Top 10 sommeliers in Hong Kong

9: Alan Liu (29) — The American Club

AlanLiuThe American Club’s Alan Liu started out behind the bar but soon found himself drawn to wine, intrigued by the myriad possibilities inherent in the drink. He still oversees the beverage operation at the American Club’s two locations – in Central and the sprawling premises in Tai Tam – and is the first dedicated sommelier at the organization.

He says he was attracted to his current position through a strong curiosity about wine and a desire to learn. He says he finds his profession “interesting and challenging. I knew about wine from when I was a bartender [but] it’s totally different from other drinks because wine involves so much more information like vintage, different varieties of grape etc.

“When I started learning about wine, I realized that I could not possibly learn everything. As the saying goes, ‘The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know’.”

While he naturally favors American wines in his portfolio – he points to a 2004 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon as one of his favorites – he says there is room for a variety of regions and grape types on the list, including his highlights –a Brovia, Sori’ Del Drago, barbera d’Alba 2008, Shaw and Smith, M3 Vineyard, Chardonnay from 2010 and the Alin Graillot, Saint-Joseph 2010.

Liu feels that being in his position at a young age is a mixed blessing. “I would say both [a help and a hindrance],” he says. “My age makes me think creatively, I find it easy to accept new things and new technology.

“My teammates are of a similar age to me, so we share the same work concepts and we work closely together. Also, I’m willing to learn quickly from my experiences. Some people may think I’m not mature enough for this position, or lack the experience required to handle the challenges, so I need to spend extra effort to show my abilities and passion.”

6 Responses to “Top 10 sommeliers in Hong Kong”

  1. stefano says:

    The all management team of Domani Restaurant is proud of you John!
    Congratulation, VERY WELL DONE!

  2. Josh Rubenstein says:

    A great selection, all deserving of this recognition. Congratulations!

  3. Joey Yue says:

    One of my favorite wine sommelier and restaurant in town, congratulation John!

  4. Congratulation Dheeraj Bhatia! Hard work always pays off!

  5. David says:

    Don’t forget about Jason Patty and Paul- three Certified Sommeliers working under Nicolas Deneux at the Grand Hyatt Steakhouse! All three of them are years younger than Nicolas!

  6. Derek says:

    The perfect pair: Yvonne and Elliot!

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