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MICA (P) 123/10/2011

August / September / October 2012

1 Sarkies Road, Singapore 258130 Tel: 67378422

French within your grasp

! ’ e i v a say ‘l


n say ‘bo

! ’ i u o ‘ say

The use of the latest technology

The use of smart interactive boards

An interactive approach

! h c n e r F n i r e t

t e b s ’ t I

Our teachers are native speakers

The Alliance Française de Singapour is a local landmark in French language learning. We give what no other in Singapore can offer: using the latest technology and completed with a powerful cultural programme. The Alliance Française de Singapour is a place that inspires people to communicate. Alliance Française de Singapour 1 Sarkies Road Singapore 258130 Tel: 6737 8422

Register for a course at Alliance Française de Singapour any time. Call us for more information or for a free placement test TODAY!

explore our new website

Si vous n’avez pas encore eu le temps ou la curiosité de visiter notre nouveau site, faites-le sans attendre ( C’est une excellente occasion de vous remémorer la très large palette de services proposée par l’Alliance Française de Singapour et d’apprécier l’image résolument moderne et dynamique qu’elle a souhaité se donner. Vous avez été nombreux à apprécier, lors de la 3ème édition du concours France/Singapour: une nouvelle génération d’artistes, le travail d’Isabelle Desjeux, le vainqueur du concours, qui questionnait nos relations avec la science avec humour. Isabelle a gagné le droit de s’approprier seule la Galerie Société Générale pour une exposition très attendue. Paris sera également au programme de l’été avec une série de films courts et de longs métrages, intitulée PARIS AU PRESENT. Les films sont récents et proposent souvent une vision insolite de Paris. Cet été est aussi celui de mes “au revoir” puisque je quitte Singapour après deux années très enrichissantes. Je vous souhaite à tous de continuer à trouver dans ce grand cube coloré de l’Alliance, ce qui vous fait l’aimer, en particulier : l’altérité, la différence qui s’exprime à travers la langue française et le programme artistique que nous vous proposons. Notre récompense est de savoir que nous parvenons à vous émouvoir, à vous étonner, a nourrir ce dialogue entre les cultures, si précieux aujourd’hui.

Directeur de publication Director of publication Yves Corbel Rédacteur en chef Editor-in-chief A.H. Sharm Maquette, mise en page et design Design & Layout Xpress Print Pte Ltd - 6880 2881 Ont également contribué à ce numéro Have also contributed to this edition Gilles DEMPTOS Benedict TAN Samuel DELAMÉZIÈRE Irene CHEW Cover Credits Xpress Print Pte Ltd

YC What’s on at AF

by Yves Corbel Executive Director

If you have not yet had the time or curiosity to visit our new website, do it without further delay ( It is an excellent occasion to refresh your memory of the very wide spectrum of services proposed by the Alliance Française de Singapour and to appreciate the determinedly modern and dynamic image it had wished to present. There had been many of you to appreciate, through the 3rd edition of the competition France+Singapore New Generation Artists, the works of Isabelle Desjeux, the winner of the competition, who interpolates our relationship with science with humour. Isabelle has won the right to a solo exhibition at the SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery for a much-awaited show. Paris will also be in the programme this summer with a series of short and feature films, entitled PARIS TODAY. These are recent films that often propose an unusual vision of Paris. This summer is also when I say “goodbye” as I leave Singapore after two very enriching years. I wish all of you will continue to find in this grand colourful cube located at 1 Sarkies Road, the things that make you love the Alliance: otherness, the difference that expresses itself through French language and our programme of cultural events. Our gratification comes when we manage to give rise to interest, to emotion or to arouse enthusiasm, to feed this cultural dialogue more crucial than ever today.


4 Ciné Club: August 5 Ciné Club: September 6 Ciné Club: October 7 Fête de la Musique 8 Exhibitions 9 All Other Things Being Equal… I Could Have Stayed in Bed 10 I Came to Believe 11 SIPF @ Societe Generale Gallery 12 Wine Spirit 13 Oh Baby, It’s a Wine World 16 La Folle Odyssée de la Vigne 19 Sommelier au Féminin

What’s on at AF 20 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu 21 Puccini’s Manon Lescaut

Events Readers are welcome to share their opinions and ideas with us. Please write to

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August / September / October 2012

22 Events for August / September / October

what’s on at AF ciné club


LE HÉRISSON (The Hedgehog) In French with English Subtitles

LA CHANCE DE MA VIE (Second Chance) In French with English Subtitles

CHANGEMENT D’ADRESSE (Change of Address) In French with English Subtitles

ANDALUCIA In French with English Subtitles

Rating: PG – some suicide references France, 2009, 100 mins Date: Tuesday, 7 August 2012 – 8 pm Director: Mona Achache Cast: Josiane Balasko, Garence Le Guillermic, Togo Igawa, Anne Brochet

Rating: M18 – sexual scene and some coarse language France, 2010, 87 mins Date: Tuesday, 14 August 2012 – 8pm Director: Nicolas Cuche Cast: Virginie Efira, FrançoisXavier Demaison, Armelle Deutsch

Rating: PG France, 2006, 85 mins Date: Tuesday, 21 August 2012 – 8pm Director: Emmanuel Mouret Cast: Emmanuel Mouret, Frédérique Bel, Dany Brillant, Fanny Valette, Ariane Ascaride

Rating: TBA – Please wait for rating to be out before buying tickets for 18 years and below. France, 2007, 90 mins Date: Tuesday, 28 August 2012 – 8pm Director: Alain Gomis Cast: Samir Guesmi, Delphine Zingg, Djolof Mbengue

Paloma is a serious and highly articulate but deeply bored 11-year-old who has decided to kill herself on her 12th birthday. Fascinated by art and philosophy, she questions and documents her life and immediate circle, drawing trenchant and often hilarious observations on the world around her. But as her appointment with death approaches, Paloma finally meets some kindred spirits in her building’s grumpy janitor and an enigmatic, elegant neighbor, both of whom inspire Paloma to question her rather pessimistic outlook on life.

Julien Monnier has a serious problem. Though he’s a brilliant couples counselor, he can’t keep a woman in his life for more than two weeks. Indeed, ever since his childhood, Julien jinxes every woman who falls in love with him. But it’s not just any small jinx. It’s the kind that sends you to the hospital several times a week, that destroys your professional life or that turns your friends into enemies. Julien is strictly speaking a true black cat for women. Joanna Sorini will soon learn this at her expense the day she meets him. A career that’s just taking off, a love life that finally seems to be taking a good turn, all that may just change.

French-horn player David arrives in Paris looking for work with an orchestra, and a place to live. After meeting ditzy blonde Anne in the street, he’s soon sharing her flat - and, occasionally, her bed, despite her professed attraction to another guy. But then he begins giving music lessons to Julia, the beautiful, taciturn daughter of a rich woman, and before long he’s smitten. For a while, David is happy, Anne is happy, and Julia seems happy. Then along comes Julien, a smooth-talking restaurant owner ... With the writerdirector himself playing the hapless David, this comedy consistently surprises : from its rapid-fire comic timing worthy of a Swiss watchmaker - to the charmingly surreal string of sexual and romantic frustrations it describes. There are endearing, lovelorn moments as Anne and David console each other with disarming intimacies. She leans her head on his shoulder and dreams about Gabriel, while he gently rests his head on hers, with Julia in his mind’s eye.

This is the story of Yacine, a young social worker trying to leave his past, his lowlife friends and his family behind him. He finds a job at a soup kitchen and soon the audience is drifting in his stream of consciousness from a one-night-stand to another, his obsession with a female model, his quest for his roots and odd encounters with homeless folks.

