Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wine Actually

If this looks nothing like a restaurant, that's because it's not. It's the sorta-secret headquarters of Wine Actually, billed as Malaysia's first licensed online wine merchant.
Wine Trivia #1: It can take 2.5 pounds of grapes to produce a regular bottle of wine.

Full details can be found on wineactually.com, but company co-founders Shaun Lee and Wilson Quah basically provide a nice selection of wines for customers to purchase on the website and have delivered to their doorsteps.
Wine Trivia #2: Italy, France and Spain are the largest wine-producing nations.

Both guys _ who've confessed on their website to a sordid history of underage drinking _ also run wineactually.tv, a collection of video clips that feature them tasting wine and offering nuggets of wisdom about how to enjoy various varieties.
Wine Trivia #3: The Latin phrase "in vino veritas," or "in wine, (there is) truth," refers to how consuming alcohol can cause people to speak the truth and spill their secrets.

I shamelessly invited myself for lunch at their office, shortly after Shaun and Wilson had opened a bottle for a wineactually.tv segment. They also packed some pretty tasty wantan mee, sui kow & veggies from Yip Kee at Menjalara Business Square.
Wine Trivia #4: California's Napa Valley wine region surpasses Disneyland as the U.S. state's top tourist destination, with more than 5 million visitors annually.

What went well with all that food? Las Moras Malbec 2008 (Argentina) _ very pleasant and easy to drink (sold by Wine Actually for roughly RM62). I thought there was a strong whiff of cherries in this, but Shaun pointed out that it was probably blackberries (which a Google search later proved to be accurate).
Wine Trivia #5: The biggest type of wine bottle is called the Nebuchadnezzar, which contains 15 liters of wine (equivalent to 20 standard bottles).

Took the opportunity to purchase some wines for future use: Saint Clair Pioneer Block 7 Sauvignon Blanc 2008, Grant Burge Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV & Torbreck The Bothie 2009. Prices are listed on the website _ pretty good bargains, compared to the restaurant prices that we usually pay.
Wine Trivia #6: The cheapest bottle of wine at wineactually.com costs RM34. The most expensive is a RM332 Pinot Noir.

Wine Actually,
Bandar Menjalara.
Tel: 6272-4394
Check out EAT DRINK, a new F&B website jointly run by The Expat Group (TEG) & Eat Drink KL. This website features all of our up-to-date reviews, plus exclusive weekly articles & a searchable database on restaurants in KL & Selangor: EatDrink.my

85 comments:

  1. Ooh I can't wait to see you show off your new found knowledge when we next peruse through a wine list together. :-D

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  2. lemongrass: got only a bit of newfound knowledge lah. what i learned is that i still have much, much, much more to learn! :P

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  3. Interesting!! More places to buy quality wines from. Las Moras Malbec sounds really good, description and price wise. Maybe should think if they'd do bulk discount if you purchase more. Time to go makan and talk :)

    Menjalara - an area i'm totally lost in. Can never figure out Kepong, Batu Caves and Selayang. :P

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  4. elrond: true, i figure i could reduce my alcohol bill if i buy wine here and look for more restaurants with low corkage charges. but yeah, let's go makan again after i'm back from my training and vacation at the end of next month. heheh, won't drag to menjalara though. i got a bit lost here too, but thank gawd for google maps!

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  5. At first glance of the post, I thought Wine Actually serves wantan noodles. OMG. Then I read the words and hahaha...

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  6. Michelle: heheh, there are tons of food shops in this area, so I guess wantan mee isn't the only food that this office has seen :D

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  7. @Sean: I'm still reeling from the shock of your confession of actually consuming hawker food. I mean, can your digestive system handle anything less complex than a slab of foie gras? :P

    @Michelle: We should totally get him to open a high-end hawker stall called 'Wantan Actually' hor? :P

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  8. oh sean. u r such a wine connoisseur.. you are! LOL.. when WE gonna peruse eh? :P

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  9. Sean: If you come for more wine lunches, I'd be happy to give you wine tuition. Lol. Alternatively, if you could get a few people together we could start a tuition class!

    elrond half-elven: If you want to know more about what the Finca Las Moras Malbec tastes like, check out WineActually.TV in the coming days. It will be featured there.

