October 2018   

Seeking Greatness

Identifying quality in wine may be viewed as a subjective exercise, but for those of us who do this for a living, we know that there are objective measures of quality that can be taught. Thus the topic of this year’s Asia Wine Academy (AWA) is ‘Seeking Greatness: Decoding Wine Quality’. AWA is returning to the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair for the second time with a Certificate-based programme brought to you by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council together with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism Management. Two intensive courses, taught by myself and Sarah Heller MW will be offered during all three days of the wine fair, from November 8th to the 10th. Last year, the courses were full with over 350 attendees, so sign up here to avoid disappointment.

Wine quality is once again at the forefront of a talk with Jancis Robinson MW and myself at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival on November 4th. We will discuss the changing world of wine, from the evolution of French wine, China’s growing influence and the role of the wine critic, to evolving wine styles and perceptions of wine quality. To join us, sign up here

After an idyllic summer based in France, I returned to Hong Kong refreshed and ready to embrace the busy fall schedule of tastings, trips and leading masterclasses around the world. The highlight of my summer was the July celebration of the 150th anniversary of Maison Leroy and 30 years of biodynamic viticulture at Domaine Leroy hosted by Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy. She is an incredible, pioneering woman who continues to pave new ground and lead the way for wine professionals around the world. Read my article and tasting notes here about this once-in-a-lifetime tasting. 

For those who have some time coming up during the holiday season, be sure to check out Season 1 of Wine Masters, a 5-episode documentary produced by Farmhouse Film from the Netherlands available to watch now on iTunes, winemasters.tv, Amazon, Vimeo on Demando & Google Play. It is also available on Singapore Airlines flights starting this fall. Tim Atkins MW and I lead the commentary in this beautifully shot documentary on five great wine families of France.

My travel schedule for the rest of this year continues to be relentless so I hope to see some of you in Singapore (when I am tasting 800 wines with Michael Hill-Smith MW and Oz Clarke for Singapore Airlines); in Hong Kong during the 3-day Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair; in Korea end of this month and in Japan early November; or in Burgundy end of November as well as mid December. See  events for my full schedule of events and activities.

Don’t forget to check out My Views to get my recommendations on cheese and wine pairing, or find out how chef Gaggan pairs wines with 25-courses, or the high cost of making sweet wine. As always, I look forward to hearing from you via  WeChatWeibo Twitter Instagram  or Facebook.

My Views

Tasting of a Lifetime with Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy

2018 is a very special year for Madame Lalou Bize-Leroy, a trailblazer, an icon that many refer to as the Queen of Burgundy. On the 6th of July at her domaine in Vosne-Romanee, she celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of Maison Leroy... Read more

Cheese and Wine Pairing

Ever since I spent over a year in Europe during my university days, I have had a love affair with cheese. The stinkier the better; just like chou tofu and Korean fermented bean paste. When I started to enjoy wine, it was confusing to me how different cheese pair with an infinite variety of wines. Read more

Pairing Wines with 25-courses

How do you pair a menu filled with emojis? At Gaggan, the restaurant based in Bangkok, Thailand, that has been number one for three years in a row at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, the entire 25-course menu is provided as an emoji with simple explanations beside it. Read more

The High Cost of Making Sweet Wine

More than a hundred years ago, the most expensive wines in the world were sweet. Champagne as we know it, with its fine bubbles, crisp, linear dry style did not exist. Instead, Champagne had noticeable sweetness, and probably tasted more like Moscato d’Asti... Read more


VIP Masterclass & Training at Resorts World Sentosa

Date: 25-26 October 2018 
Place: Singapore

I will be leading my regular wine training sessions and hosting a VIP masterclass at Resorts World Sentosa

Jancis Robinson MW & I Discuss the Changing World of Wine

Date: 4 November 2018  
Place: Madame Fu, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong

Jancis Robinson MW and I explore the changing world of wine, from the evolution of French wine to China’s growing influence, the role of the critic, evolving wine styles and perceptions of quality and more during the HK International Literary Festival 2018. Buy tickets here

Exploring Japanese Wine & Sake

Date: 29 October-3 November 2018 
Place: Yamanashi, Nagano, Nagoya, Japan

Looking forward to discovering the wines and sake of Japan on a week-long trip of tasting and visits.

HKTDC Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair

Date: 8-10 November 2018  
Place: HKCEC, Hong Kong

After the successful launch of the Asia Wine Academy by the HKTDC & the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism Management, we are happy to bring the second edition in 2018. For more information, please click here.  


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