Ebby Reyhani

Ebby Reyhani

Ambassador of the Good Life


Whether you fancy yourself a connoisseur of the Nectar of the Gods or are inspired to learn more about the basics of food and wine pairing, Mr. Ebby Reyhani is someone you have to meet. Based in Jakarta with VIN+ Wine & Beyond, Ebby’s official title is Corporate Wine Ambassador. Sound too good to be true? He’s the first one to admit that he has the ‘best job in the world’.


Q: Before moving to Asia two years ago, you spent over 10 years in France learning from the bottom up about wine making and cellaring. What is it about the wine industry in Indonesia that enticed you to give up working so closely with Europe’s most sought after labels?

A: Before moving to Indonesia, my entrée into Asia was via Singapore, which I like to call the Switzerland of Asia. When the VIN+ group approached me, I visited Jakarta several times to get a feel for the place. It was the corporate team and company staff of VIN+ that sealed the deal for me. I truly respect the company’s enthusiasm, passion, knowledge and humility. As a team, their philosophy is ‘we know a lot, but we can learn a lot more’. They’re all about wine, real enthusiasts that are bordering on fanatic. I love it.”

Q: How would you describe your role as ‘Corporate Wine Ambassador’?

A: My role is working one-on-one with the vineyards, making connections, working directly with clients, and training our staff in Jakarta as well as in Bali. My job is to inspire our guests to invite more pleasure into their lives, which in our world translates into cultivating the love of wine. People who come into VIN+ are on their holiday time. If myself, or a member of our staff, can recommend a bottle that a guest loves, one that fits perfectly within their price range and within the range of their personal tastes, well that makes our day. The staff members at VIN+ are very motivational for me because they love to learn.



Q: What keeps you busy during your monthly visits to Bali?

A: Every month, VIN+ hosts an untraditional wine pairing dinner for an intimate group of 20 maximum. It’s held in our private dining room next to the cellar and aims to transport guests outside of the box, inspiring them to go beyond your typical Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons. Not that there’s anything wrong with wines we’re comfortable with, but we like to turn guests on to varietals that would normally scare them, taking them out of their comfort zone and into the exciting world that wine can be. Wine works as a wondrous icebreaker. I love to hear our dinner guests agree and disagree about which wine they liked or disliked, which dish went perfectly with or not so well with what. We invite an eclectic mix of people from all backgrounds, ages and professions, so we never know where the evening will take us.

Q: How do Bali and Jakarta compare as far as wine markets?

A: What’s interesting is that they are a mirror image of each other. The amount of wine drunk is not too dissimilar, but Jakarta is definitely a red wine market and Bali is a white wine market where al fresco dining takes centre stage. The rosé  market in Bali is also a lot stronger than in Jakarta. Bali is a tourist destination, so visitors on holiday take over a large portion of the consumers, while Jakarta is a business destination. Indonesians in Jakarta are driving the market, while foreign expats and tourists reign in Bali. Both Jakarta and Bali enjoy the same brands and wine makers, but it’s all about red versus white.

Q: Where do you see the wine market heading in Indonesia?

A: Jakarta is the largest market for wine in Indonesia with Bali a close second. Surabaya, Medan and Bandung are all up and coming. Jakarta has potential to be huge with its growing middle class and the city is pushing itself internationally as a cosmopolitan hub, attracting global companies who want to be in Indonesia due to the bounty of the country’s natural resources and the educated work force. The whole range of wines is blossoming here, from basic table wines to fine wines. The general taste is slowly drifting from sweeter to drier wines. Consumers are experiencing an influx of new choices and that will only help to encourage people to try something new. Indonesia has tremendous import potential. Wine follows the economy, so as long as Indonesia as a whole advances economically and socially, wine will follow that. Wine is an indicator of the economy.


Ebby’s Bucket List for Bali

1. Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais Cru: “From the French region of the Moulin a Vent; Beaujolais is made of 100% Gamay, taken from the best terroir. This wine is soft and elegant. It’s dry but not too dry. In the tropics, you can chill it down for 10 minutes in a wine bucket. This softens the tannins and brings out some lovely spices and wild strawberries that are aromatic and unbelievably versatile. You can pair it with everything from a rustic nasi goreng to poached salmon, grilled tuna, and sirloin steak.”

2. Villa Maria Pinot Gris: “Although New Zealand is well known for its Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, this Pinot Gris is dry but with a sweet aromatic side. There’s a lovely roundness to this wine that works great with babi guling & spicy sambals, helping to cut the richness of the pork and soften the spice from the sambal. There’s a touch of sweetness, but it is still a dry wine with fresh acidities that refresh the palate. A classic pairing could be dover sole, veal chop, or even gado gado.”


Ebby’s Bucket List for Jakarta

3. Shaw and Smith Shiraz: “From Australia’s Adelaide Hills, this red isn’t too jammy. It offers lovely cherry notes and black currant and works as well with simple satays and Kway Teow noodles as it does with roast lamb. Great spectrum.”

4. Domaines Schlumberger Gewurztraminer – Les Princes Abbes: “A lovely buttery texture that helps the palate with spicy dishes. This varietal from Alsace offers a different style from anywhere else in the world with floral touches of melon and lychee but also with soft ripe citrus fruits, a hint of spice at the beginning and then a sweetness that follows.”

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