Prepare to Set Your Palate Alight
At the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival and Hong Kong Great November Feast
Feast to your heart's content from October 26 to 29 at the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival where you can savour world-class food and drinks, meet culinary masters and enjoy live music against the stunning Victoria Harbour skyline.
A GLAMOROUS EXPLORATION OF TASTES
The ninth edition of the Festival is bigger and better than ever with the introduction of innovative elements turning it into an enriching epicurean and lifestyle experience. As one of the celebrating events of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, the Festival will feature around 400 booths – 300 for wines from 20 countries and regions, and 100 featuring food at the Central harbourfront.
ROBERT PARKER DEBUTS WITH PAVILION
“The Robert Parker rating is held in high regard by wine lovers and the wines presented at the pavilion are rated at least 88 points and above” Peter Kwong, Chairman of Wine & Spirits Judging Committee, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Wine & Spirits
Wine connoisseurs have long turned to one of the most influential wine critics in the world Robert Parker and his newsletter. The Wine Advocate when deciding on the wines to buy. His ratings on a 100-point scale with his particular stylistic preferences and notetaking vocabulary, have earned him numerous accolades including the “the world’s most prized palate”.
They should head straight to the new Robert Parker Wine Advocate Pavilion where premium wines from all over the world carefully selected by Robert Parker and his team of critics could be tasted under one roof. Peter Kwong, an experienced sommelier and Chairman of Wine & Spirits Judging Committee and Identification & Certification Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Wine & Spirits, enthuses about the new addition to the Festival. “The Robert Parker rating is held in high regard by wine lovers and the wines presented at the pavilion are rated at least 88 points and above. Over the four days, different wines from Spain, Portugal, South Africa, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, France and the US will be highlighted every day, giving visitors a direct route to experience such a superlative range of wines.”
Two of the wines that come high on Kwong's must-try list bear European royalty links. The 2001 Matarromera Pago Solanas is rated 95 points by Robert Parker and comes from the bodega founded in 1988 by Carlos Moro. The winery is one of the most mystical vineyards located in the heart of the Ribera del Duero, producing crianzas, reservas and gran reservas. Its 1994 Matarromera Crianza won the IWC best wine of the world award. Such is the quality of their wines that Matarromera has become the official wine for the Spanish royal family, being served at state banquets hosted by former King Juan Carlos I and at the wedding of his son, King Felipe VI.
Another vineyard with a royal connection and a living history is Klein Constantia, an iconic wine estate in South Africa that dates back to 1685. One of the most beautiful vineyards in the world, it is perfectly located for cool climate wines and produces some of South Africa’s top wines, including one of the world’s best natural sweet wines, Vin de Constance. This amazing sweet wine had Napoleon Bonaparte so enamoured that he had 1,126 litres of the liquid gold delivered to him during his exile on Saint Helena from 1815–21, ensuring his uninterrupted enjoyment of it till the end of his days. Kwong recommends the awesome 2013 Vin de Constance with a beautiful bouquet, incredible definition and purity. Rated 96 points by Robert Parker, it surely is a fitting finale to gastronomic feast.
A SPARKLING TIME
Corks will be popping continuously at the new Bubbly Gala wine zone to add fizz to the Festival. All manner of bubblies from Champagnes to trendy sparkling wines and cocktails will be showcased to take you on an effervescent trip around the world.
Alan Wong, wine panellist of the Festival, says that the boom in sparkling wines has continued unabated. “Drinking bubblies is no longer restricted to celebrations and special occasions. It has become an everyday event. Hong Kong’s warm weather is particularly conducive for drinking sparkling wines;it's refreshing and perfect for boat trips, beach parties or simply chilling out during the day. A new trend is to drink sweeter Champagne over ice or in cocktails on a hot day for a fresher, thirst-quenching sensation. A good example is Der Kosmos, a purple galaxy cocktail concocted with German sparkling wine Prasidenten Gold Riesling Trocken, blue curaçao liqueur and mixed berries from Y Cocktail & Mocktail.”
Another new kind of fizz that’s equally refreshing comes from Asia. High on Wong’s recommendation list is the Shichiken – Morino Kanade sparkling sake from Japan. “What’s so special about this wine is that it was aged for two weeks in a whisky oak barrel that came from the Suntory Hakushu distillery before going through the second fermentation process inside the bottle. As a result, the sparkling sake retains a hint of the vanilla and maple syrup flavours from the barrel, giving it a fresh, clean and very layered feel. With production limited to 1,500 bottles, it’s certainly a wine not to be missed.”
THE LURE OF BORDEAUX
“We are expanding the wine school. We will have wine lessons on grape varietals, merlot and cabernet sauvignon tastings” Christophe Chateau, Communication Director of the Bordeaux Wine Council
Raise your glass at the Bordeaux Pavilion and savour wines from the renowned Bordeaux region considered to be amongst the best in the world. As a co-organiser of the Festival since the beginning, the Bordeaux Wine Council's presence is prominent with 44 booths featuring 24 wine merchants.
“Due to popular demand, we are expanding the wine school this year. We will have wine lessons on grape varietals, merlot and cabernet sauvignon tastings, and the blending of both.
