AFFAIR of the senses

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am


Kavita Devi Faiella, wine director, Press Room Group

Kavita Devi Faiella set out to become a paediatrician, but a holiday in Italy set her on a new path. 'Arriving there, I completely fell in love with the Italian way of life, their love of food and wine and unique approach to the table,' she says. She returned to her native Australia to launch her new career, and found herself working alongside such celebrated chefs as Neil Perry. She joined the Press Room Group in 2010.

'Hong Kong is the centre of the wine world,' she explains. 'It is vibrant, exciting and always changing. Some of the most innovative dining concepts can be found in this city and there is not a winemaker in the world who doesn't want to have a presence here.'

Faiella passed the theory and practical component of her master sommelier exam in London. She will sit the tasting component next year. Upon passing, she would be both Asia's and Australia's first female master sommelier. There are only about 180 master sommeliers in the world.

'The wines I find myself drinking at home are generally inexpensive - and usually a little quirky. As sommeliers, we are constantly offered different wines to taste, but when I get to choose my own wine, I often want it to be something I have never tried before, or on the other hand something that is in my comfort zone.'

2009 Riesling, Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spatlese, Mosel, Germany (HK$165)

After work, I generally drink aromatic whites. Riesling is my favourite grape variety and nothing beats a cold glass of off-dry riesling at the end of the day. I love the wines of Fritz Haag and also JJ Prum, so I often have them in the fridge.

2007 Riesling, Pyramid Valley Lebbecca Vineyard, Marlborough, New Zealand (HK$137)

Pyramid Valley also makes a delicious riesling that I drink at the weekend with, say, pork dumplings.

2007 Pinot Noir, Domaine Ponsot Cuvee du Pinson, Burgundy, France (HK$199)

I am a pinot and nebbiolo person. They are both very serious varietals and can be extremely expensive, but a simple Bourgogne can sometimes be perfect. I sometimes cook something as simple as mushrooms on toast to go with this wine.

2010 Barbera, Vietti Tre Vigne, Piedmont, Italy (HK$149)

Nebbiolo is a little less quaffable, and hence I will also often drink a barbera. I like this with classic Italian pasta with tomatoes and olives - I love olives!