Hong Kong is a city of wine lovers, and each year's social calendar is inevitably crowded with tastings and other events, of which only a few stand out as really special. The tasting last Wednesday was one such event.
The first thing that made this tasting, an evening of Bordeaux, at the Miele Lounge in Causeway Bay, so exceptional was the wine: a survey of Bordeaux's first-growth wines of the 1996 vintage.
The second was the company. This was no-run-of-the-mill wine event, but a celebration commemorating the release of a new book, Bordeaux Legends: The 1855 First Growth Wines of Haut-Brion, Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux and Mouton Rothschild by Jane Anson, the wine expert and South China Morning Post columnist.
Anson had flown in that evening from her home in Bordeaux to share anecdotes from the histories of the storied chateaus, to the delight of the wine fanatics gathered, who listened, entranced, while eagerly sniffing, sipping and swishing.
That Anson is a lover of Bordeaux wines goes without saying. She says her "desert island bottle" would be a Chateau Margaux 1983, and over the course of the evening she tried to explain why Bordeaux more than any other wine region created such passion and obsession in wine lovers.
"There's something about Bordeaux that sets something off in people. It's partly the 2,000 years of history, but I think it's somehow the way that Bordeaux is set up encourages people to become obsessive. There are so many good entry points to Bordeaux; there are so many things about Bordeaux that encourage obsessive wine behaviour, in a good way."
Whatever the cause of this, Anson clearly is infected, and loving every minute of it.