The Wine and Spirits Fair You Need to Know


October 31, 2016 | BY Hong Kong Tatler

The annual wine extravaganza is back – and bigger and better than ever

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What week is not improved with a glass or two of wine? With that in mind, get ready to mark your calendars for the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, which arrives at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from Thursday 10 November to Saturday 12 November 2016.

With Hong Kong firmly established as the hub of wine trading in Asia, the fair plays host to over 1060 exhibitors from 36 countries and regions showcasing the best wines, spirits and other alcoholic beverages from around the world. Now in its ninth year, this is an unmissable event in every drink enthusiast’s diary, whether you are looking to source new tipples, learn more about the industry or simply sample a few spirits.

This year welcomes a truly international selection of wine pavilions, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, California, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan Mexico, Ningxia, South Africa and Spain. With both old and new world regions well represented, it is a celebration of the variety and depth of excellence in today’s wine scene – with Bulgaria, Fukushima and Kyushu from Japan, Guizhou from the Chinese mainland, Portugal, Slovenia and the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States all setting up pavilions at the fair for the first time. Seven Grand Tasting sessions will feature top quality tipples from Austria, France, Germany, Japan, Slovenia and the US.

Other spirits are not neglected either, with the dedicated Beer and Whisky & Spirits Zones back by popular demand. The latter includes a Whisky & Brandy Bar for tasting these fine beverages in a convivial atmosphere, as well as a fully equipped Ice Bar for exciting cocktail making and mixology demonstrations.

The fair also offers the perfect opportunity to expand your drinks knowledge and get updated on the latest developments in the field, with over 70 events in total: expert seminars, forums, master classes and grand tastings scheduled throughout the three days, as well as ample opportunities to network with industry professionals and media. Among the highlights are the series of breakfast seminars focusing on the Chinese wine market organised by Vinitaly, where leading experts in the industry will speak on the topic.

Trade visitors should definitely make time for this year’s headline Wine Industry Conference on 10 November. Helmed by Debra Meiburg MW with an esteemed panel of guest speakers including Head of Wine at the Hakkasan Group Christine Parkinson, wine writer Robert Joseph and Professor Ma Huiqin of the College of Agriculture & Biotechnology at China Agricultural University and renowned French wine critic Michel Bettane, it promises to be a fascinating exploration of how to “Uncover the Opportunities of the New Cool Climate Wine Trend”. Meiburg, along with fellow Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, will also be hosting master classes during the event. 

With the fair open to the public on its final day, another highlight is the “Choosing From A Wine List” seminar on 12 November, where Stephen Mack (CEO and Principal Tutor at Asia Wine Service and Education Centre) will be sharing his top tips for sifting through wine menus and picking out the best beverages. Be sure to look out for the award-winning wines from the prestigious Cathay Pacific International Wine & Spirit Competition too; the results are announced during the cocktail reception on the evening of opening day, with the triumphant wines showcased during the rest of the fair – some inspiration for your next drinks purchase, perhaps?

With the chance to chat to exhibitors in-person, taste your fair share of tipples from around the world and take advantage of a huge range of expert demonstrations and master classes, this promises to be far more than your average wine fair. 

Onsite admission costs $100 per trade buyer; the fair is open to trade on 10-12 November and to the public on 12 November ($200 per ticket with a complimentary Lucaris crystal glass while stock lasts). For further information, visit the fair’s website.

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