Time: 8pm sharp, every Tuesday • Venue: Alliance Française Theatre, Level I, Alliance Française, 1 Sarkies Road • Tickets: $5.10 (Members) and $7.20 (Nonmembers). Prices are inclusive of GST but exclude SISTIC fee per ticket. Buy your tickets now through SISTIC Website:, SISTIC Mobile Ticketing:, SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555 or SISTIC outlets islandwide. All films are in French with English subtitles unless otherwise indicated.

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August / September / October 2012

ciné club


LES CHANSONS D’AMOUR (Love Songs) In French with English Subtitles Rating: R21 – Mature theme France, 2007, 95 mins Date: Tuesday, 4 September 2012 – 8pm Director: Christophe Honoré Cast: Louis Garrel, Ludivine Sagnier, Chiara Mastroianni Ismael is in a serious relationship with Julie. They have begun a ménage à trois with Ismael’s co-worker Alice, though Julie confides to her sister Jeanne that it’s not quite what she wants. Ismael is unaware of Julie’s hesitation, he sometimes feels marginalized and sometimes jealous of the relationship between Alice and Julie. But then tragedy strikes.

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS In English Rating: PG – some sexual references France, 2011, 94 mins Date: Tuesday, 11 September 2012 – 8pm Director: Woody Allen Cast: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Carla Bruni Gil and Inez travel to Paris as a tag-along vacation on her parents’ business trip. Gil is a successful Hollywood writer but is struggling on his first novel. He falls in love with the city and thinks they should move there after they get married, but Inez does not share his romantic notions of the city or the idea that the 1920s was the golden age. When Inez goes off dancing with her friends, Gil takes a walk at midnight and discovers what could be the ultimate source of inspiration for writing. Gil’s daily walks at midnight in Paris could take him closer to the heart of the city but further from the woman he’s about to marry.

L’ARTISTE (The Artist) In English Rating: PG France, 2011, Black & White, Silent Film, 100 mins Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2012 – 8pm Director: Michel Hazanavicius Cast: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman The story takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1931 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema grows out of fashion and is replaced by the talkies. The film is itself a silent film and in black-and-white.

LE CHAT DU RABBIN (The Rabbi’s Cat) In French with English subtitles Rating: NC16 – some violence and religious references France, 2011, 100 mins Date: Tuesday, 25 September 2012 – 8pm Director: Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux Voice: François Morel, Maurice Bénichou, Hafsia Herzi, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Mohamed Fellag, Sava Lolov, François Damiens, Mathieu Amalric, Marguerite Abouet Algiers, 1920’s. Rabbi Sfar has more than one problem. His beautiful daughter is becoming a teenager and above all, his parrot-killing cat has just started talking! The delivery of a box from Russia further complicates things when a painter is discovered inside, more dead than alive. He is on a quest for a hidden tribe and its mythical city in Africa. Convinced that the city exists, he sets off on an incredible adventure, taking with him the Rabbi, his cat, a wise old Arab Sheikh and an eccentric Russian billionaire. Sfar’s style and vision carries a universal message of tolerance, in this highly original, beautifully crafted film, celebrating a joyful and multi-colorful return to handdrawn 2D.

Time: 8pm sharp, every Tuesday • Venue: Alliance Française Theatre, Level I, Alliance Française, 1 Sarkies Road • Tickets: $5.10 (Members) and $7.20 (Nonmembers). Prices are inclusive of GST but exclude SISTIC fee per ticket. Buy your tickets now through SISTIC Website:, SISTIC Mobile Ticketing:, SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555 or SISTIC outlets islandwide. All films are in French with English subtitles unless otherwise indicated.

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August / September / October 2012

ciné club


 LE MOINE (The Monk) In French and Spanish with English Subtitles Rating: M18 - sexual scene and nudity France, 2011, 101 mins Date: Tuesday, 16 October 2012 – 8 pm Director: Dominik Moll Cast: Vincent Cassel, Deborah François, Joséphine Japy An adaptation of the notorious Gothic novel by Matthew G. Lewis, published in 1796, The Monk tells the tragic tale of Friar Ambrosio, set in 17th century Catholic Spain. Abandoned at birth and left in front of the doors of a Capuchin monastery, Ambrosio is raised by the friars. He becomes a preacher much admired for his fervor and feared for his uncompromising character. He believes he is sheltered from all temptation. The arrival of a mysterious novice undermines his convictions and leads him down the path of sin.

No ciné-club on 2, 9, 23 and 30 October, 2012

Time: 8pm sharp, every Tuesday • Venue: Alliance Française Theatre, Level I, Alliance Française, 1 Sarkies Road • Tickets: $5.10 (Members) and $7.20 (Nonmembers). Prices are inclusive of GST but exclude SISTIC fee per ticket. Buy your tickets now through SISTIC Website:, SISTIC Mobile Ticketing:, SISTIC Hotline: 6348 5555 or SISTIC outlets islandwide. All films are in French with English subtitles unless otherwise indicated.

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August / September / October 2012

what’s on at AF

Fête de la Musique

Staff of Les Bouchons Rive Gauche hard at work

Barbecue by Les Bouchons Rive Gauche

Jazz diva Andayoma and Bevlyn Khoo

The AF team enjoying Fête de la musique

Dancing to Latin beats

Latin Affairs

Azie and Aziz

Farah Hassan

Tahiti Dance Fitness woos the crowd with Polynesian dance

Tahiti Dance Fitness opens the Fête


Rock and Roll with Aziz and Friends

AF’s Project Manager Samuel Delamézière with Aziz and Friends

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Astrid Boutry, AF teacher, MC

August / September / October 2012

Aziz and Friends keeps the crowd on their feet

Lucky draw winner

what’s on at AF


Crowd witnessing Qi Hong’s ink horse comes to life

Former CEO of Mediacorp Lucas Chow and Artist Florence Lim

Digital imaging and tribal dance

France + Singapore Photographic Arts Award 2012 Group shot

Opening crowd of Marc Rambeau’s solo exhibition

The crips-realism from the photos just make you look once more

Speaking about records of China

With the Winner Tan Haur (second from left)

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YM Tengku Faizwa Tengku Razif

August / September / October 2012

All Other Things Being Equal… I Could Have Stayed in Bed By Isabelle Desjeux (France) Winner of 3 France + Singapore New Generation Artists 2011 rd

If we had full control over every little thing, we could figure out what would happen every time we tweak just one bit. This is the strategy some of us use to make rational decisions. It is also the basis of a lot of experimental science. The scientists that inhabit experimental labs know only too well the pitfalls of assuming you can make all else equal in order to solve a question. The results are often disappointing: nothing goes as planned. Yet scientists get out of bed every morning and repeat their experiments again and again, leading to more disappointing than informative data. “All Other Things Being Equal...” is an artist’s attempt at appropriating the scientific process observed in the lab. Focusing on the repetitive practice of the scientists, and the resulting accumulation of detritus, it questions whether when we know we might fail, shouldn’t we just stay in bed?

“Being a scientist means getting out of bed every morning to run experiments that won’t be useable 95% of the time.”

3rd France + Singapore New Generation Artists (FSNGA) 2011, an annual visual art competition and exhibition organised by Alliance Française de Singapour. FSNGA aims to feature new generation visual artists from France and Singapore and to provide a platform which introduces the creative potential of these upcoming artists from both countries to its international audience, hence creating awareness of the experimental and emerging styles in art and contributing in shaping the landscape of the art scene. It is also organised to promote exchange of artistic knowledge, experiences and ideas between the new generation artists from France and Singapore.

