With so many people making an effort to eat healthier and more sustainably, it should come as no surprise that mindful consumption has also crossed over to the bar scene. Natural wines are majorly trending in foodie circles around the world right now with many people claiming that they’re better for your body and the environment. But how much of the hype is true? We did a bit of investigating to get the low-down on natural wines and uncover some spots where you can try them for yourself here in Singapore.
What is Natural Wine?
Just like the name suggests, natural wines are made with pure grapes and no chemical additives or heavy processing. Generally the grapes come from organic farms that don’t use pesticides and herbicides or biodynamic farms where the grapes are grown with respect for the ecosystem and natural phenomena like lunar cycles. Throughout the wine making process nothing is usually added to the wine, so it’s allowed to ferment and age naturally.
What are the Benefits of Natural Wine?
Many fans of natural wine believe that natural wine is healthier than conventional wine, which often contains sulphites for preservation, sugar to boost alcohol content and occasionally animal products to help clarify the wine. Although there is no scientific evidence that natural wine is in fact better for your bod, we reckon it can’t hurt to cut out the extras and just leave the good stuff. And there’s no doubt that growing grapes organically and sustainably lessens the impact on the environment.
Where to Find Natural Wines in Singapore
Is there anything better than a hearty bowl of pasta and a good bottle of vino? Bar Cicheti owner doesn’t think so, which is why she dedicated the sister restaurant of Cicheti to handmade pastas and boutique wines from small independent wineries. On the list you’ll find some great natural wines that have been hand selected to pair perfectly with the moreish trattoria style eats.
Bar Cicheti, 10 Jiak Chuan Road, Singapore 089264. p. +65 6789 9801. Open Tues – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sat 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm, Sun 11am – 3pm
The Black Swan
We love the Art Deco decor and decadent chophouse house fare at The Black Swan. The wine list is pretty comprehensive with a few natural wines that stand out for their big, bold flavours. You won’t find a specific category dedicated to natural wines or even notes to indicate whether a bottle is organic, but if that’s what you’re after, just ask head sommelier Yang and he’ll sort you out with a natural wine to match your tastes.
The Black Swan, 19 Cecil Street, Singapore 049704. p. +65 6438 3757. Open Mon – Fri 11:30am – 11:30pm, Sat 5pm – 11:30pm
Smoky grilled veggies and meats paired with a zippy natural wine? Yes please. Burnt Ends is the brainchild of chef David Pynt and his temple of modern Aussie-inspired BBQ. Grab a seat in front of the open kitchen and sip on a glass or two organic vino as you watch the chefs grill you up delish eats on the custom-designed grills powered by charcoal and aromatic woods.
Burnt Ends, 20 Teck Lim Road, Singapore 088391. p. +65 6224 3933. Open Tues – Sat 6pm – 12am, Fri – Sat 11:45am – 2pm
Formerly known as Cheek by Jowl, this inviting eatery offers over 50 different labels of natural and organic wines. Chef Rishi Naleendra and his wife Manuela Toniolo have a deep respect for the time, effort and know-how that goes into natural winemaking, so they put together a collection that features excellent natural wines from top producers in regions as diverse as Australia, the US and South Africa.
Cheek Bistro, 21 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069620. p. +65 6221 1911. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, Mon – Sat 6pm – 10:30pm
Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare
Gattopardo’s head sommelier Giedrius Lazutka has an affinity for sustainable, organic and biodynamic wines, so you’ll find plenty of options to choose from on the extensive all-Italian wine list. Try a crisp Viognier from Sicily to go with your seasonal oysters, a full-bodied Amarone from Veneto to pair with your Wagyu beef ragout pappardelle, or a Moscato d’Asti to finish your meal on a sweet note.
Gattopardo Ristorante di Mare, 36 Tras Street, Singapore 079026. p. +65 9325 8843. Open Mon – Fri 12pm – 2:30pm, 6:30pm – 10:30pm, Sat 6:30pm – 10:30pm
Le Bon Funk
It’s all about going au naturel at Le Bon Funk, as the wine list here is devoted entirely to natural wines. Sidle up to the circular bar and chat up head sommelier Josée Yeomans to get the scoop on her latest finds and the hottest organic vinos trending at the moment. Chances are she’ll tell you the whole story behind the wine including who the winemakers are and what makes their vinos unique.
Le Bon Funk, 29 Club Street, Singapore 069414. p. +65 6224 1490. Open Fri 12pm – 2pm, Tues – Sat 5:30pm – 12am
Open Farm Community
The goal of Open Farm Community has always been to celebrate fresh farm-to-table ingredients sourced from farmers who grow organically and sustainably, so it makes sense that they are just as mindful about their wines. The ever-changing selection includes bottles from small producers who are committed to producing natural wines using authentic traditional methods.
Open Farm Community, 130E Minden Road, Singapore 248819. p. +65 6471 0306. Open Mon – Thurs 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 11pm, Fri 12pm – 4pm, 6pm – 12am, Sat & PH 11am – 5pm, 6pm – 11pm
Founded by two sommeliers, RVLT is a haven for natural wine lovers. The owners are constantly seeking out new vintages and producers, so there is no wine list per se. Instead you just rock up to the bar and pick your poison from what’s available that day. Even the wine by the glass changes on a regular basis, so you can try something new every time you come. We highly suggest going for a flight to try a number of different wines.
RVLT, 38 Carpenter Street, Level 1, Singapore 059917. p. +65 9388 1436. Open Mon – Sat 5:30pm – late