    Life for Beginners: Wantan mee was my idea actually. But to my surprise, Sean took it extremely well. Either that, or he hid his disgusted look extremely well!

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  10. I like how you shamelessly invite yourself, i do that sometimes! Haha... but what I've yet to try is having wine with wantan mee. I gotta try that!

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  11. lfb: bah, wantan mee is in the same league as curry udon, isn't it? so there :P if i open a stall called 'wanton actually,' people might think i'm describing myself :D
    ciki: the last time we perused together was in march, five months ago! it's been too long. when can u fit me into your schedule :D
    shaun: hey, tuition classes would be really cool, but whether or not it's during lunch or in the evening, i refuse to spit out any wine (i wanna drink it all!) :D the wantan mee was good lah, springy and fresh. i would've finished the last sui kow too, but was being polite, heheh :P
    eiling: i guess it's ok to do so, once in awhile. and as long as the hosts don't mind having gatecrashers! :D

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  12. @Sean: It totally is, and I lub them both! Hmm, how about curry wantan udon mee? :D

    @Shaun: Wantan mee and wine: A perfect pairing, actually. ;)

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  13. lfb: how about curry wantan udon mee with a chunky slab of foie gras over it? :D

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  14. Oh. Well, one can hardly disagree with you on that, eh?

    Ok, you get the foie gras, I'll get the udon mee. Lemongrass can bring us her big, bouncy wantans. ;)

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  15. lfb: what's the devil bringing? a thick, juicy sausage? :D i wonder if that similarly named outlet at bangsar village will sue me if i ever open a restaurant called 'foie goodness sake' :P

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  16. Devil just brings himself and sits to eat. He's too Prada to be bothered with mere mortal activities like bringing food. :P

    Hmm. I've actually had foie gras (but on top of seared tuna) with sake before. Not too bad a pairing.

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  17. lfb: everybody must contribute something lah, even if it's not food. can he regale us with his rendition of debbie gibson classics? i bet he's a wonderful tenor :D hmmmm, lemme guess ... at hajime? :D

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  18. He can do a mean Karen Mok, if that helps? Hehe. Or maybe the Wonder Girls? Maybe we should leave that to Lemongrass. She's the Wonder Woman, after all. :P

    P.S. Correct! Pandai. :)

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  19. lfb: hmmm, i dunno if i even know any karen mok songs. i honestly wouldn't even recognize any faye wong numbers. does he do the classics? i like teresa teng's 'the moon represents my heart' "D
    p.s. i had one of those choose-your-own-ingredients handrolls at hajime once. we stuffed it with foie gras, uni, tuna belly, sea eel and avocado :D

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  20. Aiyo. You from the salah generasi lah. We ni lebih muda. (But not as young as Lemongrass who listens to Lady Gaga, Lady Antibiotic, Lady Baba and all that stuff.)

    P.S. Overkill! :P

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  21. lfb: i have to admit though, i turn the volume up and sing along in the car whenever the wonder girls' 'so hot' comes on nowadays. i especially love the chorus ... 'i'm so hot, i try to hide it but i'm so fine ... i just can't help it, baby, i'm so cool; somebody help me, i'm so so so hot hot hot' :D
    p.s. if they had offered truffles and wagyu beef, i'd have stuck it in there too :D

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  22. They actually have ANOTHER SONG other than 'Nobody'? Will wonders never cease? (No pun intended.)

    So they went from "nobody x infinity" to "so hot x infinity"? So that's the K-Pop success formula... :P

    P.S. Overoverkill! :P

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  23. lfb: ya, it's in the same vein as 'nobody.' u like one, u'll like the other. hmmmm, is it because u listen to liteFM on your drive to work that u haven't managed to hear it yet. :D
    p.s. i've always disagreed with the spice girls when they said that 'too much of something is bad enough.' anyways, remember my 'tsuke men,' laden with all the side dishes? that looked and tasted great :D

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  24. I don't like the song, just my friends when they sing it. Damn. I need a session at the karaoke badly. Been too long. I need singers! Where are my singers?!!

