Getting a taste for fine drops that won't break the bank for mainland connoisseurs

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 February, 2012, 12:00am


The China Best Value Wine & Spirits Awards blind tasting was held at the Mira Hotel last Friday. A panel of 90 judges sampled and scored more than 40 wines from around the world for their potential appeal in the growing Chinese market.

'What's unique and important about this panel is that we've invited wine buyers - specifically ones with a working knowledge of the Chinese palate,' awards consultant Nikolas Prehn said. 'Usually tasting competitions are reserved for sommeliers and, predictably, the most expensive wines always score at the top. We are looking not only for quality but value for money.'

The event opened its doors to the public after the judging round, and guests were invited to sample all the wines in the competition - and meet some of the participating winemakers. Among them, representatives from Russian winery Fanagoria and Austrian vintner Jagersberger Neudorfl presented some highly original ice wines and raisin grape wines. The debut of Hong Kong-based Portrait Winemakers & Distillers was another highlight at the event. The company's creative blending methods and playful branding won it the Innovative Wine & Spirits Award at the event.