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Uncorked: Simon Tam, Christie’s

Simon Tam is Christie’s head of wine for China. Committed to supporting the growing market for wine in Asia he helped co-found the Cathay-Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Competition, founded the Independent Wine Centre for Hong Kong and Shanghai and the Greater China Wine Critics Association. He is an active writer and guest speaker on wine.

HK_Wine_Sale2952_25Nov_Simon Tam (3)What Vintage are you?

1968 so the only things that are still drinkable are Barolo, Amarone and vintage whisky..
Recently, a friend who also born in a difficult vintage introduced to me the concept of choose your birth year…so in my mind, I’m like a 1988 – a classic, lean and a keeper!

What bottle sparked your love of wine?

As a teenager, I grew up with good food and good wine. Working alongside my parents’ chain of restaurants, I had the pleasure of tasting numerous delicious bottles. The rest, as you can tell, is history…

Ambition or talent?

Passionate idealist.. you know, no starving children, world peace and all that.

What would you be as a wine?

I recently tried a few vintages of Kanta Riesling made by Egon Muller in the Adelaide Hills, it brought Old World knowhow to New World frontiers.

I see myself and wine to be a bridge between the delicious West and the thirsty East. I believe this trend will continue to strengthen and close the cultural gaps.

Where are you happiest?

Surrounded by my family’s laughter

What’s your greatest vice?

Don’t let me loose in a produce market or even a super market! I have been known to buy 10kg of fennel just because they look so good and I always cook for a football team when there’s only 4 of us..

Best advice you ever got?

From my god parents who said “Your job is to prepare your child to leave you one day”. Ouch!

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?

My Taittinger Collection bottles. I have the full set from the first vintage which I add new releases to… they are very pretty bottles. And aged Champagne is so delicious, isn’t it?

What’s the best & worst thing about the wine business?

The people! There are so many passionate individuals who make up this fascinating, kaleidoscopic wine industry.

The worst? Drinking the wrong wine with the wrong food and the wrong person!!

Personal satisfaction (Parker points)

Only Parker? But I am 99 points on that!

My wife says I have short term memory so I don’t keep score but I’d say most of my days are close to perfect in one way or another.

Desert island vine?

Sercial Madeira…that should be lovely with a smorgasbord of coastal crustacean sashimi!

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No