Since its tribute in 2009, it has gained enormous reputation in the arts scene – Anonymous and anticipation among the patrons for its unique art forms that were presented. FSNGA has featured 17 Finalists of the visual art competition in two group shows held at SOCIETE The exhibition includes an idealized scientist’s workspace GENERALE Private Banking Gallery at Alliance Française complete with experimental set-up. It presents insights de Singapour and two solo exhibitions namely “Shifting into the scientist’s mind, as the artist works to understand (Re)iteration” (2010) and “HANDOVER MICHAEL” (2011) what makes them get up in the morning and repeat what is awarded for the Winners of the competitions. usually a disappointing day. Ultimately, the findings might shed light on what drives us all. SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery About the Artist Isabelle Desjeux is a scientist and an artist, having attained both a PhD in Molecular Biology and a Masters in Fine Arts. Using her intimate knowledge of the scientific method, she studies scientific objects usually forgotten by the microscopic gaze. This has led her to questioning the objectivity of science, which is perhaps not surprising given that science is made by people.

Alliance Française de Singapour 17 August – 8 September 2012 Mon to Fri, 11am to 7pm Sat, 11am to 5pm Sun and PH Closed Admission is free. Organised and Presented by:

Co-presented by:

BACKGROUND OF FSNGA 2011 Isabelle Desjeux attained the title of the Winner of

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August / September / October 2012

This Gallery is Presented by:

I Came to Believe By Sunny Chyun (south korea) with spiritual enlightenment through use of light. The exhibition space will provide an illusory experience that challenges sensory perception. It hopes to engage the viewer to question the momentary coalescing of qualities that are inherently complex and unstable: perception, reality, memory and meaning. About the Artist Sunny Chyun is an artist who draws inspiration from her unconscious to reveal Carl Jung’s seminal theory of the collective unconscious and the synchronicity of ideas. Her myriad of colorful mixed media paintings are featured in an upcoming solo exhibition “I Came to Believe” in September 2012.

Sunny Chyun’s solo exhibition “I Came to Believe” features a site-specific installation of ten of her new paintings. Sunny’s mixed media works on canvas are painted, drawn, sewed and embellished on both sides of the painting and will be hung from the ceiling to create a sensory experience for the viewer. The gallery lighting will illuminate through the perforated canvases and create patterns on the gallery walls and gallery viewers will have the opportunity to view the works from all angles. Like the exhibition title suggests, Sunny’s artistic practice narrates a personal journey, of becoming to believe a power greater than herself. In her art making, the obsessivecompulsive rituals of editing, reworking, erasing and embellishing of her art-making acts as a coping mechanism for internalizing and releasing existential anxiety. It involves an alchemical process that physically transforms paint into image, illuminating the tension between the prosaic material world and the poetic immaterial world, as well as the transformation of action into thought. For Sunny, this act of instinctively utilizing the physicality of paint on canvas synthesizes memories, relationships and emotions, and links the material towards the metaphysical.

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In Sunny’s works, the repetitive layering system interweaves color to create a cohesive composition comprised of depth and an ostensibly calculated order amidst the organic chaos. Her language of abstraction exists in a contingent framework that explores the inherent, deconstructed nature of being and the multiplicity and the mutability of perceptions. Although her practice continues in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, the use of nail art, crystal beading, embroidery and scrap booking embellishments in the work express her ambivalence towards the “feminine” – such as domestic chores, hobby art and fashion. Behind the seducing jewel tones and iridescent lure, the wrought surfaces of the paintings portray a dislocated identity, embellished with distracting, decorative objects. This exhibition of her paintings presents an illusion of an existence disengaged from material embodiment, where material appearance becomes infused

Sunny Chyun was born in Seoul; Korea, 1979 but has been a long-time resident of Singapore. She holds a BA with Honors from Wesleyan University in Economics and Studio Arts and has an MFA from the Korean National University of the Arts. She has exhibited in the US, Korea and Singapore and is currently based in Singapore where she is focusing on learning printmaking through workshops at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute.

SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery Alliance Française de Singapour 21 – 28 September 2012 Mon to Fri, 11am to 7pm Sat, 11am to 5pm Sun and PH Closed Admission is free.

This Gallery is Presented by:

August / September / October 2012

what’s on at AF

SIPF @ SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery The biennial Singapore International Photography Festival (SIPF) returns for its 3rd Installment on 5 October 2012. The month-long Festival is one of the most important photographic events in the region, attracting established photographers from around the world, discovering emerging talents and showcasing original, contemporary photographic artworks to the public. SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery is proud to be part of this year’s SIPF. There will be two groups/exhibitions consisting of four artists who will showcase their works in the gallery. Exhibition 1: Theatre of Silence & recOllection

from the Faculty of Architecture of Versailles (France) and qualified as a French Architect DPLG in 2004. Her thesis looked at the development of the Asian metropolis with research based in Bangkok - and had involved a year-long project on The Rehabilitation and Space Planning of the Makkasan Slums in Bangkok. Exhibition 2: Travelling to the Outskirts & AFTER 12

Arturo Betancourt           Mexico THEATRE OF SILENCE

Cyrus Cornut      France  Travelling to the outskirts

Arturo Betancourt : Freelance photographer since 1993, his work has been exhibited in more than 60 times in different museums, galleries and cultural venues including Berlin, Germany. These works include “La Muerte: Culto, Ofrenda y Arte” and another show traveling though Spain “Originales Solidarios” . He was recently awarded with a scholarship abroad to specialize in Contemporary Photography in Seville, Spain. Olivia Marty       France  recOllection Olivia Marty (b. 1978), also known as O, is a French/South-African contemporary artist and architect who lives and works in Saigon, Vietnam. Olivia graduated Organised by:

Cyrus Cornut: Having finished studying architecture, he started photographing it. But if architecture was his template, Cyrus Cornut came to the world of photography through cities. Tracks, links, vacant spaces, hinges, limits, heights, complex places all attracted his attention. “I am looking for the poetry of fatalism in these cities, by always setting the human scale in this eternal urban palimpsest”, he wrote later on, showing that he has managed to find a photographic path within the urban jungle. Cyrus Cornut is capable of truly questioning the whys and wherefores of all that is built, of environment and social impact. He appears to be an artist who is sensitive to problems faced by the places he travels through. Whether they be urban or symbolic.

Kim Hak               Cambodia           AFTER 12

Kim Hak is born in Battambang. He obtained a diploma in Tourism at the National Institute of Management. His portfolio has been published internationally in ‘Images Magazine’ (France), ‘Libération’ (France), ‘Ojo de Pez’ (Spain), ‘Internazionale’ (Italy), and online professional websites of ‘La Lettre’ (France), ‘Invisible Photography Asia’ (Singapore) and local news Phnom Penh Post. He was awarded the international prize of “Artistic Creation Project 2011” by Musée du quai Branly in Paris. In 2011, he started to share his knowledge of photography with Cambodian children by offering two workshops to street and deaf children of Kruosar Thmey, Phnom Penh and Anjali House, Siem Reap (part of Angkor Photo Festival). Highlights of the diverse programme include photography exhibitions, a showcase by the esteemed Magnum Photos and community activities held at various venues. For more info, visit Dates and programme are not available at time of print. For updates on the exhibitions at SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery, please visit

SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery Alliance Française de Singapour 8 – 20 October 2012 Mon to Fri, 11am to 7pm Sat, 11am to 5pm Sun and PH Closed Admission is free.

