Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc
(750ml, $24.95, exclusive to Cold Storage, www.coldstorage.com)
Origin: New Zealand
What is it: This relatively young wine brand, started in 2004 by Constellation Wines, is famous for crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Malborough region. The pale straw coloured wine is vibrant, juicy and slightly grassy, ideal to be drunk cool with seafood dishes.
Monkey connection: The label is named for the small bay where an englishman supposedly spotted a monkey in the 19th century. as there are no monkeys in New Zealand, it may be more likely he saw a kiwi bird.
If you like it: The brand also offers good value Merlot and Chardonnay.
Monkey Shoulder Triple Malt
(750ml, $89 from FairPrice Finest)
What is it: a free-spirited and modern whisky introduced in 2005 that’s a combination of three single malt Scotch, matured in oak casks for mellow vanilla vibes. It’s rich and smooth on its own but also popular for mixology cocktails.
Monkey connection: The name is a tribute to the distillery workers who shovelled tons of barley by hand in the past. afterwards, the men’s stiff shoulders would temporarily cause their arms to hang down, making them look a bit like monkeys, hence ’monkey shoulder’ as a nickname.
If you like it: Monkey Shoulder is a mix of Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie single malts, from the same William Grant & Sons group.
(500ml, $99 from La Maison du Whisky)
What is it: Founded in 2008 by alexander Stein and made in small batches from 47 unusual botanicals, many from the Black Forest, Monkey 47 is one of the best sipping gins. It has a cranberry and eucalyptus bouquet, and fresh lime and wild herbs taste that’s highly pleasant. drink it neat or in a cocktail– best paired with Fever Tree Tonic.
Monkey connection: The gin is recreated from a secret recipe by a retired British army official who loved Germany and stayed on after World War II. he helped rebuild the Berlin Zoo where he sponsored an egret monkey named Max, and founded a guesthouse in the Black Forest named a Wild Monkey.
If you like it: Get the CNY party sets comprising Monkey 47, Fair vodka and 8 bottles of Fever Tree Tonic 500ml ($198, U.P. $225)
Wolf Blass Year of the Monkey President’s Selection Gold Label
(1L, $39.90 each from FairPrice, Giant and Cold Storage stores)
What is it: Striking twin bottles of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon in one litre bottles, specially blended from different regions for character and consistency. Wolf Blass was founded in Barossa valley in 1966 and is part of Treasury Wine estates.
Monkey connection: Specially released for 2016, and goes well with Chinese cuisine this Lunar New Year. Try the soft, fine Cabenet Sauvignon with roast duck, beef hor fun, or jiao zhi; and the full-bodied, cherry rich Shiraz with char siew, Peking duck, or black pepper beef.
If you like it: The Wolf Blass President’s Selection Gold Label range, which was introduced in 2000, highlights soft rich fruit intensity, such as in the Chardonnay.