Thu 15 Sep 2016
Traditional Sake Standing Strong
Asian beverages such as Sake are storied, traditional drinks. Much like Western beverages they have long histories and well-codified standards, but even with a legacy lasting over 5000 years they have not stagnated – innovation is as much a part of these beverages as the rice mash or serving traditions.
These values are shared with Western wines and spirits, and they’re some of the likely reasons that these western drinks are rapidly gaining massive popularity in Asia. Thanks to the continent’s long-standing drinking culture, particularly in China and Hong Kong, interest in beverages such as Scotch whiskey and French Pinot Noir is at an all-time high. When you know everyone around you is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic about foreign spirits and wines, it pays to take an interest.
That doesn’t mean traditional Asian beverages are getting edged out, however. Quite the opposite; for the adventurous foreign consumer, traditional Japanese Sake is a rarer novelty to explore. Outside Japan, in countries as close as China and as far as the United States, Sake consumption is seeing constant growth.
Most large Sake producers now export to Asia - Nakatani Brewing Co., for example, began brewing high-quality Sake in Tianjin, China two decades ago, and while their product is primarily consumed in high-end Japanese restaurants, they have seen a surprising amount of direct purchases from local enthusiasts. Sake consumption is set to rise, and now is the time to take advantage of the growing interest from Asia’s affluent and discerning connoisseurs.
For local Sake breweries expanding into the wider Asian market, competitions such as the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition can provide the renown and accreditation that the international customer requires.
- “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
- “Having won three trophies in the last four years in different food & wine matching categories at HKIWSC has showcased Pegeric Pinot Noir and its suitability with Asian cuisines leading to its listing with one of Australia’s top restaurant – Melbourne’s iconic Flower Drum.”Chris CormackCEO, Pegeric Wines
- “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