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Week in pictures: Hong Kong

From the craft beers of Chicago to the sweet nectar of Sauternes, velvety reds of Napa and 19th century Tawny Port – it’s been an eclectic week in Hong Kong’s wine world.

The sommelier of Hong Kong’s beloved Winebeast Bistro, Christina Carranco Ducroquet and Chateau Guiraud’s technical director Luc Planty introduce Hong Kong to the illustrious 1er cru classe Sauternes property. With 85 hectares of vineyards on the hills above the village of Sauternes, and planted with 65% Semillon and 35% Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Guiraud has ambitions to one day produce a sweet wine that can rival d’Yquem.


Lashings of Barons de Rothschild Champagne fill the room at Kuala Lumpur’s Maison Francaise restaurant as Singaporean retailer, Bordeaux Liquid Gold announces that it has become the exclusive agent for the brand in Malaysia. 

His Excellency Christophe Penot French Ambassador to Malaysia (centre left) with Frederic Mairesse CEO of Champagne Barons de Rothschild along with Gobie Raju and Bordeaux Liquid Gold CEO Julian Poh at the official launch ceremony.

Julian Poh said, “Champagne lovers in Malaysia will now have another choice when choosing Champagne for their year end party, launches, weddings and any cause for celebration.”

Chicago’s Goose Island craft beer has flapped its way to Hong Kong, with the fittingly-named Honkers Ale, Goose IPA and 312 Urban Wheat Ale. Founded by John Hall in 1988, Goose Island’s brews emulate European styles of beer and are distributed in Hong Kong by SHCG.



Faced with a big bill: Francesco Chu F&B Director SHCG (left) said of Goose Island: “Hong Kong is fast becoming the F&B capital of Asia. We saw a gap in the craft beer market for beers which could be paired with food other than burgers and chips. Goose Island offers an alternative to pair with a nice meal, creating an affordable luxury beverage for beer drinkers.”

A gratuitous shot, maybe, but Hong Kong is always at its best in late November/early December when the skies clear and the humidity drops. Without low-cost flights to the beaches of Europe, we make do with the bays on Hong Kong’s south side – with the best ones a hefty hike away from civilisation.

“Port needs to come out of the dinosaur age,” proclaimed Paul Symington of Symington Family Estates over a tasting of Graham’s single harvest (colheita) Tawny ports which embarked on a 100-year journey all the way from 1982 to the unbelievable Ne Oublie from 1882.

This is what 100 years of colheita Tawny Port looks like! Far from just being used for blending, Symington Family Estates has proven that even non-declared vintages can hold up well with the correct cellar management. “Vintage ports are made in the vineyard and Tawnies are made in the cellar,” as the Symington saying goes. 

Tender pork knuckle and fried rice is just the ticket for Hong Kong’s cooling evenings. Modelled on a martial arts training academy – complete with hand painted golden dragons – the newly opened Dragon Noodles Academy serves up old-style Cantonese food with decidedly modern day influences. We’ll be back when the temperature drops even more. 

Master Sommelier and COO, Paul Roberts leads Hong Kong’s wine trade through a fantastic back vintage line up of Colgin Cellars from St Helena, California. “We are seeking to make the best Burgundy-style reds of Napa”, he said. The tasting featured 2012 and 2005 Cariad, 2013 and 2006 IX Estate and 2013 IX Estate Syrah made from clonal selections originating in Cote-Rotie and Hermitage.

We can’t think of a better way to end the week than with an excellent line-up of Vermouth at Hong Kong’s Pirata. With its own Vermuteria, Pirata has some of the biggest selections of Vermouth ranging from Atsby originating from America to Mancino, made by Hong Kong’s very own Giancarlo Mancino.

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