Foodie recently joined Hong Kong’s Restaurant & Bar Association (RBHK) for an intimate gathering with industry peers at Shore Lounge to celebrate the 2016 House Wine Awards winners as well as kick off the 7th annual House Wine Awards 2017 with the first-ever Young Sommelier Competition.

With opening remarks from RBHK event organisers including Hong Kong Wine Judges Association Chairman Sammy Leung and Hong Kong Sommelier Association Chairman Nelson Chow, the event celebrated the growing appreciation of wine among both younger and more experienced wine audiences in Hong Kong as demonstrated by the variety of fine yet affordable wines represented by the 2016 House Wine Awards winners. The speakers also enthusiastically spoke to the promise of the inaugural Young Sommelier Competition to ‘celebrate young wine enthusiasts and act as a springboard for the growing numbers of talented young sommeliers’.

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Featuring lovely, very approachable wines paired with canapés, we had the opportunity to taste the 2016 House Wine Awards winners and were very impressed by the stunning yet well-priced selection of wines that represented both Old and New World varietals from around the world.

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Standouts included the winner of the Best House White, a dry, approachable Duck Point Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in the $100 and under category for New World white wines that’s perfect as an afternoon sipper without breaking the bank. The Sauvignon Arzenton Colli Orientali del Friuli from Italy also spoke to us with a whiff of its fruity yet still crisp taste that was super drinkable but not too sweet or dry. Those looking for a little bubbly at anytime of the day will appreciate the winner in the Best House White Wine Non-Dry category, a lovely, fun, delicate yet not too sweet Pizzorno Oroluce Moscato d’Asti suitable for celebrations or paired with food.

For those looking to try a fun, easy-drinking red that’s a bit different, the Woodside Valley Estate Bonnefoy Shiraz brings a bit of spice and jam and is good to drink alone or paired with food. The Maestro Gran Maestro Appassimento is also a great alternative as an everyday table red and a steal as an Old World red wine in the $100 and under category.

The House Wine Awards winners provides the perfect go-to source for that next dinner party or afternoon picnic with friends. Check out the complete list of the RBHK House Wine Awards winners from 2016, including the distributor list.

For those who are interested, the first edition of the Young Sommelier Competition is open to all sommeliers under 30 years old who are currently working in a hotel, restaurant, club or bar. The competition will be conducted at the RBHK expo at HK Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wanchai on 5–7 September 2017. For more information, visit RBHK.

And industry folks, don’t forget – the competition for the House Wine Awards 2017 is now under way and accepting submissions. Submit your selection of wines or learn more the awards here.

Working 9 to wine. Follow my wine & spirits adventures on Instagram @madame_toasst

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