    :P

    P.S. What is liteFM?

    P.P.S. That was more like a 'tsunamimen' by the time you were done dumping extra, extra, EXTRA toppings on top of it. :P

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  25. lfb: *waves hands in the air!!!* karaoke is generally not the best avenue to exploit my five-octave range, but it'll do.
    p.s. the fifth channel on my pre-set radio choices, after hitz, fly, red and mix :D
    p.p.s. and i was actually still a tad hungry after that. but there was nothing to left to order :P

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  26. Someone's waving but I can't tell who it is. *whistles*

    P.S. Given the amount you eat at every single meal, shouldn't you listen to heavyFM? :P

    P.P.S. See above.

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  27. lfb: must i unleash a fifth-octave, glass-shattering note to seize your attention?
    p.s.-p.p.s. my curse be upon you, that you inexplicably gain five kilograms where it hurts the most, just before next month's beach vacation :P

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  28. You can try.

    P.S.-P.P.S. See above.

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  29. noooooo.....the dude's tone deaf!

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  30. lfb: think i'll save it for my glee app :P
    p.s.-p.p.s. don't see anything wan.
    lemongrass: don't be so terrible lah. i'm sure kenny's not thaaaat bad. :D

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  31. The dude's office looks just like mine. Messy.

    Sean, if I hear defying gravity from you one more time, I'll cry.

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  32. lemongrass: don't be ashamed ... after all, others too have described my version of 'defying gravity' as emotionally devastating enough to wring tears out of the most hard-hearted person ... 'a heartrending rendition that pierces through the emotional truth of the lyrics and magnifies the magic of the melody,' someone said. :D

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  33. See? Lemongrass is witness to your non-octaveness.

    And how you wrong tears out of people, you squeeze them directly, is it? :P

    Lemongrass, on the other hand, has a damn nice voice. I've heard. (Even if it's on a Glee app, heh.)

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  34. lfb: hmph. people told tiffany she couldn't sing either, and look who had the last laugh, five top 10 hits later :P

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  35. lfb: gasp. that's like asking 'gandhi who?'

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  36. My dear, dear Sean, you must have read wrongly (I read the same review, you see). The person actually said this..."a howling rendition that pierces through the abysmal tooth of the critics and magnifies their gastric from the moldy cheese."

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  37. oh, it's near my place, they r doing retail selling? Planning to buy wine for boss house warming party~~

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  38. lemongrass: u're supposed to read between the lines :P
    choi yen: yeah, u can make your purchase on their website and either collect the wine at their office or just have the wine delivered to you. check it out :D

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  39. Ghandi I know. He wasn't a singer. (If he was, though, he'd prolly have more than "five Top 10 hits" to his name.)

    :D

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  40. lfb: ergkh. u misspelled 'gandhi.' how can i possibly take u seriously now? :P gandhi actually did have a minor hit called "naughty dhoti" enter the new delhi 101FM top 40 in 1937. if it had been a bigger smash, imagine how history might have changed...

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  41. Haha, I know I did. I saw the misspelling, went to correct it, got distracted by a cute young thing, hit 'Post Comment' button, then realised I didn't fix it after all.

    There's a lesson in this.

    Let's all take chill pills and relax. Let go. Ohm.

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  42. lfb: cute young thing? can u send him over to my office? am all alone on duty here and in need of companionship :D

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  43. Him? I didn't say "him" anywhere, did I? Learn to embrace the female beauty, the wonders of womanly wiles, my friend... :)

    I'd even share Lemongrass witcha if you ask nicely. :D

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  44. LFB, leave me out of this one. :-)

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  45. lfb: i can't imagine YOU embracing any female beauty when u head to bed tonite :P
    lemongrass: oh ya, tim is back today, rite. no other man can have you :D

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  46. @Sean: Don't blame me for YOUR failure of imagination. You just dunno what ya missing. Hehe.

    @Lemongrass: But how can I? You're always in my thoughts... so sure to spill out somewhere somehow. :P

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  47. lfb: i'm missing foie gras! i've actually not had it in nearly two weeks...