Founding Partner:

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August / September / October 2012

Supported by:

Wine Spirit Philosophical Wine Tasting & Drinking Conference In the months of September and October, the Alliance Française de Singapour contemplates the much revered and debated beverage – wine. In partnership with 1855 The Bottle Shop, the Alliance presents Wine Spirit – Philosophical Wine Tasting & Drinking Conference. On the same occasion of bringing the world of wines to the Alliance Française, there will be a complimentary film screening of Jonathan Nossiter’s docufilm Mondovino (please see page 15 for more details). The Essence of Wine Spirit Much more than just a nice alcoholic beverage or a famous French export product, wine is the subtle distillation of a civilisation’s essence. A bottle of wine contains the landscape, soils and weather of the place it comes from, but it carries as well a way of life, a thought, a soul, which is the condensed expression of a culture. Re-establishing wine in its full cultural dimension, these conferences – through numerous anecdotes, famous quotes, entertaining visuals and guided tastings – aim to give access to the complete physical and spiritual experience of wine drinking. Speaker The speaker, Gilles Demptos, is a freelance wine journalist and a passionate wine educator. He was born in Bordeaux, in a family of coopers (barrel makers) and wine merchants with several centuries of tradition. He has led wine tastings and given wine talks in several countries in Europe and Asia such as Spain, Malaysia or Singapore. In Partnership Conference partner 1855 The Bottle Shop is inspired by the classification of fine wine of Bordeaux Grand Cru Classe which began in 1855. With three retail shops, 1855 The Bottle Shop offers a selective range of over 1000 wines and spirits from both the Old World and New World to suit the palate of individual customer. Wine tasting are frequently conducted and with regular sessions by the wine makers themselves. It is a place where wine lovers get to taste and discover the world of wine. Free Film Screening: Mondovino Rating TBC Directed by Jonathan Nossiter France, 2004, 135mins Genre: Documentary Wednesday 26 September 2012 8.00pm Venue: AF Seminar Room

from Italy to Argentina, passing through New York? Wine has been the symbol of Western civilization for thousands of years. But, never before has the fight for its soul been so fierce. Nor has there ever been so much money and glory at stake.

From the ultra-powerful millionaires of Napa Valley in California to the battles of three generations of a Burgundy family that tries to fight to conserve its few acres of vineyards and the rivalry between two aristocratic Florentine dynasties, “Mondovino” is the saga of winemaking on three continents. But aren’t all these struggles of a secondary nature compared to the exploits of a playful pirate from Bordeaux who gaily spreads the good word of modernity

Nevertheless, the order of the battle is not necessarily what we imagine: small businesses against multinationals, or simple farmers against heads of industry. In the world of wine, the usual suspects are never there where we expect them. Alliance Française Seminar Room Please pick up complimentary passes from the AF Bookshop from 19 September. Places are limited and complimentary passes are on a first-come-first-served basis.

AF Member $26.75 $44.95 $74.90 $80.25

General Public $49.20 $92.00 $143.40 $148.75


With the Support of: SINGAPORE

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Wine and Beliefs - The origins of wine - Wine in the Greek and Roman Antiquity. Dionysus and Bacchus. - Wine and the Judeo-Christian civilisation - The contemporary mythologies of wine Wine tasting: - The basic principles of wine tasting (I) -T  asting of 2 French Red wines, from Bordeaux and Burgundy - Landscapes from Bordeaux and Burgundy Session 2: Monday 24 September Wine and Literature -A  lcohol and literary creation: writers and wine -W  ine in literature -T  he literary nature of Wine -P  oetics of wine tasting Wine tasting: - The basic principles of wine tasting (II) -2  French White wines from Loire and Alsace - Landscapes from Loire and Alsace Session 3: Monday 1 October Wine and Philosophy -P  hilosophy of drunkenness -T  he Metaphysics of Wine: a reflexion on Time -T  he Ethics of wine

Session 4: Monday 8 October

Please register at the Administration Office of Alliance Française de Singapour (4th Level) 1 Sarkies Road Singapore 258130 Tel: 6833 9311 email For more information, please visit Organised by:

Session1: Monday 17 September

Wine tasting: -T  he basic principles of wine tasting (III) -T  asting of 1 sparkling white wine, 1 sweet white wine - Landscapes from Champagne and Sauternes

Wine Spirit Philosophical Wine Tasting & Drinking Conference 17, 24 September, 1 and 8 October 7.30pm – 8.40pm AF Seminar Room 1 session 2 sessions 3 sessions 4 sessions

Discover wine in its depth at the Alliance Française de Singapour. Register today! Join us for the conference.

August / September / October 2012

Wine and Social Power -W  ine of kings and king of wines -W  ine knowledge and social distinction - We -T  he economics of wine Wine tasting: - Understand the difference of “new world” vs. “old world” wines -T  asting of one Champagne and one sweet white wine (Sauternes)

what’s on at AF

Oh Baby, It’s a Wine World Par Gilles Demptos

Photo: Wine Shop, F. de la Maure/MAE

There’s an interesting paradox about wine. On one hand, there is nothing more local, as a good wine is the essence and full expression of a terroir, that is to say of a place’s specific soil, varietals, climate and traditions. And on the other hand, as a highly demanded trade product, wine facilitates exchanges and foments relationships between very remote cultures or nations. To the point that wine production and trade probably embodies a phenomenon of globalization that dates back to the earliest antiquity. A bottle of French wine, whether it comes from Alsace or Bordeaux, from Burgundy, the Loire Valley or Languedoc, encapsulates a fragment of these region’s landscapes, people and cultures. French wine is, as such, one of France’s best ambassadors around the world. Its excellence and long lasting success naturally inspired “new world” countries, such as Australia, South Africa or California to plant French varietals and to adopt French traditional wine making techniques. It is therefore not only thanks to the wines produced within its borders that France has influenced the global wine industry. In the past two hundred years, French varietals have been planted on all continents and French wine-makers and vineyards owners have contributed to the emergence of quality wines in all the younger production regions. Reciprocally, the French wine industry, in the course of its long history, has benefited from many positive foreign influences on its wines varietals, styles and trade. France before wine Wine, to begin with, doesn’t find its origins in France. No matter how hard to conceive, there was a time when France –

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Aléria wine cooperative, Corsica, Photo: F. de la Mure / MAE

or at least the territories in the West of Europe that eventually formed the glamorous country that we know today – was not producing a single drop of wine! The culture of vines and therefore wine production was first introduced by the Greeks in the South of France in 600 BC and further developed by the Romans from 125 BC onwards, reaching for example the area of Bordeaux only by 43 AD. France has long been and remains today the largest wine producer and – most of all – the country with the highest wine consumption per inhabitant in the world… What on earth were the Gauls drinking before they actually started to produce wine? Well, just like Singaporeans today, they were drinking locally brewed beer… and imported wine! Several centuries before our era, wine trade between Greece or Southern Italy and Northern Europe was indeed already a flourishing trade which has largely been documented

August / September / October 2012

Woodcutter working in the Loire forest (Aquitaine region), Photo: F. de la Mure/MAE

by historians in recent years. And the unquenchable thirst for wine of the Gauls was already famous at the time! Diodore of Tarsus, a Greek historian contemporary of Julius Caesar notoriously wrote: “The Italian merchants exploit the Gallic passion for wine. On the boats which follow the waterways or by wagons which roll across the plain, they transport wine, from which they make fantastic profits, going as far as trading one amphora for one slave, in such manner that the buyer brings his servant to pay for the drink.” The earliest traces of wine production have been detected in Georgia and date back to over 7000 years BC. These were the times when the societies from Europe and the Middle-East sedentarised and founded the first cities. They had abandoned their pastoral style of life and practised agriculture; languages started to develop and the premises of writing to appear…In other words, the apparition of wine coincides with the emergence of a more refined and complex civilisation in which this fascinating product was to play a decisive role in all the society’s spheres: religion, politics, arts, philosophy, economy… From the banks of the Black Sea and Persia the culture of vines and wine consumption spread to all the Eastern Mediterranean, from present day Turkey to Palestine and Lebanon, including Syria and Egypt by 2500 BC. It took almost another 2500 years to reach present day France.

