HK sommelier to highlight ‘hidden gems’ of Italian wine

Marino Braccu, sommelier at Hong Kong’s three Michelin-starred restaurant 8 1/2 Bombana, will host, what he calls “the most exciting Italian wine tasting ever hosted in Hong Kong” on 28 May, showcasing 160 “hidden gems”,  as consumers look beyond Piedmont and Tuscany for lesser known regions and bottles, according to the Italian sommelier.

Marino Braccu, sommelier at three Michelin-starred restaurant 8 1/2 Bombana

The wines have been selected from 36 importers in Hong Kong and represent 18 regions in Italy including Lazio, Basilicata, Calabria, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Abruzzo and Marche.

“They are wines that move me with emotions, wines that give me an extra reason to get up in the morning,” exclaimed Barccu when commenting on the selection.

Italian wine’s share of the market is growing, helped by a wider of available wine selections in both the on-trade and off-trades. Speaking from experience, Braccu observed that today there is, “a definite move” towards regions such as Sicily and Sardinia instead of more famous regions like Piedmont and Tuscany.

Restaurants in Hong Kong outside of Italian places such as Duddell’s and Lung King Heen at Four Seasons are expanding their wine lists to include “off-the-beaten-path” Italian wines, he added.

Close to 60 local Italian grapes will be featured at the wine tasting, where 40 producers will be on site to pour their wines.

Profits from the tasting, divided into two sessions for trade and consumers, will be donated to local charity Mother’s Choice, according to Braccu and co-organiser J.C. Viens of Grande Passione Ltd.

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