With cabernet sauvignon you have the structure and tannins, with merlots you have the flesh and the fruit, so once you try 100 per cent of each and then mix both, you will see the difference and know why blending them is important in Bordeaux,” explains Christophe Chateau, Communication Director of the Bordeaux Wine Council.
“We will also have chefs from Bordeaux presenting special lessons on pairing food and wine and bringing the restaurant Le Bordelais to the pavilion to present food from the south of France. There will be charcuterie, cheese, and canele, the famous dessert from Bordeaux.”
“Another highlight is the celebration of the 30th birthday of the appellation ‘Pessac Leognan’ with an extensive range of wines presented at the Pavilion for wine lovers to enjoy. Those attending the Master Chef Dinner on 27 October will have the opportunity to taste some magnificent Pessac Leognan wines that we are sponsoring for the event”.
TAP YOUR WAY THROUGH A CULINARY LANE
The fastest way to take your taste buds on a culinary journey is to make a beeline for the new ‘Tap&Go’ FeedMe Lane. Pick up a smart card at the entrance and take your pick from the signature dishes, some of them Michelin-starred, of the ten hipster restaurants with a tap of the card.
Sample extreme Chinese cuisine and crossover Korean bites at Bo Innovation X Bib n Hops, and ultimate hot-pot specials plus Chinese cuisine by the former Head Chef of Hong Kong's Government House at Drunken Pot X Lai Bun Fu. Enjoy fiery treats by Chilli Fagara, and tantalise your tastebuds with ‘Nipo-Brasileiro’ cuisine from DJAPA. Take a trip to Spain with contemporary tapas from Cassio, Latin America with delicacies from Picada and Korea with modern Korean food from Jinjuu. Those looking for sustenance after a night of wine tasting would be satiated by the top quality steaks and burgers at BLUE – Butcher & Meat Specialist and Porterhouse, or seafood and grilled specialities at A La Maison XXL Seafood & Grill.
Porterhouse - All
A CREATIVE LIFESTYLE
The enjoyment of fine wine and food is not complete without the right accessories. The Concept Store, a new lifestyle element, debuts at the Festival to cater to the needs of oenophiles and foodies for creative tableware and products that will enliven their homes.
Take your pick from cutting-edge contemporary homeware from Alessi, cool offerings with a Scandinavian flair from Marimekko, luxurious objects of desire from L’Objet and exquisite Limoges porcelain from Haviland.
Homegrown products are plentiful, with some winners of the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards that excel in both form and function available at the Concept Store. Be it the Meow Waiter corkscrew opener or fun wine bags, they make great gifts for yourself and others.
A PRESTIGIOUS WINE EXPERIENCE
Sit back and unwind with high- quality wines from internationally- renowned vineyards and boutique wineries at the Grand Wine Pavilion. For the first time, world-renowned American wine critic James Suckling has handpicked his choices to be showcased at the Pavilion.
One of these that has Peter Kwong, experienced sommelier and Chairman of Wine & Spirits Judging Committee and Identification & Certification Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Wine & Spirits, raving is the supremely elegant Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2009 rated 97 points by Suckling. “I am particularly taken by Cristal’s long and storied history. It was created in 1876 for a 16-course. Three Emperors banquet hosted by Alexander II, tsar of Russia. Given a blank cheque to produce an impeccable dinner, French chef Adolphe Duglere commissioned Louis Roederer to create a handmade clear lead crystal bottle with a flat bottom. While the sparkling crystal showed off the golden hue of the Champagne to perfection, the bottle also served two important purposes. The transparency made it easy to detect poison, while the flat bottom prevented a lethal object to be placed inside the indentation as the tsar was fearful of assassination attempts.”
A CULINARY TOUR DE FORCE
Foodies seeking a sublime culinary experience will be in seventh heaven at the Master Chef Dinner to be held at the Tasting Room on 27 October. Five world- famous international and local chefs will join forces to present an extravagant seven-course dinner under the theme of ‘memory’ paired with sommelier- selected superb wines from the Pessac Léognan appellation in Bordeaux.
Taiwan-born André Chiang, recognised as one of the most influential chefs in Asia, runs his eponymous French restaurant that is ranked among the top in the world. He is joined by Curtis Duffy, chef of the three-Michelin-starred Grace restaurant in Chicago, and Janice Wong, owner of the 2am:dessertbar in Singapore. The ‘Dessert Queen’ is regarded as Asia’s Best Pastry Chef.
Adding to this stellar cast are Lau Yiu Fai, Executive Chef of the two-Michelin starred-Cantonese restaurant Yan Toh Heen of the InterContinental Hong Kong, and his colleague Maxime Luvara, Executive Chef who oversees the hotel’s five internationally acclaimed restaurants.
For those who miss out on the Master Chef Dinner or wish to extend their appreciation of the InterContinental Hong Kong’s gourmet offerings should return to the Tasting Room on 29 October when delectable masterpieces from the hotel’s four restaurants – Rech, Nobu, The Steak House, and Yan Toh Heen – will be showcased at A Taste of Culinary Stars. Accompanied by Champagne and fine wines, the event will be a fitting finale for the Festival.
Check out details of CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival on: www.DiscoverHongKong.com/WineDineFestival