Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wine ratings: Best wines for Asian palate announced, Hong Kong, 2009

Picture: Hong Kong

Best wines for Asian palate: The overwhelming majority of the wines on this list are imported wines. But there are also three categories for wines from Asia --- from China, Japan and Thailand. A good introduction to where the Asian wine market is moving to.

(Press Release,5 November, 2009, Hong Kong) The top wines for the Asian palate were revealed last night, as trophy winning wines in the inaugural Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC), the world’s first authentically Asian and largest pan-Asian wine competition, were announced.

Around 1300 wines from around the world were judged by a truly pan-Asian panel of wine professionals from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Thailand and India between 31 October to 3 November, producing a set of results that may surprise many in the wine world.

South China Morning Post Trophy for the Best Pinot Noir AND Best New World Pinot
Wooing Tree Pinot Noir 2007

Best Italian Red
Serpico, Irpinia Aglianico DOC 2005

Best South African Red
Rijk's Private Cellar Pinotage Reserve 2006

Best Other Red
Prodigo Reserva Malbec 2007

Best Other White
Vinokus Grüner Veltliner 2008

Best Merlot
Korbin Kameron Merlot 2004

Best Cabernet Sauvignon/ Cabernet Blend
Quarisa Treasures Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Best Shiraz AND Best Australian Shiraz
Eden Springs High Eden Shiraz 2007

Best Touriga Nacional & Blends
Casa Santa Vitória Touriga Nacional 2006

Best Tempranillo & Blends
Mr. Riggs 'Yacca Paddock' Tempranillo 2007

Best Sauvignon Blanc AND Best New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 43 Degrees Sauvignon Blanc 2009

Best Chardonnay AND Best New World Chardonnay
Stella Bella Chardonnay 2007

Best Riesling AND Best New World Riesling
Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling 2009

Best Sparkling Wine
Champagne Raoul Collet Blanc de Blancs

Best Fortified Wine
Sandeman 20 YO Tawny

Best Sweet White
Tamar Ridge Kayena Vineyard Botrytis Riesling 2007

Best Wine from China
Helan Mountain Special Reserve Chardonnay 2008

Best Wine from Japan
Grace Chardonnay 2008

Best Wine from Thailand
Monsoon Valley Colombard 2009

HKTDC Trophy for Best Bordeaux below HK$300
Chateau Saint-Lo Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2006

Best Wine with Bubbles below HK$400
Piper Heidsieck Cuvee Brut

Best White Wine below HK$150
Eden Springs High Eden Riesling 2009

Best Red Wine below HK$200
Eden Springs Barossa Valley Shiraz 2007

Sea Prince Trophy for the Best Wine with Abalone
Jacob's Creek Sparkling Rosé

Best Wine with Kung Pao Chicken
Martin & Weyrich Moscato Allegro 2007

Best Wine with Dim Sum
Wairau River Pinot Gris 2009

Best Wine with Peking Duck
Judas Malbec 2006

Simon Tam, director of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC said, “The Asian consumer wine market is a valuable segment of the international wine industry, growing at more than seven times the rate of any other region. So it’s about time the millions of Asian wine lovers had an authoritative guide to the best wines, suited to their unique taste and consumption patterns.

“By selecting the top palates in Asia we wanted to ensure the judging panel was representative of this diverse region, making the results truly ‘Asia’s Choice, Asia’s Voice’.

“Because of our pan-Asian panel of judges, there were some surprises among the results. Contrary to popular belief in the international wine industry that Asia is a sponge for hugely concentrated wines, the panel awarded the majority of medals and trophies to those wines displaying subtlety and delicate structure.”

Debra Meiburg MW, director of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC, said “Out of the four Chinese food and wine pairing categories, it was interesting to note that three trophies were awarded to white wines and rosés. Despite many wine lovers in Asia reaching for a bottle of red to pair with Chinese cuisine or not drinking wine at all, our results highlight that these styles are particularly compatible with a range of classic Chinese dishes.

“Significantly, the trophy winning wines in the Chinese food and wine pairing awards, particularly the Sea Prince Trophy for the Best Wine with Braised Abalone awarded to the Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Rosé, show that pairing the perfect wine with fine food doesn’t have to be expensive.

“We hope these awards will give people the tools and confidence to order wine when eating Chinese food.”

Eden Springs, a smaller producer of premium wines in Australia proved to be a stand out of the show, bagging four trophies (Best White Wine in Hong Kong below HK$150, Best Red Wine in Hong Kong below HK$200, Best Shiraz and Best Australian Shiraz).

Ray Gatt, owner of Eden Spring said, “The results were a fantastic surprise to us. We are confident we produce world class wines and already are receiving increased interest from buyers from across Asia.

“Recognition in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition gives us great credibility in the Asian market. With the Asian judging panel selecting our wines as the very best for the Asian palate in their respective categories, it gives us confidence that our wines are perfect for the market and should give wine lovers in the region confidence when choosing Eden Springs wine.”

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC is run in conjunction with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair, which sees thousands of members of the wine trade visit the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre between 4 and 6 November.

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong IWSC is supported by Cathay Pacific, South China Morning Post, The Upper House, Riedel, Crown Wine Cellars and Sea Prince Lonimar Australia.

For more information or interview requests, please contact:

Media Enquires: Alex Webster at

Schiller Wine --- Related posting:

Emerging wine country: China's wine boom since 2000 --- November 2009

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