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Message in a barrel If France is not the birth place of wine culture, the Gauls are commonly credited for the invention of the barrel. Made of wood and iron – the Celts’ favourite materials - barrels replaced amphoras for the transportation of wine in the course of the 3rd Century BC. Lighter, more robust and easier to manipulate than the amphoras, the barrels probably contributed to an intensification of the wine trade. If this ingenious container slowly lost its importance for the transportation of bulk goods in general, barrels remain today a crucial component for the elaboration of wine and spirits. In contact with new oak, the wine takes some of the wood’s compounds such as aromas and tannins. These elements are decisive for adding complexity of

flavours and texture to the wine and to enhance its aging ability. The presence of these compounds is dependent on many factors, including the oak’s place of origin, how the staves were cut and dried, and degree of “toast” applied during manufacture. The oak from the French forests of Tronçais (Allier) and Nevers are generally considered as the best type of oak for the aging of fine wines. However, less costly oak from other French regions or from Eastern and Northern Europe are commonly used as well. American oak barrels are widely used in Spain and in new world producing countries. This latter type of oak conveys to the wine characteristic aromas of vanilla with a sweeter palate profile than French oak.

August / September / October 2012

what’s on at AF

Vine-harvest at the Domaine du Père Pape, Chateuneuf-du-Pape, Vaucluse (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region) Photo: Xavier Remongin, Ministère de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche

Another major contribution from foreign nations to the international fame of French wines is the key role that played the good taste of British consumers and the commercial skills of English, Scottish and Irish merchants – God save the Brits!

fashionable… precisely thanks to the accidental bubbles that the famous monk was trying so hard to eradicate! The fashion later on reached Paris and from there spread later on to the rest of Europe.

An English city named Bordeaux The relationship between Great Britain and France’s vineyards goes a long way back. It is for example established that in the 9th century, Bordeaux wines’ main customers already originated from Ireland and the West coast of Great Britain.

The British’s fanciness for the bubbly drink perpetuated through the centuries. It is reported that, during World War II, the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once motivated the British forces with the claim “Remember, gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!”

Bordeaux, by the way, following the marriage of Alienor d’Aquitaine with Henri Plantagenet, who shortly after became King of England, spent no less than three centuries, from 1152 to 1453, under English rule. Until today, the inhabitants of Bordeaux remain nostalgic of this golden age, when their wine sold easily while they were almost fully exempted of taxes by the English Crown. In the 18th century, wine merchants from Ireland, Scotland and England settled in Bordeaux and played a decisive role in its trade. The Johnston, the Lynch, the Barton or the Lawton are part of the vineyard’s history and some of their descendants still own prestigious estates and prosperous wine trading companies. Even nowadays, to mark that one belongs to the old wine aristocracy of Bordeaux, it is quite common in the Bordeaux elite to speak French with a discreet British accent…

SINGAPORE HISTORY Rewritten In 1819, when Sir Stamford Raffles founded Singapore, he was accompanied by two French naturalists. Ever since, French missionaries, merchants and other pioneers have contributed to Singapore’s development. Amply illustrated, The French in Singapore uncovers the little-known history of the French community in the Singapore we know today.

When Champagne was not sparkling Champagne is another French vineyard which owes a lot to England. The Champagne region had been producing wine since the 3rd century AD. It produced a decent although very light still red wine which had gained a reasonable fame for being drank at the anointment of French kings. The wine producers from Champagne however found that their reds could not compete with those produced in Bourgogne, while they had the potential for crafting great white wines. The Benedictine monk Dom Perignon developed methods which allowed outstanding improvements of the vineyards and wine making process. Frequently credited with the invention of sparkling Champagne, Dom Perignon actually dedicated a great part of his life to prevent the secondary fermentation responsible for the wines’ effervescence which he considered a major flaw. A few years before Dom Perignon started his work at the abbey of Hautvilliers, Champagne was launched in England… where it immediately became highly

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Text: Maxime Pilon and Danièle Weiler 240 pp; 247 mm x 170 mm; hardback; 270 illustrations S$49.90 (excl. GST) French and English editions available in all leading bookstores

August / September / October 2012

La folle odyssée de la vigne Par Gilles Demptos

Vine-Harvest in the region of Midi-Pyrénées, Photo: Département de Tarn-et-Garonne

Au commencement était la vigne. Cette famille de plantes grimpantes prolifère dans tout l’hémisphère nord depuis des millions d’années et recèle de nombreuses espèces. Seuls les fruits de la Vitis vinifera, originaire de la rive persane de la mer Caspienne, à l’Ouest de l’Europe, possèdent toutefois la teneur en sucre élevée qui - alliée à la puissante acidité des raisins – permet l’élaboration du vin. Dotée d’une capacité d’adaptation à une grande variété de climats, Vitis Vinifera est génétiquement instable. Elle a donc connu, chaque fois qu’elle a été transplantée dans une nouvelle région, d’importantes mutations d’où résulte la diversité actuelle de nos cépages. S’il est presque impossible d’établir la généalogie lointaine des principaux cépages français, il est en revanche captivant de suivre les progrès de leur récente carrière internationale sur presque tous les continents. Vous êtes-vous jamais demandé par quel mystère la carte des vignobles de France épouse-t-elle si fidèlement le cours de ses principales rivières et les rives de ses estuaires ? Les grandes appellations françaises se concentrent en effet sur les berges de la gironde, de la Loire, du Rhône, du Rhin, de la Moselle… Est-ce que ces fleuves – situés par ailleurs sous des climats très divers – réunissent tous, par l’effet d’une extraordinaire coïncidence, des conditions climatiques et géologiques particulièrement propices à la culture de la vigne ? Ou bien serait-ce - ainsi que Hugh Johnson le suggère dans sa passionnante « Histoire Mondiale du Vin » - que les villes détenant les clés du transport fluvial, ayant pris très tôt conscience de l’aspect lucratif du commerce du vin, se sont appliquées à en monopoliser la production ? Chemin faisant, elles auraient progressivement identifié les meilleures parcelles et les cépages les mieux adaptés à celles-ci…

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Dans les premiers siècles de notre ère, le succès des vins de Cahors - qui transitaient par la Garonne - inspirèrent le port de Bordeaux à développer son propre vignoble. Une fois celui-ci planté, les marchands bordelais s’empressèrent d’imposer des restrictions au commerce de leurs prédécesseurs, devenus concurrents… Et ayant ainsi assuré les débouchés de sa production viticole, Bordeaux pu se consacrer non seulement à agrandir son vignoble mais surtout à en approfondir sa connaissance et à perfectionner l’adéquation de ses cépages à ses sols et climats. C’est ainsi que le cépage malbec, qui demeure encore aujourd’hui le cépage de prédilection des vins de Cahors, céda peu à peu le pas dans le vignoble de Bordeaux au cabernet sauvignon et au merlot… La tradition face à l’innovation Les pays ayant commencé à produire du vin il y a un peu plus de 2000 ans, comme l’Italie, la France, l’Espagne ou le Portugal, sont couramment désignés comme le « vieux monde » du vin. Ils ont affiné la connaissance de leurs terroirs et cépages au fil des siècles… Et l’aboutissement de ce long processus de sélection a été généralement gravé dans le marbre des règlements d’une dénomination d’origine au cours du XXème siècle. Il en résulte, pour des appellations parfois distantes de quelques centaines de mètres seulement une définition rigoureuse des types de cépage, mode de culture et de vinification permises. Hors de question, par exemple, de planter dans les environs de Beaune quelques pieds de merlot, ne serait-ce qu’à titre expérimental ! Le pinot noir règne en effet seul en maître pour tous les vins rouges de Bourgogne… Par opposition au « vieux monde » les pays dits du « nouveau monde », tels que l’Amérique du Nord et du Sud, l’Australie ou l’Afrique du Sud, ont planté leurs premières vignes il y a à peine

