An exciting year ahead

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Tersina Shieh   January 2015
Wine culture on the march

Time flies. Thanks for all your support in 2014. It was a very fruitful year for me and I hope it was the same for you.

2014 was busy on the Hong Kong wine scene, not only in the trade but also in the consumer sector—from the crowd-drawing Wine & Dine to the big name James Suckling’s Great Wines events. Of these market-wide events, I personally think Wine HK has the most potential to interact with the occasional wine consumer because of the relaxed atmosphere and the diverse choice of wine at very reasonable prices. 

On the smaller scale, established importers held annual portfolio tastings but some smaller importers also joined forces to organise events, such as Wine To Gather, a wine promotional platform formed by a group of SME importers last year. And of course, there were numerous wine dinners in various forms hosted by winemakers, importers, critics and others. 

All these are encouraging because I believe in consumer-driven strategy. As I always emphasise, the only way to expand and sustain a healthy wine market is to engage with the average consumer, explaining wine in a no-nonsense way and inspiring them to appreciate and enjoy it. In fact, the entire wine industry should unite to expand wine’s market share in the beverage sector. Remember, your competitors are not other wine producing countries or importers, but lemon tea and soft drinks. 

Let’s work together to build a vibrant wine culture! 

Wine Music Jam - it's finally happening!

Some may know about this idea that I have been mulling for a couple of years—to organise an affordable and interactive wine tasting and music jamming event where consumers can enjoy and appreciate both wine and music. I’m glad to announce that it’s finally happening, although not quite in the format that I original planned, but at least it’s a start.

This will be an 'open mic' format where amateur bands and musicians may sign up to perform in a pre-set time slot. There will be stations for wine importers to present their wines, sell wine by the glass or bottle for consumption on the spot, or sell wine for delivery. Between sets there will be idle sessions allowing the audience to explore the wines. Non-wine beverages and food items will be served by the venue. Audience and performers are encouraged to buy tickets in advance and book performance slots. For more information, please visit or our Facebook page.

One way to promote wine culture, and hence consumption, is to integrate wine into lifestyle. Music is certainly part of lifestyle and jamming brings the added spirit of engagement, sharing and fun. I hope this will become one of the many avenues to attract new wine consumers and expand the wine market. Hope to see you at the first Wine Music Jam on 28th February (Saturday) at Orange Peel!
Whats coming in 2015?
March: Macau Wine & Dine Festival 2015

Make the trip to Macau for the largest wine festival in the enclave between 3rd and 8th March. The third Macau Wine & Dine Festival at the Venetian Macau’s Outdoor Lagoon features 38 international wine and food booths, wine workshops and more. Free admission, wine passes at HK$100.

April: South Africa Festival

Following the success of the market-wide South African wine tasting in April 2014 to celebrate South Africa’s 20 years of democracy, Wines of South Africa (WOSA) decided to take the idea further and expand it into an annual month-long South African wine festival each April to coincide with the country’s Freedom Day on 27th April.

The 2015 South African Wine Festival will be held on the roof top of The Park Lane, a Pullman Hotel. There will be wine, food, travel, music and more... Our aim is to create a complete South African experience for all our guests. The Park Lane has also invited renowned chef Allistaire Lawrence from South Africa, who will be preparing exquisite South African dishes in April. Whats more, thanks to South African Airways, therell be a chance to win a trip to the Cape Winelands!

More South African events are planned elsewhere in town during April. Importers, retailers, F&B outlets, please contact me if you would like to be part of it. 

WOSA will also be hosting its once-every-three-year Cape Wine 2015 from 15th to 17th September in Cape Town, a showcase of South African wines for the international trade. Please let us know if you are interested to attend.

Follow WOSA Hong Kong on Facebook

June: German Riesling Weeks

Riesling Weeks will be returning in June for its third running with even more fanfare. A kick-off consumer tasting with Janina Huhn, the 2014-2015 German Wine Queen, will be held at W’s Entrecôte on 1st June. This will be followed by a month-long promotion at various restaurants, retailers and wine clubs. 

Riesling Weeks is a market-wide campaign initiated by the German Wine Institute that links restaurants and retailers to showcase the quality and versatility of German Riesling to consumers. Interested parties who would like to participate can contact me before April.

Follow Riesling Weeks Hong Kong on Facebook

March and October: The Vintage Port Academy

This year, The Vintage Port Academy will split its activities into two sessions. The Beijing and Shanghai workshops will be held at the end of March while the Guangzhou (taking place for the first time) and Hong Kong workshops, along with the Hong Kong trade tasting, will be at the end of October. The workshops are primarily for F&B personnel and retailers. You can reserve your space here.

Sommeliers, watch out. There will also be a new challenge for you—the Vintage Port Decanting Competition. We did it in Macau last year and now it’s your turn! Email me if you are interested.

Championing the small timers
We all love Bordeaux and Chardonnay but there is a lot more out there. I’m glad to have discovered some of these in 2014. Keep your eyes and mind open when it comes to wine.

The graceful lady behind Grace Koshu

Sadie’s Swartland Old Vines Series

New Kids on the Block

Tahbilk: Something out of the ordinary

Mt Etna, the Burgundy of the Mediterranean

Canada, more than just ice wine

Indigenous grapes from Italy

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