Drinkers ‘Trade Up’ on Wines
By Debra Meiburg MW
South China Morning Post (7 March 2017)
Thirty years ago, when I landed in Hong Kong, the city’s monolingual wine lists spoke only French. Pondering the idea of buying wines from California or Australia was unthinkable. Now, the world has shifted and a new breed of ‘premium’ wine brands jostle for precious shelf space in our city.
Premium means different things to different folks. They are wines that offer something a bit special and sit in the sweet spot where affordability meets quality. Local importer Antonio Koo, Ponti International’s managing director, says premium wines can be special varietal blends or single vineyard wines: “They capture the expressions and differences in terroir,” he says.
Hong Kong is now… Read the full article on South China Morning Post website.
Asian Food and Wine Duos Find Their Groove
By Debra Meiburg MW
South China Morning Post (23 November 2016)
Watching a dance duo tap, twirl and leap their way through a performance is enthralling.
To perform at their peak, dancers must have great chemistry, be in sync, and bring just the right amount of strength to the partnership. The same applies to pairing wine with food. If a wine is too light, a rich dish will throw it off its feet; too heavy and it will weigh down the whole meal, like a ballerina failing to achieve lift.
Asian cuisine, with its intense flavour combinations, dazzles our palates with fancy footwork. Unlike European wine matching traditions, where pairing is based on the key protein of the meal, such as meat or fish, sauce flavours take the lead in Asia. The ‘white wine with fish, red wine with meat’ rules do not always apply, making pairing a challenge, but not impossible—a shoe-slapping Beaujolais can certainly hold its own against a quick-stepping chilli crab.
The best wine pairings… Read the full article on South China Morning Post website.
Viticultural Voyeurism at Vinexpo
By Debra Meiburg MW
South China Morning Post (1 June 2016)
Have you noticed a flurry of wine activity in Hong Kong this week? Perhaps your favourite sommelier has a skip in her step, or your go-to wine guy is eager to share his latest discovery. The probable source of their excitement is the biennial Vinexpo Hong Kong. Vinexpo is, arguably, the region’s largest international wine and spirits exhibition for wine professionals. The three-day event, which is held in alternate years to Vinexpo Bordeaux, brings professionals together with winemakers from 35 countries and is the industry’s window on the big wide world of wine trends.
On day one, we had our first taste of Moët Hennessy’s Ao Yun, a red wine produced at its Shangri-La winery in the Himalayas, in a remote north-west corner of Yunnan province. Another pleasant surprise was the debut of an exciting, affordable new super wine from Bordeaux, which was unveiled by Bettane & Desseauve.
Newcomers weren’t the only… Read the full article on South China Morning Post website.
Summer Wine Walkabout
By Debra Meiburg MW
South China Morning Post (26 April 2016)
When blue skies shine, Hong Kong’s beaches and alfresco barbeque pits beckon. But the subtropical steam sure works up a thirst. Don’t get stuck high and dry. Stock your daypack with essential fluids and mark the best wine shops on your trail guide.
Shuffle to Shun Tak and set sail for a mini break to Macau (or, even if you don’t), visit Marks & Spencer, a one-stop-shop for picnic food and drinks. The high street retailer has a wide selection of ‘on trend’ wines in it's near wholly exclusive-to-M&S wine range, which features plenty of summer faves like rosé, Prosecco, and the current darling of the wine world, English fizz. Don’t want to pack stemware? M&S’s ‘wine in a cup’ concept is another innovation that suits our summer wine scene. Called ‘Le Froglet’s’, these single serves of shiraz, rosé and chardonnay are perfect for impromptu picnics.
Pack a basket and… Read the full article on South China Morning Post website.
Hong Kong drinkers visiting Macau now spoilt for choice of world wines
By Debra Meiburg MW
South China Morning Post (21 January 2016)
Macau’s wine scene has been shaped by centuries of Portuguese culture and tradition. When Portuguese sailors first dropped anchor in the enclave, no doubt there were a few oak barrels on board. Today, Macau is a different beast – less yo-ho and a bottle of rum, more ooh-ahh and a bottle of red. In any case, Macau’s dual Sino-Portuguese heritage makes it one of the few Asian nations with an established Eurocentric wine culture.
Weekend pilgrimages to Macau are a regular jaunt for many Hongkongers who, for decades, have escaped the hustle and bustle of our vast metropolis to the quieter shores of Coloane’s rustic fishing village. Hongkongers are Macau’s second-largest group of visitors (after Mainland Chinese) and its biggest drinkers. No mini-break to Macau is complete without a plate of its famous clams or roast suckling pig. Sundays spent drowning hangovers in a cocktail of garlic, olive oil and inexpensive Portuguese wine will always hold a special place in our hearts.
More recently, however…Read the full article on South China Morning Post website.
- “Winning a silver medal in the HKIWSC has truly helped my product to achieve international credibility regarding its taste. This has positively affected
decisionmaking of several new merchants who now carry my product.”Kaustav BagchiOwner, Lamai Thai Spirits
- “Louis Royer Cognac has been entering the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition for many years. This competition is regarded as the most respected in Asian countries. Winning an award is a high honour for our brand and a further seal of quality for our multi-award winning Cognac.”Carol FrugierMarketing and Communications Manager, Louis Royer Cognac
- “Adding to our success over the past few years at the HKIWSC, winning a trophy means so much to us as we have just recently entered the Chinese market with our brandies. The Chinese market is unique, which makes it even more exciting to know that Oude Molen VOV Brandy is well accepted.”Kobus GelderblomBrandy Master, Oude Molen Distillery
- “It is a great honour for us to receive this award and we are very thankful about the reputation from wine enthusiasts in China. This award is a testament to the fact that our white wines not only match the traditional Austrian food but also matches perfectly with the Asian cuisine.”Katja PflogschWinemaker, Domäne Wachau
- “Having won three trophies in the last four years in different food & wine matching categories at HKIWSC has showcased Pegeric Pinot Noir and its suitability with Asian cuisines leading to its listing with one of Australia’s top restaurant – Melbourne’s iconic Flower Drum.”Chris CormackCEO, Pegeric Wines
- “To get recognition from such a prestigious panel is
veyrewarding indeed, and proves that our wines are made in a style that is truly food friendly. The HKIWSC has become one of the year’s most well-respected wine competitions globally. For us, the food match component is a fantastic chance to demonstrate how well our wines compliment so many different flavours. Moreover, it is a competition known and valued by our customers so a trophy can be hugely influential.””Susanna MayerWinemaker, Yealings
- “Awards and medals at the HKIWSC have been like a stamp of approval to the quality of our wines. Because it is an Asian-focused competition, I know that my wines are being judged and measured by the same yardstick as all the other wines, given our viticultural conditions are quite unique compared with the rest of the world. These medals give me and, more importantly, my consumers the confidence that my wines stand apart from the competition.”Kalash GurnaniWinemaker, York Winery
- “We are very proud of our results. One of our key focuses is the Asian market, so we really want to make our wines special and desirable for this market. That’s why we want to enter this competition and be evaluated by the expert judging panel.”Sofia Cajewski Winemaker, Cremaschi Furlotti
- “We at Yealands Estate Wines are proud to be
recognizedby the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. The organizationis held in the highest regard and our success in the competitions has become a strong voice for our quality around the globe.”Avram DeitchGlobal Marketing Manager, Yealands Wine Group
- “Winning awards in reputable international wine shows such as the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC is one of the many ways of educating our consumers and giving them confidence in purchasing the Saint Clair brand. This enhances brand perception
increases sales across our entire portfolio of wines.”Maria EastonWinemaker, Saint Clair Family Estate anin turn