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 Meet the IWC Team
Tersina Shieh Lisa Parrotti-Brown MW Ned Goodwin MW Neal Martin Bettane & Desseauve
Tersina Shieh Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW Ned Goodwin MW Neal Martin Bettane & Desseauve

The Independent Wine Centre team combines technical qualifications, hands on practical experience and cultural awareness to provide an unmatched range, depth and quality of service: corporate events, seminars, tutored tastings, private functions and more. Email us for further discussion.

Meet the team
AUGUST 2012  
Blond: Scrambled egg with minced fish and dried scallops 賽旁蟹

A great summer blond dish with soft and light texture and subtle sweetness from the minced fish. The dried scallops add a touch of richness in both texture and flavour but if the chef is genesrous with them, it may just push the dish to the Ivory zone. A sparkling will be ideal, or try it with a fino Sherry.

Check out this and more Chinese food and wine matches in Flavour Colours, our Chinese food and wine pairing iPhone/iPad App.

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Did you know?
Tersina Shieh Alcohol
In the fermentation process, yeast converts sugar in the grapes into alcohol. About 16.5g/l sugar is required for 1% of alcohol depending on the efficiency of the yeast. The riper the grape, the higher the sugar level, hence the higher the alcohol in wine. Therefore, wine from warmer regions usually has higher alcohol. Winemakers can manipulate the alcohol level by planting vines at different altitudes and facings, picking the grapes earlier or later, blending wines of different alcohol levels or chaptalisation (adding sugar to juice prior to fermentation). Fortification is adding high-alcohol spirit to wine (either during or after fermentation) to make Sherry, Port, Madeira and Vin du Naturel. If the aim is to reduce alcohol levels (which is becoming more common these days), the latest technologies are reverse osmosis and spinning cone. Dilution with water, a logical way to reduce alcohol, is not permitted in the EU.
Tersina has made wine in Portugal, South Africa and England. Follow her blog or email her for any wine queries.

Iconic Chilean wine
On 29th May, Ch’ng Poh Tiong from Singapore led a panel of experts discussing the future of premium Chilean wines in China. Ian Ford from Summergate believed the days of Bordeaux obsession are gone in China. The fine wines from other parts of the world that are being appreciated by consumers have a few things in common: they are original and authentic, have some degree of iconic status, and more important, have honest prices. Don Melchor, created in 1987 to express Cabernet Sauvignon from the specific terroir of Puente Alto by Concha y Toro, fits the bill. With 22 vintages behind it, Don Melchor is recognised as the forefront iconic Chilean wine. Panelist Fongyee Walker reckoned that while Don Melchor displays the Old World wine structure, its more intense and richer New World fruit profile matches well with the heavier northern Chinese cuisine. Edwin Chan from the Hong Kong Sommelier Association agreed, saying that the fruitier style of Don Melchor appeals to the female in the mature market looking for premium wine. About 100 guests from the trade and media attended the discussion and took part in the master tasting of a mini-vertical of Don Melchor 1993, 2001, 2005 and 2007. The wines have different personalities yet all bear the trademark of Don Melchor: rich yet balanced by a good tannin structure, and at about HK$700 per bottle, definitely an honest price. Available at Summergate.

Holdvölgy, modern marketing thinking
Holdvölgy (Moon Valley in English) is situated in the heart of Tokaji. Pascal Demko, the passionate owner, strives to produce high quality wine true to the region from his 25 hectares, comprising 19 parcels on seven different sites. He makes two lines: the classic luxury Holdvölogy line, and the premium, fun Hold and Hollo line. There is no doubting the quality of the wine. But what impresses me most is the marketing thinking behind the two lines: in tune with today’s consumers yet true to the origin and conscious of quality. The Holdvölogy line ranges from dry Furmint to sweet Tokaji Aszú. Pascal has given each wine a ‘philosophical’ name that reflects its character. The English names certainly save non-Hungarian consumers the embarrassment of attempting the seemingly impossible-to-pronounce Hungarian grape names. In contrast, Hold and Hollo consists of two wines: dry and sweet with sharp green and pink latex labels respectively. It does not emphasise grape varieties or vintages, but focuses instead on innovation, creativity and originality. I could imagine this being a hit with young, fun loving consumers. Pascal has no representative in Hong Kong or Asia yet. A like-minded distributor would find working with Holdvölgy and Hold and Hollo rewarding. Read more

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Charles Curtis MWInterested in fine and rare wine? Charles Curtis MW is relaunching his website that rates fine wine—mostly Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne—from one to five stars. Also included are some hard-to-find wines dedicated to the wine geeks. Besides the website, Charles also has a blog where he gives his thoughts on everything from travel notes to random musings as well as the most recent notes on what he has been drinking lately. A good summer read with a glass of champagne! Read more
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Paul Symington, Decanter Man of the Year 2012, talks about Port

Taste This Space
South West France
The wines from this wonderfully diverse and picturesque region have always been closely linked to the local culinary traditions. Today we are reaping the benefits of this relationship. The wines never became international prize winners but remained wines to be enjoyed with a meal, and that is exactly what most foodies and wine lovers are looking for. The prices are still within reach too!

The Bergerac wine region:
Bergerac and Côtes de Bergerac: the basic Bergerac appellations for straightforward, honest and often very inexpensive red, rosé and white wines.

Pécharmant: a red wine appellation, centred on the village of Pécharmant, making Merlot-driven wines in a style reminiscent of Bordeaux but without the same depth. The appellation is in need of a star producer though, in order to drive quality and awareness.

Montravel: the appellation traditionally reserved for white Bergerac wines. A few ambitious producers ferment their wines in wood, in the manner of modern style white Bordeaux. Following a change in the rules in 2001, red wine may also be labelled Montravel.

Monbazillac, Côtes de Bergerac Moelleux, Haut-Montravel and Saussignac: the appellations for the sweet white wines of Bergerac. Performance is very uneven but some of these wines are real gems and still very affordable—a fine demonstration of the benefits of AOC standards.


Click here for Bettane & Desseauve's ratings on 2010 Bordeaux.

Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW
Lisa Parrotti-Brown MW
Lisa, "Where I come from in Maine, USA, we have this saying: "March is in like a lion and out like a lamb," in reference to the weather – the harsh winter giving way to a gentle spring. In the southern hemisphere of course the phrase should be swapped, but wherever you are itʼs a time for change. So shake off your old tried and trusted wines styles and reach for something new! My tip: New Zealand aromatic varietals (Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer)...theyʼre really coming of age."
Ned Goodwin MW
Lisa Parrotti-Brown MW

Ned, 'When drinking wine ask yourself if you would like another glass, or perhaps another. If one is naturally inclined to drink a third glass, it is proof that a wine is balanced and clearly, for me at least, delicious.ʼ

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NealIWC is delighted to introduce Hong Kong wine lovers to Neal Martin, an internationally acclaimed wine writer. We will feature Neal's humorous yet informative wine diary on our website. Here is an excerpt from the latest entry:

The Vines that stood their ground: Laville, Mission & Haut-Brion
In a somewhat solipsistic seaside town I enjoyed a blissful, parochial childhood, oblivious to anything much further than the A13. Like the toy-towns on TV, I grew up convinced that everything in Southend-on-Sea would remain the same, at least until the end of time. C&A at the entrance of the Victoria Shopping Centre, Tomassi’s ice-cream parlour at the bottom, Keddies the grand department store its centre of gravity, the magical toy shop opposite Dixons and Lavelle’s the stationers, where I would buy my weekly Beano with a packet of Pacers. I assumed that this conjugation of retail outlets had been in situ since time immemorial until one day, mum broke the news…“Lavelles is closing down,” she told me casually. “That is why some of the shelves are empty.” .... read more


Get your friends and family together for a private tasting or wine course. IWC can tailor and personalise any tasting or course that suits your interest and schedule. Each session lasts for two hours and can accommodate a maximum of six people. Each tasting includes a minimum of eight wines. Some of our most popular themes are:

  • Introduction to Wine: HK$12,000
  • New World vs Old World Cabernet Sauvignon: HK$14,000
  • Bordeaux Masterclass: HK$18,000
  • Vintage Champagne Tasting: HK$15,000
  • Red Burgundy Masterclass: HK$22,000
  • Sweet wine of the World: HK$15,000

Call us to make a booking or discuss your favourite wine region.


Last month's question was: “Which region do these rosés come from?” The correct answer was Vinho Verde (yes, they do have rosé). The winner is Guanmin Hu from Melbourne. Well done Guanmin, you have won a mystery bottle from the IWC cellar. Please let us know next time you are in town to claim your prize.

This month’s question:
“This vineyard is in the Douro. Which month was this photo taken?”

Prize: A bottle of wine from IWC’s cellar (with all our global wine friends, you know you’ll be in for a treat!)

Send Us Your Answer here!

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