My Selection: Could you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
Vincent Tan: I am the Head Sommelier for Odette, and I have been with the team since the very beginning. I’ve been working with wines for 10 years now, and have always been particularly focused on the wines of France, specifically Burgundy.
MS: What does your job entail exactly?
VT: Apart from the wine service, I also plan together with Chef Julien the wines to accompany the degustation menu, which is a very prominent part of our operations. I am also constantly sourcing for new wines to add to our portfolio, both locally and internationally. Along with wines, I also select the waters, coffee beans and tea selection for the restaurant.
MS: How long have you been living in Singapore and what brought you here?
VT: I actually grew up in Singapore! I was born in Malaysia, but my parents decided very early on that it would be more beneficial for me to be educated in Singapore, where the primary language was English. This was very much in view that English would allow me access to a greater part of the world.
MS: With work done, how do you like spending your free time in the Lion City (Do you have any favorites areas or places where you spend your free time)?
VT: I love spending my free time away from the city, so I would go on runs often in the various nature parks such as MacRitchie Reservoir. I also enjoy exploring restaurants and visiting our peers to see how they would conduct their service and learn from them.
MS: Singapore is famously a melting pot of cultures and, as a
result, also of multiple cuisines. What are your favorites?
VT: My favorite cuisine would definitely be Japanese, as I enjoy pure flavors from ingredients, which I think the Japanese truly excel at. In terms of comfort, I turn to Chinese, which is very much my heritage and often easiest to enjoy.
MS: Where do you like to have dinner in Singapore? Could you name your Top 3 picks among restaurants, bars & cafes in Singapore?
VT: My 3 favorite restaurants would be Burnt Ends, Jaan and Atlas Wine Bar. The food and service at the first 2 is absolutely top notch, and Atlas is similar with amazing service and stunning decor.
Styled and shot by Atlas
MS: Selecting wine depends very much on the occasion. When do you like to drink wine? On its own / with a meal / alone / with company?
VT: I think wine is something definitely meant to be enjoyed with company, and this can be over food or sometimes over a great conversation. I think the type of wine also dictates whether I have it with food, something mature and complex is very much possible to enjoy on its own, as it leaves much to be pondered upon while something relatively younger, or robust would definitely benefit from having cuisine along with it.
MS: Are there any wines that you particularly like and would recommend to our readers? Or maybe you have your favorite pairings with the food you mentioned before?
VT: I am a great fan of Syrah, and I think its a varietal that perhaps needs a re-introduction to a lot of people, especially those who are used to the robust style of Australia. Those of the the Northern Rhone, especially from producers such as Jean-Louis Chave, Auguste Clape and Alain Voge can often be mistaken as Burgundies, and definitely offer a different perspective from what many people assume Syrah is. For pairing, I absolutely love Beaujolais with beetroots, especially the fruitier Morgons from Jean Foillard or Matthieu Lapierre and the oxidative wines from Jura, like Rolet’s Tradition with eggs.