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what’s on at AF 200 ans. Dépourvus de vigne autochtone susceptible de produire des vins de qualité, ces pays ont naturellement puisé dans le répertoire des cépages les plus appréciés sur le marché mondial, parmi lesquels les cépages français au premier chef. L’enfance de l’art Après plusieurs essais aux résultats contrastés, c’est avec la syrah, originaire du Rhône, et avec le riesling rhénan que l’Australie a connu ses premiers succès en tant que producteur de vins de qualité. Puis, au cours des dix dernières années, la région de Margaret River a commencé à produire des assemblages de cabernet sauvignon et merlot rivalisant avec les Médocs du Bordelais, ainsi que la Californie l’avait fait dans les années soixante-dix. Demain, ces mêmes régions s’essaieront peut-être à produire des cépages aux caractéristiques radicalement opposées… Tout est permis! Ainsi, dans la Yarra Valley, l’iconoclaste William Downie de Thousand Candles a lancé en 2011 un audacieux assemblage de pinot noir, syrah et sauvignon blanc, réunissant ainsi dans une même bouteille des cépages provenant de Bourgogne, du Rhône et de Bordeaux… Et après tout, pourquoi pas? Wine not ? Comme disent les californiens de Napa Valley… C’est à force de longs tâtonnements, d’échecs cuisants, d’innovations fulgurantes suivies d’une infinie patience que les vignobles du vieux monde sont parvenus à dégager l’essence absolue de leur terroir. Les territoires du nouveau monde renferment encore des potentialités inexplorées qui feront le bonheur des amateurs éclairés, autant avides de classicisme dans les vignobles historiques que de sensations nouvelles sur les terres vierges du nouveau monde. Cépages cosmopolites MERLOT Le merlot est un cépage noir probablement originaire du libournais. Cépage d’assemblage à Bordeaux, il apporte rondeur, complexité et tanins souples à l’austérité du cabernet sauvignon jeune. A Pomerol, le vignoble

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de Pétrus est planté à 95 % de merlot. Ses qualités ont permis au merlot de gagner le vignoble du sud-ouest et du Languedoc-Roussillon. Expatrié en Italie et en Suisse, il l’est également dans les pays nouvellement producteurs comme les États-Unis (Californie), l’Afrique du Sud, l’Argentine...

fins que dans le sud-ouest de la France. On en trouve aussi au Chili ainsi que des vignobles en Californie, en Australie, en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Italie. Avec une production bien maîtrisée, il donne des vins colorés, parfumés et riches en tanin qui sont aptes au vieillissement en cuve ou en barrique.

Au cours des années 2000-2010, le merlot est devenu le premier cépage rouge mondial avec près de 250 000 hectares. Sa diffusion dans le monde viticole et le volume de production devraient continuer à croître au cours des prochaines années, notamment en Argentine et en Chine. CABERNET SAUVIGNON Le cabernet sauvignon est un cépage noir mondialement connu grâce aux grands crus du Médoc. Il confère aux vins une structure solide et contribue à leur longévité. Les premiers vignobles à avoir activement produit ce type de cépage furent en effet le château Mouton Rothschild et le château d’Armailhac à Pauillac. L’un des traits les plus remarquables du cabernet sauvignon est son affinité avec le chêne, que ce soit durant la fermentation ou l’élevage en barrique. En plus de réduire les tanins naturellement élevés du cépage, le bois ajoute les arômes de vanille, d’épices et de café grillé aux arômes naturels de cassis, de cuir et de tabac. Le cabernet est devenu l’un des cépages les plus répandus dans le monde. Il pousse dans la plupart des pays viticoles dans un éventail de climats allant du Canada au Liban, en passant par l’Australie et le Chili. MALBEC Le côt ou malbec est également un cépage noir français. C’est le cépage essentiel de l’AOC Cahors. À Bordeaux, il a représenté jusqu’à 80 % des vignobles de Blaye et Bourg avant le phylloxera. Le malbec a été introduit en Argentine par l’agronome français Michel Pouget en 1868. Il s’est particulièrement bien exprimé sur ce terroir, et donne des vins aussi

CHARDONNAY Le chardonnay est un cépage blanc français. Originaire de Bourgogne, ses qualités le font utiliser pour de nombreux types de vin blanc, des grands crus de Bourgogne aux vins effervescents de champagne en passant par les vins de cépages des vignobles du Valde-Loire et du Jura. Il est cultivé en Europe, en Allemagne où il n’a été introduit qu’en 1990, en Suisse où il couvrait 150 ha en 1994 et en Italie du nord. En Amérique, il est cultivé sur plus de 25 000 ha aux ÉtatsUnis (Californie essentiellement), en

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Argentine, au Canada ou au Chili. En Australie, il occupe plus de 5 000 ha et 2 300 ha en Afrique de Sud. Doté d’un potentiel qualitatif élevé, il permet de donner des vins équilibrés, amples, puissants, aux arômes puissants et complexes. Les flaveurs généralement citées vont des fruits frais (banane, cassis, poire, mangue) aux fruits secs (amande, noisette) agrumes (citron, fleur d’oranger) aux épices (poivre, vanille, cannelle) aux arômes floraux (acacia, rose, lilas, lys, ou miel) ou beurre frais et cuir. SAUVIGNON Le sauvignon est un cépage blanc très répandu en France, aux États-Unis, en Afrique du Sud, en Australie et en NouvelleZélande. Il a été formellement identifié dans le vignoble des Graves en 1736, et à Pouilly-sur-Loire en 1783. Les vins jeunes de sauvignon blanc ont un arôme caractéristique, distinct de celui des autres cépages, dont les principaux descripteurs sont le genêt, le buis, le bourgeon de cassis, le pamplemousse, le fruit de la passion et, dans certains cas, la fumée, la viande rôtie ou encore la pierre à fusil. Le climat océanique de la Nouvelle-Zélande permet de produire de grands vins dont le prix, sinon la qualité, n’a rien à envier à celui des crus classés de Graves… SYRAH La syrah est un cépage noir français caractéristique de la partie septentrionale des Côtes du Rhône. Aujourd’hui en augmentation de surface, elle est en passe de devenir un

Vine-harvest at St. Pourçain sur Sioule Photo: Laetitia Guyot, départment de l’Allier

cépage à vocation mondiale, ayant notamment donné des résultats exceptionnels en Australie. Il donne des vins colorés, très aromatiques et fruités complexe, bien alcoolisés, charpentés, mais peu acides. PINOT NOIR Le pinot noir s’est imposé dans le Nord-Est de la France, en Bourgogne, Alsace et Champagne. Il a donné toutes ses lettres de noblesse aux grands crus de la Côte d’Or. En Suisse, le pinot noir est le principal cépage rouge. Aux États-Unis, il est le principal cépage cultivé dans l’État de l’Oregon et a également produit de grands vins dans la Sonoma Valley et la Napa Valley. En Nouvelle-Zélande, le pinot noir est également cultivé avec beaucoup de succès, notamment dans les régions de Central Otago, de Marlborough, de Martinborough et de Waipara. Vignobles « français » dans le monde La renommée des grands crus français tend à faire oublier que, depuis de nombreuses années, les plus grands domaines français ont investi dans les nouveaux Eldorado de la viticulture mondiale et ont souvent contribué de manière décisive à hisser ces derniers au niveau de l’élite mondiale des vins. Présidant à la destinée des châteaux Magdelaine, Trotanoy et de nombreux autres vignobles, Christian Moueix - dont la famille possède également le mythique Château Pétrus – a été l’un des pionniers de ce mouvement en fondant l’admirable Dominus Estate à Napa Valley en 1982. Désormais propriétaire, en France, du légendaire Château Yquem, le groupe LVMH poursuit de par le monde sa stratégie d’acquisition de domaines prestigieux. Cloudy Bay et Cap Mentelle, deux wineries produisant des vins qu’il convient de classer parmi les plus élégants d’Australie, ont récemment rejoint cette luxueuse collection. Quant aux Domaines Baron Eric de Rothschild, propriétaires de Lafite-Rothschild, ils ont investi au Chili, en Argentine et récemment dans l’un des vignobles les plus prometteurs de Chine.

