iDealwine at the Hong Kong Wine Fair 2018: a summary of the wine market

HKWF bottles

From Thursday 8th to Saturday 10th November, iDealwine took part in the Hong Kong wine fair for the 8th consecutive year. It was an excellent opportunity to measure the extent to which the Asian market continues to covet fine wines…especially the bottles chosen by us! A recap of these three days of tasting.

For the past 10 years, the HKWF has been an opportunity for us to meet hundreds of people from all over Asia. Our loyal customers came with their friends and were our best ambassadors in convincing newcomers to try different wines. Needless to say, our sublime selection of wines won over the hoards of visitors at our stand.

From Henri Milan’s famous Vin de Papillon, to Horiot’s Champagne 5 Sens, not forgetting Châteaux Giscours and Sociando Mallet in the 1999 and 2000 vintages, the quality of the wines on offer over the course of these three days was the key to our success! We offered an eclectic range of wines to our most informed connoisseurs, for instance a mature wine like the Château Beychevelle 1990 swiftly followed by Jean François Ganevat’s Zaune à Dédé – a blend of Savagnin and Gewurztraminer – a combination of classicism and originality which truly surprised our guests!

The iDealwine team also punctuated the days with a mystery wine to challenge our seasoned tasters 😉.

Thursday: Gevrey-chambertin 1er cru, La Petite Chapelle 2008, from the renowned Jean-Louis Trapet

Friday: Morgon 2016 from domain Marcel Lapierre

Saturday: Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac Cru classé, in the 1999 vintage

Those who were lucky enough to taste these bottles will no doubt remember!

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An iDealwine masterclass with Michel Bettane

Our masterclass presented a ‘tour de France’ of the iDealwine world of wine. It was presented by Michel Bettane and Lionel Cuenca, one of the co-founders of iDealwine. Michel Bettane wowed our customers and wine enthusiasts who hung on to his every word as he recounted the tales of the vineyards and their owners. Lionel then presented iDealwine and the wines in numbers. The wines were tasted in the following order: Champagne Perrier-Jouet Rosé 1986, a mature champagne, fruity on the nose with lovely finesse. That was followed by the Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er cru Les Boudots 1998 from Jean Grivot, a wine which combines elegance and precision as only the old Burgundys know how. Then, heading further south, the 1999 Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Domaine du Vieux Donjon and its notes of red fruits and spices. We then shared one of Saint-Estèphe’s unmissable wines: the 1996 Château-Cos-d’Estournel. A classic, of course, but also proof that the great Bordeaux wines only reveal their best after a coupe of decades of aging. We then wanted to highlight two of today’s rising stars, starting with Domaine Peyre Rose from Marlène Soria in Coteaux du Languedoc with its 2002 cuvée Syrah Léone. The tannins were silky and the finish was long and lingering. We finished the masterclass off with a Jura wine, Jean-François Ganevat’s Cuvée Prestige in the 2008 vintage. This wine is characterized by its great freshness and body, with notes of candied citrus fruits and walnut. This salternative tour de France impressed all our guests and confirmed Hong Kong-based connoisseurs’ thirst for Jura wines, and wines from relatively little-known appellations, for that matter.

A market open to discovery

The Hong Kong Wine Fair gave us an insight into the strong increase in wine consumption on this small island which is exempt from import taxes. In fact, in 2008, Hong Kong confirmed its position as leader of the Asian wine market by eliminating customs barriers. According to the OIV (Organisation for the Vine and Wine), in 2007, imports were stagnating at -0.8% in volume with 60.88 million litres. The clearest decrease is visible in official re-exports, at 14.9% (36.64 million litres). Local consumption is on the increase: in Hong Kong, 36.64 million litres of wine are consumed, that is, 4.89L per habitant (which represents around 0.14% of global wine consumption).

Furthermore, iDealwine has noted that natural wines (and wines from regions other than France’s great classics) are the object of increasing interest: the Jura, Languedoc and Loire are clearly flying high. This doesn’t however mean that wine enthusiasts are turning their backs on the iconic labels of Bordeaux and Burgundy, just yet; they are, after all, an essential step in a connoisseur’s wine journey in Asia. In the past 10 years, Hong Kong has given an extraordinary insight into the evolution of wine consumption all over the world. Learning about wine and expanding one’s oenological knowledge are key factors in the development of this market. Many wine enthusiasts go to tasting groups and seek to learn the French viticultural regions in as much detail as possible, for instance the 8.5 hectares which make up Domaine Ganevat.

Maturity, precision and a thirst for knowledge: wine well and truly has pride of place in Hong Kong culture, far from the stereotype of ‘drinkers of labels’.

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Want to see more? Check out our Hong Kong Wine Fair photo album.

 

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