There's probably no single living person who has done more for the universal spread of wine-drinking as a vital adjunct to civilisation than Robert Mondavi. The man who largely pioneered the modern Napa Valley wine industry preaches that a good vintage should be enjoyed with fine music, superb food, excellent conversation and wonderful art. How fitting, therefore, that one of the world's leading five-star hotel chains will be holding a dinner in honour of his wines in its 33 hotels on four continents. One of the first will be the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. On September 26, it is staging a ballroom dinner for 80 guests with the theme 'A partnership in taste, a worldwide celebration of flavours.' At a cost of $980, guests will be served six splendid wines from the Mondavi stable with six dishes specially designed for the event. The price is a steal, even in these tough times. Think of it this way; a glass of Mondavi cabernet sauvignon reserve in the Ritz-Carlton bar is $180. At dinner, you will be served more than a glass each of six famous wines, including the first taste in Hong Kong of the yet-to-be-released 1995 Opus One, the Mondavi flagship label. The wines are worth far more than $980, so the six-course banquet is virtually free. The winery has a renowned restaurant, and it was in its kitchen that four top Ritz-Carlton chefs met to compose the menu. It looks like a splendid bill of fare from prawns with coriander pesto and Thai herbed prawn cake with mango salsa, to roasted turbot with candied beets to squab (with the Opus One), and on to roast lamb with truffle and almond vignarette. Each course will come with a distinctive wine. The Mondavi sauvignon blanc from Stag's Leap region will be the first wine served, a lovely crisp white easily available in Hong Kong (from Remy, fax: 2877-2476) for $192. Robert Mondavi, like so many of the great Californian vintners, comes from proud Northern Italian stock. The second wine of the feast is the 1995 Luce della Vite (Light of the Vine) which he makes in partnership with the Marchesi de Frescobaldi family. It is normally not sold in Hong Kong. Mondavi makes the third wine, Sena, in Chile with the noted local winemaker Eduardo Chadwick. The bottle carries the signature of both men, proof that they are proud of the blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and carmenere grapes. Opus One stands as one of the great wines of the world. This was Mondavi's personal statement of quality, his challenge to Europe that Napa could produce anything as good as Bordeaux and Tuscany. Again, this is a partnership wine, this time with Baroness Philippine de Rothschild of Bordeaux. Mondavi has vineyards scattered widely over California, to take advantage of different micro-climates. The cabernet sauvignon reserves, however, are the cream of the crop, made with grapes from the top Napa vineyards. The dessert (green apple and sorbet) will be accompanied by a glass of the rare 1994 sauvignon blanc botrytis, a wine of sweet intensity made from grapes which have been allowed to wither and rot on the vine. Only 300 cases of this wine are made every year. The food and beverage manager of the hotel, Jens Von Gierke, expects the dinner to be sold out. As soon as word seeped from Napa about the plan, the Hong Kong Chapter of the Mondavi Appreciation Society (yes, there is such a body) called in a panic to book 20 places.