Hong Kong may be dubbed the wine hub of Asia, but for a long time, there were only three month-long wine campaigns on a country level: Discover South Africa in April, Le French GourMay in May and (German) Riesling Weeks in June. Finally, we have a newcomer this year – California.

OK, it’s not quite on a country level, but California produces more than 80% of all US wine and is the world’s fourth-largest wine producer. So this US state is definitely qualified to claim a month of its own, and naturally the month that California has chosen is July, coinciding with US Independence Day on the 4th of July.

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California Wine Month is part of the bigger Delicious USA food festival, on from 21 June–21 July 2019. Throughout the period, participating restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau will be serving American meat and seafood including lobster, scallop, beef, pork and chicken… to be washed down with California wine. Check out the full list of participating restaurants here.

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Of course, a wine month must have a tasting event. Sips of Summer: Discover California Wines is a walk-around tasting with a twist. Most tastings are grouped by supplier or winery, but this time, the 130 wines at the tasting will be grouped under four varietals: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.

Typical California wine is intense, with generous fruits and round tannins. Winemakers there also traditionally prefer to use new oak, which gives sweetness to the wine. In recent years, however, some winemakers are scaling back the use of new oak, picking grapes earlier to make fresher and livelier wine. It will be interesting for both experienced and novice wine lovers to explore and compare the many different styles of each grape varietal before moving on to the next.

California Wine Month

California is all about sunshine, a laid-back lifestyle and good food and wine, so it seems fitting to start the summer months with a glass or two of California wine. For more information about the tasting event, click here.

Sips of Summer: Discover California Wines

In addition, various retailers are running special promotions and events focused on California wine. You can find out more here.

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A marketer turned winemaker, I make, promote, judge, write about and drink wine.

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