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  48. Nice! This must be why you mentioned Andes as a plc for you to BYO!
    But there is no foie gras at Andes. It's just boring western ;p

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  49. Lemongrass sounds so much better than serai. Random thought. Lol.

    thenomadGourmand: Andes? When did Sean mention Andes? Where's Andes? Is it good? Boring can be good at times too..

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  50. Tng: Yeah, I'll keep a spare bottle in the office, just in case I end up at Andes sometime! But probably not in the near future, since it's a pain to get to that area after work...
    Shaun: Ahh it's at Aman suria. Pork burgers, lamb chops & fried chicken ... Yeah, a carnivore's haven! :D If u can think of a good wine to go with pork burgers though, that could be useful!

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  51. Hi Lemongrass! *blushes* My messy office is open for wine lunches anytime!

    Sean: Rieslings with pork burgers of course! Apples (from the Riesling) and pork's a classic food match!

    LFB: I felt the Malbec that we had was not acidic enough for the wantan mee. I think a pinot noir might have been better. But I can't quite fault the wine on its own. It was pretty good for its price point!

    General: I don't sell wantan noodles. I only host them.

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  52. shaun: we should start a 'messy office' facebook page. i'd have to be president, cos my desk really is the messiest. there are papers stashed on it that i haven't cleared since 2002.
    riesling. ahhh, didn't know they had an apple element. but ok, i'll remember that, thanks!
    the malbec and its price point ... yeah, i watched the video u guys uploaded today. :D i don't understand why an acidic wine should be matched with wantan mee though. u can explain it to me another time if it's too complicated to type :D

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  53. sean: since 2002? you're giving away your age too easily man.

    the acidity from the wine is meant to clean your palate by cutting through the oil from the noodles. the malbec just didn't quite do it for me. btw, that episode (Ep 12) is my favourite by far!

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  54. shaun: haha, no shame in being in my early-to-mid-thirties what. well ok, closer to mid, maybe no longer early :P
    hmmm, ok. the noodles weren't all thaaat oily though. but i assume that means that acidic wines should be matched with oily food like hokkien mee, deep-fried stuff and maybe curries (though i understand that the spices in curries would complicate the task of wine-pairing)...
    it's still interesting that both u and wilson had such a gap in your rating of the wine. but yep, it's cool to watch two people interacting in the video. hey, maybe the owner of checkers could be a guest star on wineactually.tv someday, since we know he's outspoken! :D

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  55. Lemongrass: hi, spam robot!

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  56. Shaun: Ok yeah, will check out the link. Didn't expect to get comment from you tho'. Thanks btw :)

    Sean, Lfb & LL: salute you 3 lah. Amazing!! Can talk anything from A to Z :D and Sean did ok on Defying Gravity, hehehe. My hearing is still undamaged :P Maybe you should try doing Wonder Girls next ;)

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  57. lemongrass: wah, such an affectionate spam robot! :D
    elrond: actually u only listened to the first half. it gets better, i swear! :D the wonder girls? meh. i should be tackling songs by whitney, mariah and celine!

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  58. @Lyrical Lemongrass: Hi! :D

    @Sean: To be honest, I've totally lost track of what we were talking about at this point. *guffaws*

    @Shaun: Gosh wantan mee wine pairing! I feel so unworthy to even read this... :P

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  59. seriously sean, this place is a breeding place for comments! lol.

    Sean: See, you do know a lot!

    LFB: Why unworthy? I don't get it.

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  60. lfb: i'm just waiting for this page to overload and stop accepting any more comments! wonder whether blogspot has a limit :D
    shaun: aiya, all theoretical guesswork on my part. but y'know, it's not just wine that's my problem. i drink a lot of cocktails too, but i still find it tricky to tell what's in them (ie. i get confused between the taste of rum, gin, vodka, etc). maybe there's something wrong with my mental capacity to process alcohol flavors!

