I struggle to tell apart Bordeaux from Burgundy so to me the latest trend of fine-dining establishments boasting wine cellars to rival the South of France can be overwhelming. You can’t blame them – these days it means if you’re a restaurant and your wines aren’t sitting in a perfectly climate controlled simulation of a hole in the ground in … well you’re dead to every high-living sophisticate in this city.
So if you don’t know a fine Bordeaux cave from the cupboard under the stairs here are four (obnoxious) questions to ask the maitre’d when you next encounter cellar-civilizations… so you too can pretend to be as urbane as the rest of the high-rollers.
1. Ask if he does indeed supervise a cellar or merely a wine room because if it has less than 500 bottles it’s a wine room and not a cellar.
2. Is the cellar active or passively cooled? If he answers passive you know he’s a mere poseur – if it isn’t refrigerated in Singapore – it’s not doing much.
4. Inquire about the humidity in the purported cellar. This is a hotly debated topic in the world of wine, so never-mind the answer – you only need to commit to the question.