Three cheers at the Wine & Dine Festival

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Hong Kong Tourism Board

Get Set for a ‘Perfect Ten’ Celebration of Indulgence at the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2018, 12:01am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 October, 2018, 5:41pm

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Party on down to the Central Harbourfront Event Space and Tamar Park from October 25 to 28 as the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival returns in the biggest scale ever with a mega 10th anniversary celebration of world-class food, drinks and entertainment held against the stunning Victoria Harbour backdrop.

A decade of culinary excellence

Pace yourself over the four-day mega party as you take your palate on a world tour. Keep an eye out for the limited-edition wine and food selections that will only be available this year to celebrate the 10th edition of the Festival. With ten fine wine and dining zones featuring approximately 450 booths, plus entrances in both Central and Admiralty, it pays to be tactical with your culinary adventure to enjoy the festival to the max.

A passport to Bordeaux

Having been the co-organiser of the festival since the first edition, the Bordeaux Wine Council is pulling out all the stops at the Bordeaux Wines Village to celebrate a decade of the renowned region’s wines at the event.  “Bordeaux and Hong Kong are close partners, and we have a big presence of 70 winemakers representing 50 appellations from the seven groups coming to Hong Kong this year. They just went through a very intense time finishing the harvest and are so happy to come as being part of the Festival is a special moment for them. Our popular Bordeaux Wine School is back, so are the Everyday Bordeaux section and the Bordeaux Wines Pavilion,” enthuses Thomas Jullien, Representative of Bordeaux International Wine and Dine Festival Organisation. 

“We want to encourage people to visit the Village and make sure they get the opportunity to see different facets of Bordeaux.  To do this, we have created a Bordeaux Passport this year. All you need to do is to collect four stamps from the Village.  Enrol in one lesson at the Wine School, take part in a game at Everyday Bordeaux and taste two Bordeaux appellations from the seven groups at the Bordeaux Wines Pavilion and you will get your passport. You also get a bottle of Bordeaux to take home and become a Bordeaux citizen.”

“To add to festivities, different appellations from the seven groups will be opening Methuselahs (six-litre bottles) every day to share with the public.

“And on Friday, October 26 at 6pm, President of the Bordeaux Wine Council Allan Sichel will conduct a Sunset Tasting with Nelson Chow, Chairman of the Hong Kong Sommelier Association.  He will be opening a big bottle of 2015 Margaux. 2015 is an excellent vintage, so the guided tasting is something to look forward to.”

Bordeaux wines for everyday drinking

Bordeaux is not just about the top Grand Cru growths; there are many affordable wines for daily consumption.  Thomas Jullien picks five wines that represent the best affordable wines Bordeaux has to offer at the Village. They have been selected from the Everyday Bordeaux programme as being the most representative of Bordeaux and suitable for the Hong Kong market.  

“For reds, I recommend the Chateau la Bourguette, 2013. This is a charming wine with a fruity aroma accompanied well with a mineral flavour. Round with a rich taste, strong tannins, a balanced structure and ageing potential, it is a great match for red meat, grilled meats and cheese.

“The Chateau Magneau, 2014, on the other hand, is full-bodied, sharp and aromatic, with hints of red fruits. Its elegant, well-blended tannic and fruity aromas complement entrecotes, red meats and cheese.

“For a classic white Bordeaux, the Chateau Haut Launay is certainly worth tasting. The dry, crisp flavours of stone fruit and tangerine are complemented by an elegant minerality and aromas of grass and herb.

“Rosé from Bordeaux is increasing in popularity, and one that is easy to enjoy is the Le Rosé de Giscours, 2015. Very much fruit forward with spicy raspberry and strawberry flooding the palate, this vibrant rosé is generous in every sense with good acidity and plenty of freshness.

“Last, but not the least, the Rieussec, 2008 is a beautiful sparkling wine not to be missed. The nose is delicate, with scents of wild flowers and notes of candied citrus fruit and melon. With a pleasant acidity and a good balance between freshness and richness, this wine can be enjoyed relatively young.”

Commemorative “2009 Vintage” wines for connoisseurs

With 2009 lauded by many wine critics and collectors as an outstanding vintage year, and coincidentally the founding year of the Wine & Dine Festival, it comes as no surprise that there is a special commemorative series of “2009 Vintage” wines highlighted at the Festival this week.

