The world's largest wine industry gathering takes place in Hong Kong next week with organizers saying the event will most certainly be all about marketing and promotion - but there'll be plenty of education on offer as well.
Vinexpo Asia-Pacific (http://www.vinexpo.com) heads to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this year - from May 25 to May 27 - and as well as seminars and exhibits from wine makers the world over, attendees are being offered Master Classes on tasting, matching and sales, to be presented by industry leaders in English, with simultaneous translations in Japanese, Korean and simplified Chinese.
The Quebec Distribution Monopoly's William L. George and Lilli Prud'Homme will focus on sales and merchandising, a tasting course will be hosted by the internationally renowned consultant Simon Tam while Jeannie Cho Lee, the first Asian Master of Wine and author of Asian Palate - which took the 2010 Gourmand Award for the ‘'best food and wine pairing book in the world'' - will focus on matching,
Lee has witnessed first-hand the growth of the wine industry in Asia in recent years and saying all eyes are now looking to China.
"The new wines will definitely be coming out of China,'' she told Relaxnews. " Their vineyard size is growing at a much faster rate than any other country in the world and as one of the top 10 producers of wine, China produces wine in nearly every province.''
And she says that while people are still confused about how to pair their wines with Asian food, worrying is actually the last thing they should be doing. Matching between the two remains a work in progress.
"There is no such thing as ‘proper' and ‘improper' - we are all at the experimental stages of understanding how Asian flavors pair with wine and how wine flavors impact Asian dishes,'' she said. " I think it is a very exciting time for us. We are learning, defining and understanding how wine will become incorporated into the food and beverage cultures across Asia.''
Vinexpo has this year attracted 750 exhibitors from around 30 countries. Regular updates on events and daily reports can be found once the event starts on www.vinexpo.com.