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Asia Market

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.

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