I am off to Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair this week – now the largest event of its kind in Asia – and am really looking forward to it. Hong Kong is rapidly maturing as Asia’s wine trading and distribution hub, with unrivalled access to the Chinese mainland market and this fair is its keystone event. The fair encompasses both the Old and New Worlds of wine production. France was the first partner country in 2009; Australia will be the partner country in 2010.
The fair is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) which was established in 1966 and is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. This is the third International Wine and Spirits Fair (held on Nov 4th -6th) and has a record number of about 700 exhibitors from 29 countries and regions. This year’s fair has attracted 20% more traders than last years and will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
There will be plenty of events to attract wine lovers as the fair also holds more than 30 activities, including the Italian cuisine world summit offering culinary demonstrations and wine, and the Asian Top Sommeliers’ Summit bringing leading sommeliers from around the world together to further develop their knowledge and skill. There will be seminars on wine storage, the effect of Robert Parker on Bordeaux wine prices, how to build a fine wine collection and matching wine with Asian cuisine.
Hong Kong is also holding its Wine and Dine Month (October 28th to November 30th) so there will lots to do! If you are interested in visiting Hong Kong check out www.discoverhongkong.com – it’s full of information on upcoming events.
The first two days will be limited to trade visitors, but the public may visit on Saturday by paying HK$200. This year’s Hong Kong fair will also feature the second edition of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, which last year attracted 1,300 wines. The competition is judged by a top class panel of Asia’s most esteemed judges from China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan – including the competition’s Director and Master of Wine, Hong Kong-based Debra Meiburg MW and Chinese food and wine expert Simon Tam. Categories will be judged by country, region, variety and style, as well as a world-first Chinese food and wine pairing category, and trophies awarded will reflect the unique sensibilities of the Asian palate.
I love going to Hong Kong as there is such a buzz there about wine. Imports into Hong Kong increased by 72% in the first nine months of the year to HK$4.67 billion. The 34 wine auctions held there in the past 2 years have netted a total of HK$1.5 billion . . . and there are more are in the pipeline. Apparently the annual average wine consumption per person in Hong Kong is about 3.7 litres and is less than one litre in mainland China, which means the market has strong potential. Hong Kong has already this year hosted the international Vinexpo Asia-Pacific which I attended – and thoroughly enjoyed.
I hope to keep you posted!