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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

Falvour Colours Ivory: Steamed frog with ham and mushrooms 北菇火腿蒸田雞

The combination of the succulent frog, the savoury ham and the earthy mushrooms is a winning formula for a multi-flavoured ivory dish. It is versatile and is a good match with wine of many colours and styles, from a Cava and a medium-bodied Chardonnay to a southern French rosé or a cool climate red. But if you have it in clay pot, the burnt and more robust flavour will shift the dish into the tan zone, making it a good match with the equally intense Californian Merlot or a Douro white.

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 ShiehYeasts
Yeast is essential in winemaking as it converts sugar in grapes to alcohol during the fermentation process, and, importantly, produces various by-products that contribute to the complex aromas of wine. Yeasts are abundant in wineries and some winemakers rely on wild yeasts to start the fermentation spontaneously (or naturally), believing that wine will be more complex and more expressive of terroir. The downside, however, is the possibility of producing off-flavours. Some winemakers (especially big brands) choose to use cultured yeast for more efficient and reliable fermentation. Cultured yeast is cultivated from natural yeasts, and is available for different wine styles ranging from neutral and specific aroma enhanced strains to high alcohol or sugar tolerant strains particularly suitable for secondary fermentation of sparkling wine and dessert wine.

Tersina has made wine in Portugal, South Africa and England. Follow her blog or email her for any wine queries.

Georgian flagship wine
Georgia was in town again recently, this time to promote investment opportunities, but the Georgian National Investment Agency (GNIA) was quick to tag a small scale wine tasting for importers and media. Debra Meiburg MW described the success of Georgian wine in the 2012 Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition, and joined other guests to sample wines from six wineries, ranging from sparkling and kvevri style whites to the versatile Saperavi red. Saperavi is the grape to watch out for. Its high tannin and acidity provide the backbone for a wine with long ageing capability. It has black fruits and spicy characters rather like a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. With age, it develops a tertiary bouquet of chocolate, walnut and dried fruits. Its versatility means it can be made in various styles: concentrated and tannic using the traditional kvevri method; easy drinking and fruity using stainless steel fermentation and minimum tannin extraction; or more elegant and structured combining the kvevri method and ageing in oak barrels. Read more

Georgian wine importers in Hong Kong include Georgian Valleys, Ghvino Trading and Cheoak International.

Paul Symington, Decanter Man of the Year 2012
Paul Symington may be the face of the company, but he believes it is the joint effort of all family members that makes Symington what it is today. Therefore, when he was informed that he had been voted Decanter's Man of the Year 2012, he told Decanter he would only accept the award if he could mention and extend the honour to the family. Paul firmly believes in the synergy between wine and family. Wine is for the long term and fits well with the time horizons of a family, especially for port and other premium wines that can evolve for half a century, and he is proud to be selling today wine that his father put in barrels some 20 years ago. Talking about port, Paul realises the traditional image of cigars, port and copa (small port glasses) does not fit the lifestyle of today’s customers. Together with The Fladgate Partnership, Symington established The Vintage Port Academy to promote the appreciation and knowledge of vintage port and to pair Chinese cuisine with port (works particularly well with the heavier and more robust flavour of Shanghainese dishes). Paul’s ideal port scene? Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sitting in front of a big flat screen television in their posh Manhattan apartment, enjoying port from a Riedel wine glass! 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

Cathy Brewer from Villiera, Stellenbosch, talks about Villiera Bush Vine Sauvignon Blanc
Taste This Space

The Languedoc, which we once called the ‘new French California’, is no longer the latest trendy vineyard. It is now quite commonplace, with a two-tiered system, one that makes mass-produced simple wines, with an uncertain commercial future, and one that is made up of the elite who are producing refined and expressive terroir-driven wines. Their commonality: appealing, immediately pleasurable wines, and no one can complain about that.


Coteaux du Languedoc: a huge appellation but with much to recommend it, especially in terms of red wines. The delimitation of appellations is currently underway. Some of the wines already display the name of the commune on the label, indicating a particular terroir and its potential. The appellation encompasses a broad range of terroirs, of which the most interesting in terms of dependable producers are the Pic-Saint-Loup area (driven by Syrah), the Terrasses du Larzac and the village of Montpeyroux (excellent blended wines with rich, generous character), plus the La Clape (potentially a good source of white and rosé wines) and Pézenas areas.

Saint-Chinian: a region in the Upper Languedoc, built more on human effort than on the realities of the terroir, with schistose soils to the north and (to keep it simple) clay-limestone soils to the south. The north produces supple, tender red wines, including Carignans made by carbonic maceration that consumers these days seem to love. Elevation to individual cru status is much more likely in the south however, which is a source of dense, well-structured wines with more of the character expected of a delimited cru. Berlou and Roquebrun have been delimited production areas since 2004 (with no change in quality) and growers throughout the appellation are now entitled to produce white wines under the AOC Saint-Chinian label.

Faugères: a potentially good source of red wines—unusually elegant for this region. The appellation continues to make great strides in blended wines that are often driven by Syrah. Since 2004, white wines from this area may also be sold under the AOC Faugères label.

Minervois: an area known for its traditional wineries, including some that are a cut above the rest. Recent years have seen plenty of good wines from this appellation, most notably from the village of La Livinière, which is packed with excellent producers.

Fitou: one of the older appellations of the Languedoc. Fitou is divided into two geographically distinct sections (coastal and inland), which give it real potential as a producer of deep, well-structured red wines, made in a richly alcoholic Mediterranean style. Exceptions apart, overall quality remains quite consistent. 

Corbières: a huge appellation with plenty of wines to its name, but not necessarily very good ones. Plenty of dynamic producers nonetheless, turning out well-constructed red wines that avoid the rusticity of your average Corbières thanks to a lesser proportion of Carignan. There's work being done to tighten up terroir boundaries, but for the time being the core areas (not necessarily mentioned on the label) are Boutenac, Lagrasse and the Montagne d'Alaric. Note also the emerging vineyards at higher altitudes, producing white and rosé wines. 

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

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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
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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.
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Last month's question was: “This vineyard is in the Douro. Which month was this photo taken?”. We received a lot of entries with answers from February to June. The correct answer was May (5th May to be exact). A random draw picked Defranco Leung as the winner. Well done Defranco, 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: “In which country was this wine produced?”

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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