Debra Meiburg

Hong Kong wine imports have boomed since 2007 and the city has become Asia’s wine hub, leaving Tokyo and Singapore far behind. But insiders say the government can still do more.

Biodynamic in Oregon, Bordeaux blends in Washington – northwestern states prove America’s wine talent stretches beyond Napa Valley’s famous labels. A shame most wineries are too small to export to Hong Kong - so why not go there?

Originally from Croatia, zinfandel was hugely popular with wine-by-the glass drinkers. A new generation of growers are creating harmonious single-vineyard reds with elegant profiles in a bid to improve the grape’s reputation


A passion for wine also links singers Lady Gaga and Pink, NBA all-star Yao Ming and Hong Kong actress Bernice Liu, all celebrities who own a vineyard or label

The evolution of the city’s wine scene continues, with the advent of a new kind of aficionado happy to spend a little more and willing to try things from less common producers

Kite surfing in Austria, canyoning and skiing in Slovenia, a Georgian mountain tour on horseback – there are plenty of ways to combine thrills with some chilled glasses of the local tipple

Whether travelling in a 4x4 around an active volcano in Sicily, canyoning in Slovenia or mountain biking in South Africa, venturing to vineyards can also satisfy a taste for thrills

While wine is drunk with most foods in Hong Kong, sake was confined to Japanese restaurants until innovators such as Balinese restaurant Potato Head began matching it with other cuisines

Every culture has its own hangover cure – Hongkongers eat congee, Thais turn to spice, and Australians just shrug and drink more alcohol. Whatever it is, find the one that works for you, preferably before the holiday parties begin

From chilli crab to char siu, from Thai fishcakes to teppanyaki, when it comes to matching Asian food with wine, the usual rules don’t always apply, as seen at the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition

Women have been involved in wine for generations, but mostly in sales and marketing. Now increasing numbers are working as sommeliers, winemakers, critics and educators

Debra Meiburg picks her highlights from three days of tasting and networking, including Moet’s new Yunnan red, a new super Bordeaux, and wines from Portugal, Italy and the Golden State

Fake wine scams are perpetrated at the high end as well as in the middle and retail markets, but a lack of legislation and significant costs make it difficult to prove and prosecute offenders

Judging takes dedication and practice. Palates are refined by years of repeated and focused wine tasting. And yes, tasting and judging dozens of wines per day is surprisingly hard work.

Chef Que Vinh Dang talks about the TBLS concept, plus perfect wine pairings for its diversified menus, writes Debra Meiburg.

Keen observers of the global food and wine scene will have noticed that over the past 10 years it has become, if anything, less global. Gone are the days when a restaurant would be praised for its shipments of foreign seafood - "local" is in.