Big nose of honey. Mid bodied, mild and friendly.
1998 – Oh man, very nice sweet floral and honey nose. Dark fruits, blackberries and liquorice. Dry, earthy and super balanced.
2001 – Sweet sweet floral nose. Smooth structured and balanced. Long long finishing.
2007 – Nice soft floral nose and smooth and nicely acidic.
2000 – Wow. Austere, woody fruit, wonderful length. Spiritual and I like how François explains it like its Bach in a glass.
2009 – WOW WOW WOW, complex and beautiful beautiful nose. Its dry, opulent and pure art.
Top for me would be 2009, 2000, 2001. Don’t get me wrong, the rest are also really good, but If you had to put a gun to my head, I would say these 3.
So what did we talk about? You can find the full video from Desmond’s YouTube here.
So who is François Mitjavile and what kind of wine is Château Tertre Roteboeuf, check out these few links:
I brought the 2000 and 2001 empty bottle home to remind me of this wonderful night and I’ve also took back all the corks. So the morning after, I lined them up and vacuumed them to make them an instalment at home.
We are fronting this event as an event by Little Red Drop which is a Facebook group which I’ve set up a few months back. There are quite a few groups for Singapore wine lovers already, but they are filled with deals which are great, but I feel that it is lacking a community element where people got to know one another and talk about wine and also meet up to have wine. This group is strictly non commercial, so let’s hope this group flourishes and we get more people in Singapore getting to know more wine aficionados and making friends.
If you are a merchant or got lobang to wine merchants or venues, hit me up on the Little Red Drop Facebook group, I’m more than happy to explore collaboration opportunities. But keep in mind its about the community and not about sales.