Uncorked: Leo Au

Leo Au, chef sommelier of Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House, is the winner of the Ruinart Sommeliers Challenge 2018. Having honed his skills working first as a bartender at The Peninsula, Au joined Swire Hotels’ The Upper House in 2014 as a sommelier. His passion for wine has taken him from Bordeaux and Verona to Napa Valley and Barossa Valley. He was a finalist in the Sud de France Sommelier Challenge 2016 and received a Scholarship of Barossa Master by The Barossa Wine School in 2017. In the interview, the Hong Kong sommelier talked about harvesting the 2012 vintage at Château Mouton Rothschild and a luscious Château Guiraud 2002 to be served at his funeral, which hopefully will help the guests hold back the tears. 

What vintage are you? 
1985, a beautiful year for vintage Port and Bordeaux reds.
 
What bottle sparked your love of wine? 
A vintage Champagne that I opened with my girlfriend (now my wife) for our first anniversary and it was phenomenal and unforgettable. 
 
What would you be as a wine? 
Chenin Blanc from Savennières, even better from Nicolas Joly. 
 
Where are you happiest? 
Whenever I am with my two daughters – four year old Charlotte and five month old Sherman.Their smiles melt my heart.
 
What’s your greatest vice? 
I have a sweet tooth, from chocolate to Sauternes.
 
Best advice you ever received? 
“Opportunity favours only the prepared mind,” said by Kevin Tsang, my food & beverage director when I was working at The Peninsula. 
 
Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save? 
Château Mouton Rothschild 2012, very special for me since I was there, picking the grapes in the rain, even though it was just a single row of vines. 
 
What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business? 
The world of wine is fascinating and there’re so many things to learn. However, the more I learn, the less I realise I know.
 
What’s on your wine bucket list? 
Argentina. I have never been there before. 
 
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? 
I would not name anyone here (in case I missed someone). However, my family and my best friends will definitely be invited. 
 
Personal satisfaction (Parker points – out of 100)?
88. I love my job and family. I am lucky enough to have so many great people who have given me their greatest support over the years, including Yvonne Cheung, Bhatia Dheeraj. Last but not least, my lovely wife.
 
Which wine would you like served at your funeral?
I am afraid it is not something that I could worry about, maybe Château Guiraud 2002. Not sure if sweetness can hold back the tears, I hope yes. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Head of Education

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

UK Commercial Manager (E-Commerce/Online)

Ian Macleod Distillers
United Kingdom

Regional Sales Manager (Midlands)

Ian Macleod Distillers
Field based - regional coverage Midlands

Marketing Manager

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Partner Manager - Managed On-Trade

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Brand Manager

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire

IBWSS China

Shanghai,China
5th Nov 2018

Exploring Beaujolais Wines Across The Years & Appellations

Manchester,United Kingdom
6th Nov 2018

Pink Rosé Festival

Cannes,France
7th Feb 2019
Click to view more

Green Awards 2018

Deadline : 26th October 2018

Rioja Masters 2018

Deadline : 26th October 2018

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters 2018

As with all of the drinks business awards, our judging panel is comprised of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers making the competition globally renowned.

Champagne Masters 2018

Enter your wines into the Champagne Masters 2018, the only blind competition dedicated to Champagne in the UK.

Click to view more