Wine focus at Hong Kong Food & Wine Year

3 Jun 2009

Western wine with Chinese cuisine?

What would have been considered a far-fetched idea not too long ago is gaining popularity and is now even backed by the Hongkong Tourism Board (HKTB) in the ongoing Hongkong Food and Wine Year.

“We have always been known for good food, not only Cantonese dishes, but also authentic ones that come from different parts of the mainland,” said Kenneth Wong, head of product marketing of the Hongkong Tourism Board (HKTB). “For us, the challenge is how to put a new twist to it, and something like a dim sum and wine pairing is unique – a touch of the west in this very Asian fare.”

In the past months, HKTB has been working closely with the city’s wine connoisseurs to introduce the new dining concept. According to Nelson Chow, chairman of the Hongkong Sommelier Association and manager for F&B operations and training Chinese Cuisine Training Institute: “Everyone knows the old rule: red wine goes with red meat and white wine goes with white meat. But there are also other basic rules in wine pairing – simple wines go with multiple flavoured dishes and complex wines go with simple-tasting dishes.”

He added: “The best quality wine may not always be a ‘pairing-friendly’ wine. People who understand wine tasting all know this.”

Chow said the institute recently began conducting workshops to help local chefs and restaurant operators gain confidence and knowledge when making recommendations to their customers. “Actually, many of them have been very adventurous and creative when it comes to matching wine with a Chinese dish.” The Hongkong government’s abolition of the 40 percent wine tax last year has greatly helped in boosting wine imports.

Meanwhile, visitors to Hongkong can plan their culinary itinerary before they arrive by logging onto the HKTB’s interactive dining planner at, a dedicated website featuring among others, a comprehensive restaurant listing.

During the Hongkong Food and Wine Year, which lasts until March 2010, travellers can enjoy special F&B offers. HKTB has also produced with the free “Hongkong Local Delicacies Guide” for travellers. The highlight of the year-long campaign is the three-day Hongkong Wine and Dine Festival between October 30 and November 1.

For more details, also visit www.discoverhongkong

Gigi Onag

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