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  61. @Shaun: Hehe, as in my knowledge of wine is so über-limited, it's embarrassing. I do enjoy wine though. Think I was overly dependent on my Italian friends to pick the wines when I was in Munich; now I am vino-dumb. :P

    @Sean: If that can happen, we'd be the guys to do the job! :P

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  62. lfb: i just checked, and this post has indeed hit a new 'eat drink kl' record for number of comments on a single entry (the last record was 57, set just a couple of weeks ago for tosca @ doubletree by hilton) :P

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  63. Omygosh, I wish I could have some beef cheek soon! But for now, I am happy with my porridge for lunch. Burp.

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  64. lfb: sputtering out now though :P
    lemongrass: ya lar, what to do. nasi sudah jadi bubur anyway :D

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  65. LFB: I think you are just being modest!

    Sean: Yes, I have heard that drinking excessively clouds one's ability to sniff things out. Haha.

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  66. shaun: ergkh. well, if i had to choose between enduring sobriety or a bad sense of smell, i'd go with a bad sense of smell! btw, lfb and i are discussing elsewhere what wine might go with nasi lemak. i was thinking a light white, maybe chardonnay. lfb said a gentle red. who wins? :D

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  67. nasi lemak with wine? hmm. this is what i think.

    nasi lemak with beef rendang (or non poultry) - go with reds.

    nasi lemak with chicken (or fish etc) - go with whites.

    ps - i think reds would generally drown out the "lemak"ness of nasi lemak, but that's just my opinion :)

    want to see this post reach 3-figure comments? :P

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  68. elrond: hmmm, that sounds logical. but shaun, if u're reading this, assume that we're wondering what wine can be paired with village park's nasi lemak with ayam goreng, sambal, ikan bilis, sauteed onions, hard-boiled egg, cucumber & roasted groundnuts :D
    heheh, i really don't think it'll go past 80 :D

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  69. RE: My comment in either your next post or my current post (with this number of threads on two blogs and multiple posts, who can keep count?), I mentioned beer as a possibility.

    Now I remember making nasi lemak and ayam rendang in Munich over 10 years ago for a Cultural Night, and we all had it with beer (cos beer is cheap for students in Germany, vs. water, well back then anyway) and it was damn good.

    So if wine's not an option, there's always beer. :D

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  70. P.S. Yay! I was the 75th comment (see above). :D

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  71. Beer goes damn well with nasi lemak. Toddy oso.

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  72. lfb: gaggggkh. me no likey beer. though i suppose when in germany, one has no choice but to do the germans and drink like the germans :P :P :P
    p.s. wanna see if u'll be the 100th?
    lemongrass: but my grandmother said toddy can make u blind :D

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  73. @Lemongrass: I believe you.

    @Sean: Got choice. But a good choice to make ma. *sniggers*

    P.S. Haha, do I have a choice? :P

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  74. lfb: well, luckily u did it this decade. if u had been born a century ago, it might have involved some kinky nazi role-playing :P
    p.s. 100 is still a long way off. matters of stamina and endurance aren't your strong point, from what i've heard. ahem.

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  75. i have to agree with elrond half-elven. but for rendangs, i'd even have it with a really powderful gewurz. hehe.

    i'm trying to imagine having a chilled pinot noir with nasi lemak, maybe we should experiment at village park some day!

    lemongrass: Champagne or a sparkling wine would make a good alternative to beer too i reckon.

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  76. Shaun: so that means if it's nasi lemak with fried chicken, then it's a white wine? Yay! I won the bet with lfb then. Nasi lemak on him, with a free-flow of hard-boiled eggs! :D

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  77. I feel like a glass of crisp riesling now.

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  78. lemongrass: hope u've got some pork handy! :D

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  79. Hi,

    I know it's kinda 2 years late answering this blog but I can just say wow that is awesome. Wine Actually is definitely recommended to Malaysians and expats who love their wine. At the same time, I would like to recommend an interesting website which is called the wine lovers' answer to Google. It is called Wine-Searcher.com (www.wine-searcher.com) which is a wine search engine/online wine magazine. Here are some interesting tidbits to share about the site, there are more than 36,000 wineries and wine shops worldwide listed in the website including Malaysian wine stores

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