Sarah Heller, Asia’s youngest Master of Wine, is impressed with the choices. “It’s exciting to see more older vintage wines available at the Festival. Hong Kong collectors are quite fond of drinking them, so I think it’s great to share this experience with the larger drinking public. With merchants deciding to pull out older vintages to try, hopefully, this will convert more people to be interested in wines and on a deeper level.” 

Among the “2009 Vintage” series, Heller recommends the Calafe Ariavecchia Greco di Tufo DOCG, 2009 made from a native white grape variety from the Campania wine region in South Italy. “The larger point about this interesting Greco di Tufo wine is that people don’t think of Italian white wine as fine wine quality, but since they have quite a lot of phenolic content and naturally high acidity levels, they can actually age and mature nicely for a longer period. The 2009 vintage has a pale straw yellow colour, varietal aromas of apricots and green almonds with subtle hydrocarbon hints that exaggerate over time, and a beautifully fresh and mineral mouthfeel with a hint of tannins that helps to dry the palate. You can find it at the Grand Wine Pavilion.

“The Col Solare 2009 is a very niche wine with a style that is well suited to Hong Kong taste. A joint venture between Washington State’s largest winery Chateau Ste. Michelle and Italy’s Marchesi Antinori, the wines are produced on Red Mountain, a tiny AVA that is the warmest in Washington State.  The 2009 vintage comes with very intense flavours and tannins created by an unusually cold growing season to start followed by a hot summer and harvest.

Another must-try is the 2009 Chateau Lascombes.  A modern style of Margaux,  this wine has a beautiful blueberry-scented nose with hints of acacia flowers, liquorice, graphite and subtle charcoal and background oak. Pure, seamless, full-bodied and opulent, it is a great classic with outstanding ageing potential.

10th Edition hot collectibles

Liquid gold comes in various forms, but none are more collectible at the Festival than the Wine & Dine 10th Edition Specials.  With whisky riding a wave of popularity around the world, make sure you take home a bottle of Tomatin 2009 single cask, a single malt Scotch whisky that has been maturing in first fill Oloroso sherry hogshead since June 10, 2009. This Hong Kong special edition has a big, full flavour, but still retains that Tomatin sweetness. 

For something to enjoy on the spot as a perfect digestive, try a bottle of Happy 啤 Day, a decadent chocolate imperial stout aged in bourbon and brandy barrels for six months and fermented a second time with Valrhona cacao nibs.  Reminiscent of a rich black forest gateau, it will transport you to craft beer heaven.

New wine countries make a debut

If you are looking for something more adventurous than old and new world wines, try some from countries making their debut at the Festival. 

The Monte Vide Eu 2016 is an iconic wine from Bouza, one of the most renowned wineries in Uruguay. This tannat-based wine offers heady aromas of jam, coffee and chocolate and is produced using the traditional French method of Pigéage where the grapes are stomped down in open vats by foot during fermentation to extract colour, tannins and flavour.

From Slovenia comes the Istrski Rubini Cabernet Sauvignon 2009.  This limited edition wine will provide endless pleasures due to its fruity and sophisticated tannins.

Fine wines to savour

Fine wines are aplenty at the Festival, with some making their debut at the festival for the first time.  Sarah Heller recommends the Barolo Riserva, Cru Monprivato, Ca d'Morissio, Giuseppe Mascarello, 2006. “This wine comes from one of the most important vineyards in Barolo that produces exceptional Nebbiolo wines.  It’s available at the Grand Wine Pavilion, and it’s exciting to see one of the most iconic Italian wines being celebrated here.”

Another top pick is the Toro Albala, Don PX Gran Reserva, 1987. “Toro Albala takes a different approach to sherry by identifying vintages. They are the world’s only specialist in 100 per cent Vintage Pedro Ximenez that are aged for a minimum 25 years in American oak casks. The 1987 vintage was released in 2016,” says Heller.

Making a welcome return to the Festival is the popular Robert Parker Wine Advocate Pavilion where you can taste premium wines from established classics and rising stars to off-the-beaten-track producers carefully selected by acclaimed wine critic Robert Parker and his team.

Check out “Foodies feast to your heart’s content at the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival” for scrumptious food offerings and special Perfect Ten celebrations at CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival.