There are plenty of drinking guides and lists for Hong Kong, often detailing rooftops with nice views, restaurants with premium wine lists or those that serve sumptuous food and wine pairings. What isn’t usually as easy to find is the sommelier's curation strategy or his or her favourite selection of wines unless you spend a bit of time and energy looking online or asking around.
Enter wine merchant Ginsberg + Chan’s new pocket guide. Simply entitled A Wine Lover’s Guide to Hong Kong Restaurants, the 91-page book is a concise, breezy compilation of wine spots favoured by a few members of the wine trade in Hong Kong. Intended to give “a more complete picture of Hong Kong’s dining scene from a wine lover’s perspective,” the guide targets wine-loving tourists and locals alike and includes both a sampling of well-known places and hidden gems when it comes to restaurants and wine bars.
Presented in an easy-to-read, almost Zagat-like format, this succinct guide is not intended to be extensive. It’s a small, curated selection of restaurants indexed by cuisine and area and is geared to wine fans – food lovers will have to do the research as far as menus are concerned.
Featuring participating sommelier tips on their number-one picks and jewels in the cellar (including the oldest vintages), wine lovers will appreciate the little details, including corkage fees, price range by the bottle and glass and even the stemware used. For those who prefer to bring wines from their own cellar, the BYOB section includes recommendations on what type of bottle to bring to select private kitchens with cellars or no-frills dining spots in wet markets. For locals and visitors alike, useful bonuses include what to look for on the wine list and how often the pairing menu is updated. For adventurous wine enthusiasts looking for something new, the “Cool Wine Restaurants” is a shortlist of restaurants that features sommeliers offering more eclectic wine lists.
Fun, whimsical illustrations by Hong Kong-born, UK-based Pearl Law accompany the recommendations. Best of all, we’re told that the guide is completely editorial, which means none of the listings are sponsored.
An online version will soon be available on Ginsberg + Chan’s website, but for those who prefer the print version, the complimentary guide will be available at Ginsberg+Chan’s booth (Grand Pavilion booth G19) at the upcoming CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival (25–28 October 2018).
While serious oenophiles will prefer more extensive reviews of wine lists and specifics behind the ratings chart, A Wine Lover’s Guide to Hong Kong Restaurants offers an insider’s view of a selection of restaurants and bars, with a bit of something for everyone. According to Mandy Chan, the co-founder and Director of Operations, Technology and Marketing of G+C ,“We see a lot of wine tourists here, and this little guide is also for them – to discover our dynamic city.”
For local oenophiles, it’s also a reminder that there’s always more to uncover when it comes to new wine destinations in a city as culturally diverse and wine loving as Hong Kong.