HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL WINE AND SPIRITS FAIR PUTS THE SPOTLIGHT ON ASIA
And one of the central highlights at the three-day event was the Fourth Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition (HKIWSC) Awards presentation ceremony, which recognised some of the best contributors to the region's burgeoning alcoholic drinks market with medals awarded in a number of food matching categories.
HK IWSC Awards 2012
The first truly Asian wine competition in the world, it is held in association with the long-running London-based IWSC, and aims to provide consumers with the ultimate guide to purchasing wines from around the world based on Asian tastes and cultural preferences, providing a large amount of prestige to wine makers. In the Wine with Asian Dishes category, individual wines were matched and rated based on how well they worked with the region’s signature Asian dishes, including Peking Duck, Cantonese Dim Sum, Kung Pao Chicken, Braised Abalone, Chicken Tikka, Pad Thai, Tempura Shrimp, Sashimi, Beef Tepan Yaki and Yakitori-grilled Chicken.
Among the gold-ribbon winners for food and wine pairings were Marisco's The Ned Pinot Gris 2012 from New Zealand in the Dim Sum class; Australia's Pegeric Pinot Noir 2007 in the Peking Duck class; Silver Mountain Vineyards' Tondre Pinot Noir 2008 from Australia, which was praised for its compatibility with Braised Abalone; and Japan's Chateau Mercian, whose Sparkling Katsunuma no Awa 2011 won in the Yakitori-grilled Chicken class.
The fifth edition of the fair, saw more than 930 exhibitors set up shop from more than 30 countries around the globe, attracting thousands of visitors. The first two-days were for trade only, but on day three, members of the public were able to get involved and learn more about the industry, while also refining their palates. The range of exhibitors taking part in the event really highlights the esteem in which it is now held. While the traditional giants of France and Italy boasted the largest pavilions, there were representatives from throughout the wine world, including newcomers Russia and Azerbaijan.
All the usual features were present and accounted for, including wine tasting features, master classes and seminars from all manner of experts, highlighting spirits, beers and other alcoholic beverages as well as wine. In fact, there were more than 50 events in total, including the HK IWSC awards ceremony.
Future of the Global Wine Industry
The focus of the fair was the future of the global wine industry, with a particular emphasis on the trends and opportunities open to winemakers. Topics covered include ways of strengthening Hong Kong's position as the region's wine hub, China's wine production and consumption trends, and the growing wine culture in Asia. One US winemaker explained that they are looking in the near future to start importing their wines not just into Hong Kong, but also into greater China.
He added that one of the great things about the show was that it gave them the opportunity to taste a range of Chinese wines, which are quite different to typical western varieties. "I expect that the Chinese would be interested in the red wine for a chance to try something other than the Chinese wine," he added, projecting strong demand for international red wines from the world's second largest economy in the coming years.
- “Winning a silver medal in the HKIWSC has truly helped my product to achieve international credibility regarding its taste. This has positively affected
decisionmaking of several new merchants who now carry my product.”Kaustav BagchiOwner, Lamai Thai Spirits
- “Louis Royer Cognac has been entering the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition for many years. This competition is regarded as the most respected in Asian countries. Winning an award is a high honour for our brand and a further seal of quality for our multi-award winning Cognac.”Carol FrugierMarketing and Communications Manager, Louis Royer Cognac
- “Adding to our success over the past few years at the HKIWSC, winning a trophy means so much to us as we have just recently entered the Chinese market with our brandies. The Chinese market is unique, which makes it even more exciting to know that Oude Molen VOV Brandy is well accepted.”Kobus GelderblomBrandy Master, Oude Molen Distillery
- “It is a great honour for us to receive this award and we are very thankful about the reputation from wine enthusiasts in China. This award is a testament to the fact that our white wines not only match the traditional Austrian food but also matches perfectly with the Asian cuisine.”Katja PflogschWinemaker, Domäne Wachau
- “To get recognition from such a prestigious panel is
veyrewarding indeed, and proves that our wines are made in a style that is truly food friendly. The HKIWSC has become one of the year’s most well-respected wine competitions globally. For us, the food match component is a fantastic chance to demonstrate how well our wines compliment so many different flavours. Moreover, it is a competition known and valued by our customers so a trophy can be hugely influential.””Susanna MayerWinemaker, Yealings
- “Awards and medals at the HKIWSC have been like a stamp of approval to the quality of our wines. Because it is an Asian-focused competition, I know that my wines are being judged and measured by the same yardstick as all the other wines, given our viticultural conditions are quite unique compared with the rest of the world. These medals give me and, more importantly, my consumers the confidence that my wines stand apart from the competition.”Kalash GurnaniWinemaker, York Winery
- “We are very proud of our results. One of our key focuses is the Asian market, so we really want to make our wines special and desirable for this market. That’s why we want to enter this competition and be evaluated by the expert judging panel.”Sofia Cajewski Winemaker, Cremaschi Furlotti
- “We at Yealands Estate Wines are proud to be
recognizedby the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. The organizationis held in the highest regard and our success in the competitions has become a strong voice for our quality around the globe.”Avram DeitchGlobal Marketing Manager, Yealands Wine Group
- “Winning awards in reputable international wine shows such as the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC is one of the many ways of educating our consumers and giving them confidence in purchasing the Saint Clair brand. This enhances brand perception
increases sales across our entire portfolio of wines.”Maria EastonWinemaker, Saint Clair Family Estate anin turn