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2021 Beverage Boom!

2021 Beverage Boom!

Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Competition Results Announced

 A fixture of Asia’s annual beverage calendar, full results of the 13th Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HK IWSC) were announced today.  Fifty-twotrophies were awarded to global wine, spirit, sake and beer producers – those judged best of their category. Furthermore 107 gold, 496 silver and 372 bronze medals were awarded to top quality beverages, along with 10 green medals to producers who demonstrated both outstanding quality and a commitment to sustainability.

 Fifty two judges sipped, debated and deliberated their way through thousands of samples in the last week of September led by Master of Wine Debra Meiburg, to ensure an authentic pan-Asian voice on the very best international wines, sake, spirits and now beer for the Asian market. 

 Always a high-achiever, Australia again proved the most prolific medal winner, gaining 19 gold, 100 silver, 103 bronze medals. With 11 trophies, among its top performers were four spirits trophies and four varietal trophies (Best Chardonnay, Riesling, Shiraz/Syrah and Cabernet/Cabernet Blends).  A standout performer with three trophies was Vandemonian Coal River Valley Tasmanian Chardonnay 2020 from the trending cool climate region of Tasmania, winning Best Chardonnay, Best White Wine from Australia and Best Wine of Australia.

Perhaps channelling its recent Olympic success, Japan climbed to top of the chart with five trophies, including the highly coveted Best Worldwide Whisky/Whiskey, back in their clutches after five years abroad.

Old World countries shared equally in the trophy haul, with Austria, Spain and Portugal taking four trophies each. Portuguese wines continue to prove their adaptability with Asian cuisine, snaring three trophies, including Best Wine with Chinese Stir-fried String Beans, Best Wine with Japanese Grilled Beef Tongue and Best Wine with Grilled Minced Chicken Skewer. Castilla y León which is rising to success in Asia was awarded for the first time with the regional trophy Best Wine from Castilla y León and Best Tempranillo.

Burgundian Pinot Noir makes a return to glory, with Château de Pommard Clos Marey-Monge Micault 2019 winning Best Pinot Noir and Best Wine from France. Together with the trophy for Best Cognac, France gained three trophies, on par with New Zealand, awarded Best Sauvignon Blanc, its signature variety, and two other trophies.

In the Americas, USA led the competition with two trophies, while Cuba won their first trophy ever in the Rum category.

Scotland, South Africa, Thailand and Georgia are also featured on the trophy board.

Hong Kong beers conquered the HK IWSC beer competition, winning all the trophies. Young Master Brewery won six of the eight trophies, including the Best Beer. Carbon Brew, who dominated 2020 awards emerged triumphant again taking out the rest. 

While the prestigious Trophy winners are always in the spotlight, Gold medallists deserve significant recognition for gaining top marks from the judges. Amongst the winners, some dark horses emerged victorious, with gins from India and Hong Kong, fruit spirits from Georgia, vodka from Brazil, and wines from Romania all gaining gold.

In a competition first, HK IWSC 2021 also welcomed a guest VIP international wine judge at-large, Cleighton Cornelius, senior winemaker at Mud House, New Zealand. Cleighton is an admired international winemaker, viticulturalist and oenologist who has trained in Europe at Chambolle-Musigny (France), Rheingau (Germany), and Cyprus. Cleighton welcomed the judges each morning and led the calibration tasting with Debra Meiburg MW from his home base in New Zealand.

This year, the wine and spirits judging took place at The Arca, a newly opened hotel in the southside of Hong Kong. While the Asian food pairing awards returned to its annual home at The Royal Garden, renowned in Hong Kong for its diversity and quality of pan-Asian cuisine.

The full results of the Cathay HK IWSC can be found on

2021 Beverage Boom!

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