Taking Part in Hong Kong’s Wine Boom at Asia Society

Kwek Pak Ming (National University of Singapore) , Meijiao Tang (Lingnan University)

Fri, May 27, 2011 - 18 CCIP Session A students attended the celebratory reception for Hong Kong’s Wine Boom, which was organized by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office at the Asia Society.

Online PR News – 04-June-2011 – – The event kicked off at 5:30pm and ticketholders were invited to a reception at the building’s lobby where a wide assortment of cheese and crackers were offered to guests. To celebrate the wine boom in style, guests were also given free flow of red and white wine, featuring American wines from California, Oregon, and Washington.
CCIP students then took the opportunity to network with their peers, who were present at the event. Besides that, many students also took the initiative to engage in discussion with businessmen and wine experts to learn more about wine and the Hong Kong market.

"I had a great time mingling around with my peers from the program. I enjoyed talking to them and learnt more about their background as well as their preferences in wine. I hope there would be more networking sessions like this in the future for us to get to know each other better", said Kok Hong Bin, a student from the National University of Singapore.

"I took the opportunity to approach Sommelier Jeff Andrews, who gave me a detailed explanation on the different types of wine, including Riesling and Gewurztraminer. He also advised me to choose bubbled wine whenever I have no idea which wine to match with the food. As I have always been keen to learn more about wine, I am glad that I was able to attend this event and it has indeed been a great eye opener", said Henry Cheng Hiu Wai, a student from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The main event kicked off at 6:30pm when Mr. Donald Tong Chi-Keung, the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs U.S.A, gave his speech. As Commissioner, Mr. Tong directs the HKSAR Government's efforts in promoting US- Hong Kong economic and trade relations.

Mr. Tong began his speech by thanking everyone for coming to the event before highlighting the wine boom by sharing that Hong Kong is the third largest destination for US wine and that those exports grew nearly five-fold from 2008 to 2010 after Hong Kong abolished all duties on wine. The commissioner also stressed Hong Kong's commitment to wine by highlighting programs to certify wine storage facilities that meet certain standards and to cut down on counterfeit wines.

"Mr. Tong’s speech was very engaging and informative. I have to say that while I have stayed in Hong Kong all my life, I was not aware of the booming wine market in Hong Kong. This has given me a greater insight about Hong Kong’s wine market and made me more knowledgeable about Hong Kong’s import economy", said Ivy Ho Chui Shan, a student from The University of Hong Kong.

Towards the end of the event, Sommelier Jeff Andrews took to the podium, where he proceeded to suggest some wines that would pair well with Asian food (specifically stressing that Cabernet should be avoided), as well as share his insights on the wine preferences among Asians. The event then ended at 7:30pm.

Special thanks to Mr. Fred Teng, Chief Executive Officer of NewsChina and Chairman of Hong Kong Association of New York, for inviting the CCIP students to the event.