Guided tasting at HKIWSF 2014

Being at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair (6 – 8 November) this year was quite a different experience. Rather than as an exhibitor, I was invited to a wine session and tasting tour hosted by sommelier Damon Yuen, together with some others in the blogging community on the last day of the fair that was open to traders and the public. Thanks again to HKTDC and WeShare.

We began with a 20-minute USA wine session that centered on the geographical and weather conditions in the states of Washington and California, and the effects they have on the grapes thus wines produced. It was followed by tastings at various booths with guidance — see, smell, swirl, smell again, sip and savour.

First tasted were some Japanese whiskies, and then German blanc de noir that’s described as “the wine perfect for ladies to drink when looking at the sunset and then the next sunrise”, followed by an elegant rosé and pinot noir that are not only a pleasure to drink, but also of good quality-price ratio.

Stopping by another booth, we tasted single-malt beer and ale that carry a prominent sweet floral scent to the nose, finishing with a hint of fresh ginger and yeast in the mouth — much different from the commercial brands that I often refrain from drinking.

Since the topic of discussion at the session was USA wines, we moved onto the third stop and with two Oregon whites (p.s. Oregon’s the state in between Washington and California, along the west coast), we engaged our senses and learned to tell if wines made of the same grape have been aged in steel tanks or oak barrels.

The tour ended with a taste of three decent Karma Tequilas made of agave that were all distilled to their purest forms, quite powerful to the nose yet velvety-smooth on the palate, followed by a lingering finish. A tiny sip goes a long way. The interesting part comes when they handed us Tequila Karma bracelets found on each bottle, which made me curious of its background. After Googling, it came to my knowledge that it donates a portion of its purchase to Karma Care, a non-profit org that supports the well-being of children around the globe 🙂

Later, I met with a few friends and spent the next couple of hours tasting wines to our liking. It was a shame though for missing on a few good (and popular) French producers whose booths closed early for they have ran out of wines; not to mention the freshly-made gelato at Vinitaly too! 😡

i’m already looking forward to in HKIWSF in 2015! How about you?

– Judith

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