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what’s on at AF

Sommelier au féminin Par Samuel DELAMÉZIÈRE Rencontre avec Stéphanie Rigourd. Sommelier au Hilton de Singapour depuis juillet 2009. Ce qui fait la beauté de la langue française c’est qu’elle nous réserve toujours des surprises. Prenez le genre des noms. Ce point de grammaire désespère parfois l’étudiant de français. Il demeure divertissant de deviner ce qui se cache derrière l’usage d’un genre plutôt que d’un autre. Dans les plaisirs œnologiques des couples se forment: une bouteille - un verre, un arôme - une dentelle, une robe - un velouté … Et chaque mot véhicule son image et sa sensualité. L’évolution des noms de profession est également un excellent indicateur de l’évolution des mentalités et du rôle social des « unes » et des autres. A l’heure du débat sur la parité, devons-nous parler d’ « une sommelière » pour une femme exerçant ce métier ? Stéphanie Rigourd ne se pose pas la question. Cette jeune drômoise de 25 ans préfère se présenter comme « chef – sommelier ». Employée par le Hilton de Singapour depuis 3 ans et en charge de la formation du personnel et des commandes en plus de l’opérationnel en salle et de cours d’initiation, Stéphanie s’attache avant tout à faire partager sa passion. Ce qu’elle fait avec talent. Peut-être que dans son monde épicurien la réussite vient naturellement du plaisir. Plus jeune étudiante de sa promotion de l’école de sommellerie de Tain l’Hermitage (14 recrutés par année dont un tiers est féminin), Stéphanie a compris très tôt que le vin, comme elle le soutient, est « une personne » et que pour comprendre un vin, il faut aller à la rencontre de l’homme ou de la femme qui le produit. Ses différents emplois dans le Bordelais, la vallée du Rhône ou en Bourgogne furent autant d’occasions de visites et d’enrichissements. De ce fait, si elle admet que le monde du vin demeure essentiellement masculin, tradition qui trouve son origine dans le fait que le sommelier était dans le passé celui qui transportait les tonneaux, Stéphanie n’en éprouve aucune gêne. Certes encore aujourd’hui certains ‘étoilés’ en France refusent de recruter des femmes-sommeliers pour d’obscures raisons mais elle préfère s’attacher à maintenir sa curiosité éveillée en parcourant les vignobles de France, d’Italie et de Nouvelle-Zélande disposée à s’émouvoir « comme une petite fille à Disneyland ».


Soif d’apprendre ou goût du partage ? C’est peut-être cela aussi la nouvelle génération de sommelier ; une volonté de rendre plus proche, plus accessible l’expression d’une relation à l’humain. « En France, le Sommelier a cette image de personne froide, parfois arrogante, qualificatifs très fréquemment utilisés pour décrire les travers français. Corriger cette image va prendre du temps mais de plus en plus de sommeliers commencent à adopter une attitude plus conviviale » explique-t-elle en souriant. Un changement qui s’annonce délicat puisque « c’est souvent l’établissement et son cadre qui imposent cette rigidité » précise-t-elle. Alors pour vaincre les réticences de collègues mal à l’aise à l’idée de se faire former par une jeune femme. Stéphanie mise sur la proximité, la chaleur et aussi l’humour lorsqu’elle cherche à faire saisir la nuance d’un vin. Les discours ne sont plus d’actualité. « Le Côte Rôtie par exemple c’est l’alliance de la force et d’une certaine finesse ; alors moi en classe je mets une photo de Sébastien Chabal, l’un des rugbymen français les plus « rugueux » et je lui associe un tutu de danseuse ». L’effet est garanti. Et des idées il en faut aussi pour convaincre les clients. Est-ce parce qu’elle est femme, jeune, étrangère ? «  C’est un mélange de tout je pense. Certains clients ne vont pas vouloir de mes conseils et choisir un vin au hasard dans mon dos.  Peut-être est-ce aussi pour ne pas perdre la face » soupire-t-elle. A proscrire la phrase « Puis-je vous aider ? » L’important est de gagner la confiance et de montrer qu’elle n’est pas là pour distiller un savoir élitiste mais bien évoquer ces hommes et ces femmes qui se cachent derrière un nom de domaine, sur une carte des vins. Car « quand on boit un vin, on communie avec une personne on est en osmose » aime à rappeler Stéphanie. Elle explique mais n’enseigne pas car elle définit son rôle comme « prescripteur de plaisir ». Stéphanie Rigourd est optimiste à l’égard de ces nouveaux sommeliers formés localement. La passion est là et les compétences réelles même si Stéphanie pointe un usage parfois abusif des grappes*1 dans les restaurants de Singapour. Certes ce n’est pas dans les livres que l’on apprend et tout comme elle continue à le faire, les voyages sont une part essentielle d’un apprentissage, une quête sans fin, fruit d’UNE passion qui est devenue UN métier.

En France, seuls les sommeliers certifiés peuvent prétendre à porter les grappes. Le restaurateur ne pouvant prouver la certification de son sommelier ‘grappé’ s’expose à une amende.

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ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu exclusive Centenary Limited Edition bottle of Martell Cordon Bleu. The centenary celebrations will also include the Centenary Charity Drive, which aims to raise a minimum of $128,800 for the beneficiaries of the Community Chest. 100 exclusive Martell Cordon Bleu Anniversary Gift Sets consisting of a Limited Edition Centenary Bottle, Standard Edition Centenary Bottle autographed by cellar master, Benoit Fil, a Limited Edition photo print and photography book by ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu 2011 Winner, Sean Lee will be given in appreciation to contributions of a minimum of $1,288 each with all proceeds going to the Community Chest.

ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu returns for its third year to recognize Singapore’s most outstanding photographer. An annual photography award organised by Martell Cordon Bleu, the 2012 edition also celebrates Martell Cordon Bleu’s centenary this year. Nine Singaporean photographers will vie for the top prize of $30,000. Nominated by an expert panel, the photographers include Albert Lim, Edwin Koo, Ernest Goh, Jeremy San, Roy Zhang, Wesley Loh, Yian Huang, Sam Kang Li and Tristan Cai. Photographers Wesley Loh and Yiang Huang were previously based in France. Yiang Huang has also worked as a printing apprentice with Magnum Photos (Paris).

“Singapore is important to the history of Martell Cordon Bleu as it has always been a gateway for us to the larger region. Through the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu award that honours Singapore’s creative talent and the Centenary Charity Drive for beneficiaries of the Community Chest, we hope to give back to the local community that has always welcomed and supported Martell Cordon Bleu through the years we have been in Singapore,” says Mr Paul-Robert Bouhier, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Singapore. In addition to the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu exhibition, The Timeless Capsule will also host several activities including a talk by the nine nominated photographers among others. For more information about the exhibition, nominated photographers and activities in The Timeless Capsule, please log on to www.

