Festival to help public toast Hong Kong’s love affair with wine

Fresh from hosting Asia's largest wine industry gathering, Hong Kong is continuing to let the benefits of its new role as a "wine hub'' trickle down to the general public.

And it is both tourists and locals who are being targeted by the city's Wine and Dine Month (www.discoverhongkong.com), planned for November.

The activities will begin with a four-day harborside festival, featuring wine- and food-tasting booths, seminars on wine and food matching and displays from vineyards, both local and international. There will then be promotions such as discounted meals in the city's thousands of restaurants and wine-themed events at its bars and clubs.

Last year's inaugural event was co-hosted by the Bordeaux's Chamber of Commerce and they will be back this year to add a French flavor to the event.

It's little wonder, too, with Hong Kong experiencing a 160 percent rise in French wine exports to the city in the two years since it abolished all duties on wine.

Hong Kong's recently hosted the Vinexpo Asia-Pacific trade event, with more than 880 wine exhibitors from around the world gathering over three days.

Organizers claimed more than 12,000 people attended the expo - a rise of 40 percent on the first event, held in 2008.

They say those results are an indication of just how important Asia is to the global wine trade these days.
"Asia is now the most dynamic and happening market in the wine and spirits world,'' Vinexpo Asia-Pacific chief executive Robert Beynat said.

"The total volume of wine consumption is increasing four times faster than the world average and is expected to continue in the next five years. Furthermore, Asia-Pacific accounts for 50.6 percent of total world spirits consumption.''

Vinexpo is held every two years in Bordeaux and then at an overseas venue in alternate years.

The next Bordeaux edition will be held from June 19-23, 2011 and details can be found on

http://vinexpo.com

MS

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