Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chateau Petrus with your nasi goreng?

Fine wine's always been an interest of mine. As evidenced by my recent article in the Financial Times, in which I recount how owning cases of great Bordeaux is much more satisfying than seeing your shares in Lehman Brothers drop to nothingess. (And provides healthy returns, too.)

I never realized it was a real interest in Indonesia, though, until I saw this article from Reuters. Apparently wine classes, vintage tastings, and wine-savvy bars are sprouting up throughout Jakarta. Notes to local aficionados: Chicken satay goes well with port, while goat pairs nicely with Australian shiraz. Lamb with coconut milk? Think California chardonnay.

More power to local wine lovers, since quaffing a great Lafite-Rothschild or Margaux is one of life's inestimable pleasures. But I thought Muslim law was pretty clear on the subject: No alcohol. As such Indonesia still has among the lowest per-capita wine consumption in Asia, at less than a litre a year (as compared to those grape-loving Singaporeans). All the more for me ...

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