Want the ease of picking an elegant wine as a gift which you know the recipient will value and enjoy?
Now you can choose from curated gift sets featuring highly rated wines from ST Wine and exquisite floral bouquets.
The ST Wine Club is a premium wine club of The Straits Times, which works with reputable wine merchants to curate and present fine wines at the best value.
The club has launched a collection of wine and floral gift sets with FarEastFlora.com, which has been in the flowers, hampers and gifts business for more than 15 years.
Mr Ryan Chioh, 46, its managing director, says: "We are happy to partner ST Wine to expand our product range and provide readers with a premium choice of high quality gifts."
He says that wine gifting has grown increasingly popular since the trend took off in the last decade.
"Wines are a popular gift idea, but the range of wines is wide and it can be difficult for consumers to know which to buy.
"Having curated wines from ST Wine gives readers the confidence of quality, whether they are new to buying wine or experienced drinkers."
The new line of gift sets offers a bouquet of lilies or roses packaged with wines from ST Wine's Gold and Platinum collections.
The flowers are air-flown from overseas and FarEastFlora.com receives shipments at least three times a week.
Mr Chioh says: "We emphasise the need for quality and monitor our shipments closely.
"Quality control begins with our choice of farms. Our team conducts field trips to our overseas suppliers to understand the operational process from harvesting to delivery."
All flowers which arrive at its facilities are given post-harvest treatment to recondition them, preserve quality and lengthen vase life.
Mr Chioh says: "Our floral bouquets combined with ST Wine's curated wines make suitable gifts for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries or house-warming parties.
"But you don't always need a special occasion for a gift as you can send one simply to make someone smile."
Mr Tan Ooi Boon, senior vice-president (business development) for The Straits Times, says: "Many readers tell us that it's quite challenging to pick wines as gifts for wine lovers. So we decided to do this for them, with the assurance that even the most discerning wine drinkers will enjoy our best picks.
"At ST Wine, we want to start a movement to let more people enjoy good wines at equally good prices."
The wines featured in the gift sets are the Celestial Bay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, rated JH 94 by James Halliday, and the Majella The Musician Cabernet Shiraz 2013, rated JH 92.
Platinum wines featured in the gift sets are Muga Blanco 2015, a Spanish white wine rated JS 91 by James Suckling, and the Domaine Santa Duc Les Hautes Garrigues Gigondas 2012, rated RP 90.
Mr Darrel Kueh, 40, a division manager, says: "Curated wines from ST Wine take the uncertainty out of choosing wines as a gift. There is an added assurance that the wines are of high quality and that the person I am giving them to is likely to enjoy them.
"This makes it convenient for me to pick out a thoughtful gift, whether for a friend or to present as a corporate gift."
The wine and floral gift sets are available for order online at stwine.sg/gifts and also www.fareastflora.com/stwines.
Prices range from $188 to $268.
ST Wine also has special wine packages which are curated, with new wines featured monthly.
Join the ST Wine Club and enjoy surprise monthly packages of fine wines delivered to your doorstep.
For inquiries, e-mail STWine@sph.com.sg or call 6319-5076 during office hours.
Savour fine Australian wines
For versatile wines that can be easily paired with Singapore dishes, check out ST Wine's Australian wine special.
The wines featured are from Irvine Wines in South Australia. The winery takes pride in producing wines made fully from grapes grown on its 162ha of vineyards in the Barossa and Eden valleys.
Mr Sam Wade, 38, general manager of Irvine Wines, who was in town recently to host a wine dinner, says the Springhill Pinot Gris is a refreshing white wine that can be savoured on its own and also paired with a wide range of foods, from dim sum to curries.
He says: "It is a textural wine that can easily stand up to spicy food such as fish head curry.
"This wine is a real crowdpleaser and suits a variety of people. It is an easy drinking wine for novices, but with enough complexity to keep experts interested."
He recommends the Irvine Estate Merlot to go along with chicken rice or roast pork.
He says: "The wine tastes of lovely red fruit, such as raspberries, and it is also slightly peppery with a hint of five-spice powder. It goes well with barbecued meats too. I like having it with char siew."
For red meat dishes such as beef, lamb or roast duck, go for the medium-bodied Irvine Estate Cabernet Blend, which has the aroma and flavour of dark fruit such as blackcurrant and plum.
Get all three featured Irvine wines at a special package price of $148 on the ST Wine site. To order, go to stwine.sg/events-promotions
Irvine Springhill Pinot Gris 2016
Grape: 100 per cent Pinot Gris
Bottles produced: 15,000 The colour of pale straw tinged with green, this white wine bears the fruity aromas of pear and peach, with floral scents.
On the palate, it is complex - dry with a crisp finish. Drink now or cellar up to 2022.
Goes well with dishes such as chicken Caesar salad, salmon and grilled scallops.
Irvine Estate Merlot 2014
Grape: 100 per cent Merlot
Bottles produced: 12,000 A deep dark red in colour, the Estate Merlot has the aroma of plum, redcurrant, earth and spice.
On the palate, it is medium-bodied and smooth, with subtle notes of berries and dried herbs. Ready to drink, but can also age gracefully over the next six to eight years.
Irvine Estate Cabernet Blend 2014
Grapes: 80 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon, 15 per cent Merlot and 5 per cent Cabernet Franc
Bottles produced: 17,000 Densely red at its core, the Estate Cabernet Blend is aromatic with scents of blackberry, black olives, red fruits and spice.
On the palate, it is silky smooth and juicy. Medium-bodied, the wine tastes of blackcurrant, blackberry, coffee and chocolate-mint. Particularly lovely to drink in its youth, this wine is also suitable to age for several years.