Alva joined the iDealwine team in March 2019 and is based in our office in Hong Kong, where she takes care of our Asia-based clients. This month, we asked Alva to tell us more about how her wine journey. Assistant to the Asia Sales Manager in Hong Kong, here Alva shares her story, tastes and some top picks from our must-haves.
Tell us more about yourself and your journey into wine.
I was born in Hong Kong and grew up here. I studied science here and after getting my diploma, I went to Australia, where I lived for two years with a working holiday visa. I worked in bars and restaurants and travelled to Cairn, Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. It was in Australia that I first became interested in wine; at home I wasn’t allowed to drink but here it was a common social activity. In the beginning I drank cider but then wine and was immediately fascinated.
When I came back to Hong Kong, I decided that I wanted to work in the wine industry. I worked in several companies before arriving at iDealwine; it was during those years that one of my clients – now a good friend – encouraged me to study for the WSET. I passed the WSET 3 and then then spent three years studying for the WSET 4, which I passed recently!
What do you like about working at iDealwine?
I enjoy working for a foreign company as it has given me the chance to learn more about French culture and hopefully one day to visit France. I also have the opportunity to travel to other cities and countries for wine shows, for example soon we’ll be at Shanghai. I also enjoy being in contact with clients, who often invite us for dinner. It’s great to be able to drink wine and discover new wines regularly.
What bottle sparked your love of wine?
The first bottle of wine that sparked my interest was an Australian port. It was sweet with plentiful flavours, such as almond, orange peel, fig and liquorice. It was delicious and I’ve had a passion for wine since then.
Your most pleasant surprise in terms of wine?
My most pleasant surprise was a 1990 Comtes de Champagne from Taittinger; from the first sip I was absolutely stunned. I didn’t know old vintage champagne could taste like that: it was still super fresh – so fresh, still with vibrant acidity, and energetic bubbles; I was surprised by how young it seemed.
Your favourite region?
After having tried so many wines during my career in the wine industry, my favourite region is Burgundy, although I haven’t been there yet. The wines produced there differ village to village. There’s no other place that produces such a variety of wine styles within just one region, it’s unique.
Your drinking habits?
I enjoy drinking with my friends. Wine is a drink made for sharing with others and I definitely feel that it’s impossible to discover the full potential of a wine if you drink it alone.
Your style of wine?
I’m interested in red wines that have finesse and freshness. I particularly like wines that have been aged for 3-5 years and so have matured for a period of time, to develop the flavors and soften the tannins and acidity.
Your favourite red wine?
I’ve always been fond of wines from Chambolle Musigny. However, there is a bottle of red wine from Nuits-Saint-Georges I like very much. It is Domaine l’Arlot, Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier cru Clos des Forets. It is a monopole vineyard in the northern part of the Premeaux appellation.
The wine is unfiltered and comes from the oldest vines of the Clos des Forets. It represents the classic character of Nuits-Saint-Georges with finesse but also has prominent tannins for ageing.
Your favourite white wine?
My favourite white wine is Meursault Les Charmes from Domaine des Comtes Lafon. It is one of the domains with the highest reputation for white wine making. I like the combination of the body, minerality and fruit aromas of the wine.
Which wines do you dream of tasting?
Domaine de la Romanee-conti, Romanee-Conti Grand Cru. As a big fan of Burgundy, this is definitely a wine that I dream of tasting.
Domains which you’ve visited?
I don’t have a chance to visit any domains or winery yet, but I would love to visit Burgundy!
Alva’s top picks