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One hundred local Hong Kong and Chinese renowned sommeliers and wine buying professionals this week held the biggest wine tasting ever held at the China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value 2013 (CWSA). The bottles of the finest wines, showcased in the exclusive pictures, were selected from more than three thousand bottles of wine blind tasting stood out, to reach “Hong Kong and China” drinking tastes.

“In Europe, wine tastings are often held to find the best value wines. But as the market here has become increasingly commercialized, a lot of people assume that the more expensive the wine the better, in fact, the CWSA Best Value confirms there are excellent choices at all price points.” German wine expert Nikolas Prehn who’s family has been in the wine industry for more than one hundred and fifty years is an experienced wine professional. “European and Asian taste is very different, and there is also a very different taste preference in Hong Kong and the Mainland. The CWSA (China Wine and Spirits Awards) and the blind tasting tastings, belong to the people”. Living in Hong Kong for more than a decade Nikolas Prehn said the people of Hong Kong have a unique view of red wine. We have often heard ‘Soy’ to describe the tone of wine which to European people is very unusual but also very true. Generally speaking, Hong Kong people favor a fruity vintage wine quality which is what the CWSA Best Value results have shown.”

CWSA received more than three thousand bottles of wine, spirits, liqueurs and sparkling wine at this year’s competition. CWSA chairman Kelly England, who has also resided in Hong Kong for more than 10 years, is extremely experienced and aware of the attitude of the Hong Kong wine culture. She confirms Hong Kong is a developing and exciting market and encourages people to taste and enjoy wine in addition to focusing on simply the brand or the price. In the competition, most importantly, the three thousand bottles of wine were all wrapped in special black plastic bags, only showing the CWSA exclusive font, keeping the wine name secret for tasting.

The CWSA results take two days for counting and Sing Tao Daily visited the CWSA Headquarters to confirm the scores, showing the overall highest scoring wine this year is Australia’s Taylors Jaraman 2010. Made of Shiraz grapes, Nikolas Prehn said, “it has a little fruity taste, almost spicy, which is suitable for Chinese food”. The other CWSA award winning wines include another from Mainland China – Helan Mountain “I found this bottle of white from the Mainland very ‘Australian style'” Nikolas says with a smile: “The Helan Mountain is bringing international winemaking talent into China to assist, and they have a high level of wine technology and viticulture. The Helan Mountain winemakers have mastered the soil and planting harvest in a very short period of time, which is admirable and in fact, is a surprise!”

1, Taylors Jaraman 2010 – King of Best Value Wine
This bottle of Taylors Jaraman is vintage 2010, the market price does not exceed HKD $ 200, very easily affordable, This wine making method has its own characteristics and the quality is very steady. Taylors Jaraman is very fruity, and the best part about this wine is you can drink once you open it.

2, Bruma d’Autunno 2007 – Strong Alcohol Levels
Italian wine is becoming a famous product in Hong Kong recently, the main reason is that they contain a sweet flavor which many customers like. This bottle of Bruma d’Autunno is using D.O.C standard to produce which means all the grapes are controlled by the Italian government regarding about the planting and wine making procedures.. Bruma d’Autunno is a high alcohol wine which makes it into a powerful wine but it has a very Italian fruity flavor so is very easy to drink.

3, Helan Mountain 2010 – The Light of China
In 3000 bottles of different wine at the China Wine and Spirits Awards Best Value 2013, Helan Mountain became a top ten in the Blind Tasting, so it is a great award for China. They use Chardonnay as the main type of varietal also adding a lot of Australian Technic and Specialist, so it creates a different taste compared to traditional Chinese wine.

4, Torre de Gazate 2005 – Chinese Spicy
In my personal opinion, this type of wine has a very full body flavor. It comes from La Mancha in Spain and because of the very strong sunny weather in 2005 it means the grapes have a very tender taste. This wine contains a high alcohol flavor and sweetness, making it suitable to a sweet and spicy Chinese dish.

5, Samos Nectar – Natural Sweetness
Greek wine is new to being famous in Hong Kong, but this bottle of wine is one of the highest score in the competition. After harvesting the Muscat, it is left under the sun until its drys. This makes the sugar level higher, so the sweetened taste comes from the Muscat itself and nothing added. The market price is around HKD $300.

6, Chateau Montaigne 2011 – French Winner
Chateau Montaigne is from Bordeaux where they have the most traditional French wine making methods. It is an example that “the older the wine, the better.” is often NOT true. Compared to other the French wines, it has a stronger oak flavor and a fruity taste which makes is lighter to drink.

7, Koenig Vineyards 2010 – USA Dessert
Sweet Ice wine is always the most famous pick in all dessert wines. This wine doesn’t have the French ice wine sweet flavor, instead it is refreshing.

8, Samos Anthemis – Scent of Flowers
This type of scent makes it very suitable for ladies, and it is very popular in in Europe but in Hong Kong it is pretty new to the market.

9, Solor Viejo 2007 – Strong Taste
The 2007 Reserva which is aged in oak barrels before bottling makes the wine develop a stronger alcohol volume and taste. But it is still smooth and sweet, a little like the 10 years old French wine.

(Translated from Chinese)

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