Works by the nine nominated photographers will be exhibited from 3 to 22 August 2012 in The Timeless Capsule, a specially constructed space for the centenary celebrations to be situated outside ION Orchard. The winner of ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu 2012 will be announced at the Award Ceremony on 22 August. Established in 2010 by Martell Cordon Bleu, ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu awards a photographer who has shown originality of vision, presented thought-provoking ideas, explored new concepts and demonstrated a commitment to his or her art through the use of the photographic medium. It honours the totality of the artist’s body of work and practice. In addition to the cash prize of $30,000, the winner of ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu will also receive the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu trophy, a trip to Cognac, France and a chance to publish a photography book. Two runners-up will each be honoured with the Discernment Award and cash prize of $8,000. Eternal Discovery Award In conjunction with the centenary celebrations, ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu will be presenting a special Eternal Discovery prize alongside the top three prizes. The Eternal Discovery prize will be awarded to the photographer with the most votes. The public will be encouraged to vote for their favourite photographer online at or to cast their vote at the ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu exhibition in The Timeless Capsule. The photographer with the most votes will receive $1,000 and an

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Puccini’s Manon Lescaut overnight star worthy of comparison to great Italian composers like Verdi.

In 1731, French author Abbé Prévost’s novel L’Histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut was published – and was steeped in scandal and controversy. The novel was banned in France upon publication, but became very popular and pirated editions were widely distributed. In a subsequent 1753 edition, the Abbé Prévost toned down some scandalous details and injected more upright disclaimers. Since then, the story has influenced various ballets, operas, television series and films. In August 2012, The Singapore Lyric Opera presents the Singapore premier of Manon Lescaut by Giacomo Puccini at the Esplanade Theatre.

The Director’s Take E. Loren Meeker, the first female director for an SLO opera production, is a critically acclaimed director and the 2006 recipient of the John Moriarty Award, will helm this enthralling piece. Meeker, a stage director and choreographer whose work has been presented at leading companies across the United States, is constantly breaking boundaries with her unique vision and original approach to work. Meeker said, “Manon Lescaut is the story of a woman torn between true love and a life of luxury. Puccini’s first operatic success begs the audience to decide if Manon is a woman of loose morals who deserves her wretched fate, or if she is a forward thinking feminist who unabashedly embraces all that she yearns for. Puccini once said, “Massenet feels the subject as a Frenchman, with the powder and the minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.”

The Story of Manon Lescaut Puccini’s opera tells the story of Manon, who is travelling with her brother Lescaut, when she crosses paths with and falls for Des Grieux, a poor student. They elope to Paris to escape Geronte, the wealthy Treasurer General, who wants Manon for himself. The love affair between Manon and Des Grieux is shortlived, as he cannot satisfy Manon’s material desires. Although she eventually leaves Des Grieux to become Geronte’s mistress, she yearns for the sincere love that Des Grieux had for her. When Lescaut reunites the desperate lovers, Manon’s materialism and greed results in her being branded a thief and exiled to America. Will the lovers overcome the odds? Drama, Passion and Heartbreak Prévost painted Manon as fickle-minded and materialistic, contrary to Puccini, who portrayed her in a more compassionate light, highlighting the anguish of a fallen woman who simply made the wrong choices. The pièce de résistance of the opera is its luscious intermezzos, formed by some of Puccini’s most remarkable and enchanting music.

This staging of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut focuses on the larger themes and emotions permeating the score and libretto – love, lust and passion, the feeling of being trapped in your environment, material desires versus the desires of your heart. We are developing a contemporary world filled with characters that are fascinated by the image they present to society. I am honoured to be working with Singapore Lyric Opera to produce this iconic opera that built the foundation for a series of operatic success for Puccini.” Abbé Prévost’s novel Manon Lescaut is available at the Médiathèque of the Alliance Française de Singapour.

The progressive style of the score challenges the performer to depict the many facets of Manon’s character, exhibiting some of Puccini’s mature work with rich orchestration, recurring musical motifs, soaring duets and the gentle pathos of a dying girl. The inventive, fresh and lyrical melody that envelops the music is what makes Manon Lescaut a widely acclaimed, resounding success.

Manon Lescaut (Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles) Produced by Singapore Lyric Opera 31 August, 1, 3, and 4 September 2012 Esplanade Theatre Ticket Prices: $130, $110, $88, $68, $58, $48, $38 and $25 Tickets are available at SISTIC outlets or online at

Dubbed by the New York Times as “musically rich and dramatically effective”, the opera proved to be the catalyst that reignited Puccini’s floundering career and paved the way for a string of successes such as La Boheme, Tosca and Madama Butterfly. It was Manon Lescaut that first marked Puccini’s breakthrough as an opera composer, making him an

The Singapore Lyric Opera is offering 10% discount to Alliance Française students and members. Please produce your Alliance Française membership card at SISTIC during purchase. Please email for more information.

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August / September / October 2012

Events august 7 Ciné Club : Le hérisson


14 Ciné Club : La chance de ma vie

21 Ciné Club : Changement d’adresse

28 Ciné Club : Andalucia

1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Storytelling for children @ 3.30pm Médiathèque


17 August – 8 September All Other Things Being Equal… I Could Have Stayed in Bed By Isabelle Desjeux (France) Winner of 3rd France + Singapore New Generation Artists 2011 SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery


4, 11, 18 Singing class for students and members only Seminar Room


september monday


17, 24 Wine Spirit - Philosophical Wine Tasting & Drinking Conference

4 Ciné Club : Les chansons d’amour

11 Ciné Club : Midnight in Paris

18 Ciné Club : L’Artiste


5, 12, 19, 26 Storytelling for children @ 3.30pm Médiathèque


21 - 28 “I Came to Believe” 2012 By Sunny Chyun (South Korea) SOCIETE GENERALE Gallery


1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Singing class for students and members only Seminar Room

25 Ciné Club : Le chat du rabbin

october monday

1, 8 Wine Spirit - Philosophical Wine Tasting & Drinking Conference 16 Ciné Club : Le moine



No ciné-club on 2, 9, 23 and 30 October, 2012


3, 10, 17, 24, 31 Storytelling for children @ 3.30pm Médiathèque


6, 13, 20, 27 Singing class for students and members only Seminar Room

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August / September / October 2012

Olio Bites at the Alliance Française de Singapour August ’s Chef’s Special

September’s Chef’s Special

october’s Chef’s Special

Aug 4 BBQ Chicken Leg served with French Fries and Garden Salad

Sep 1 Pork Cutlet with Mayo sauce serve with fries and salad

Oct 6 Homemade Chicken Burger serve with French Fries and House Salad

Aug 11 Seafood Aglio Olio Classic with Linguine Pasta

Sep 8 Teriyaki Chicken with Linguine Pasta

Oct 13 alfredo pasta with Linguine

Aug 18 Grilled Salmon on Dill Cream Sauce served with Mashed Potatoes and Boiled Asparagus

Sep15 Chicken Chop with House sauce serve with fries and salad

Oct 20 Teriyaki Chicken served with Mashed Potatoes and Boiled Vegetables

Sep 22 Grilled Salmon with Cream sauce serve with salad and boiled vegetables Sep 29 Chicken & Mushroom Ragout served with Foccacia Bread and Garden Salad

All Chef’s Special @ only $15.90nett Served with soup of the day and *coffee or tea Subject to changes

Oct 27 Sambal Seafood with Linguine Pasta


Testing if it is good