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Health drives wine sales in Sabah
Published on: Friday, February 17, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Health consciousness drives wine sales in Sabah, particularly red wine from grapes, as more eateries open up offering a wide selection of wine and patronised by the discerning young and old trying out a Mediterranean diet-like lifestyle for longevity.

There is plenty of scientific research linking red wine to health benefits. Studies have long suggested that drinking red wine in moderation might be good for the heart.

What's been less clear is whether it's the alcohol in wine or its antioxidants, mainly from grape skins and seeds, that may be responsible for heart and stroke risk reduction.

Now a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has arrived at an answer: It may be both.

Recently, a premium wine seller here – Winecellars – brought in Senior PR Manager Gwen Cheong of Treasury Wine Estates to introduce Wolf Blass' President's Gold Label red wine.

"Wolf Blass' Black Label wine is the only wine to have won Australia's most prestigious and sought- after wine award – the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy – a record four times," said Cheong.

The South Australian brand is of course well established in Sabah being one of the top recognised selection by wine lovers here – local and foreigners, as its products won world acclaims – receiving more than 8,000 medals and trophies.

According to Gwen Cheong, Wolf Blass is the 2016 Red Winemaker of the Year in International Wine Challenge competition, with rich German wine making heritage by its founder who chose the German eagle as its logo.

She manages the brand's presence in Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa, operating out of Singapore and was here for the first time, finding the State Capital not that stressfully hectic.

There is of course romance in drinking red wine, not just on Valentine's Day.

Wolf Blass' President's Gold Label red wine offers two grape selection – Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 vintage and Shiraz 2015, both in gold colour bottles with a red rooster motif to mark the Year of the Fire Rooster.

The President's Gold Label range honours the traditional Wolf Blass philosophy of blending outstanding fruit from the finest South Australian regions to create wines of quality, character and consistency, producing deep crimson wine.

The colour of the wine indicates how many healthful nutrients known as polyphenols the drink contains.

Red has more than white, and white more than beer.

Red wine also contains alcohol, and many observational studies have shown that drinking alcoholic beverages in moderation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, by increasing levels of healthy HDL cholesterol and reducing the clumping of platelets that can lead to clots inside blood vessels.

A compound that may be responsible in part for wine's health benefits, called resveratrol, is also present in grape juice.

There's a tremendous variability in the amount of resveratrol even from one wine type and one batch to another.

Wolf Blass was established in 1966 and has grown to become one of the world's most successful and awarded wineries, well known locally as well. Sabah and Malaysia form a key market for winemakers, particularly the State being a last frontier market to penetrate.

According to Iuliana Anton, brand ambassador of Winecellars, and Sales Account Manager Karen Chung, Wolf Blass is the preferred Australian wine sought by the public. - David Thien

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