It’s been seven glorious wine-filled years since Financial Secretary John Tsang abolished duty on wine, and Hong Kongers are lapping up the stuff with per capita consumption rising steadily. At the same time, wine consumption has been falling across much of Europe, so the CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival provides a perfect showcase for wine sellers from around the world who hope to access the Asian market.[masterslider id=”149″]
Never ones to turn down a glass or two (ok, three), the Localiiz ladies popped down to see what’s in store this year and bring you some tippling tips to make the most of it. Bottoms up Hong Kong!
- There are more than 300 stalls with hundreds of wine sellers and food vendors, and new to this year, whisky and craft beer zones. Make sure you allow plenty of time to browse them.
- Last year entry was free, but that was because Occupy Central had driven the event to Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. Now located back in Central at the Harbourfront, the entry fee is a lowly $30, but don’t expect anything but entry for this.
- You need to buy wine “tokens” which are loaded onto a top-up card. The basic package starts at $100 (only available for purchase at the venue) which gets you a large plastic wine glass and five classic wine credits or tokens.
- Different packages offer options such as access to VIP areas, where the more premium wines and air-conditioning can be found, or the opportunity to sip champagne in the new Garden Party area. It is confusing.
- Just because the wine glass is large, don’t expect large measures. The idea is tasting, not guzzling, so savour every sip!
- Take the opportunity to chat with the vendors about their wine. You will learn a lot and you might also get a more generous serving!
- The tokens run out far too fast, but you can buy top-ups at $20 a token for classic wines, or $50 for “Grand Wines”, which are available from the Riedel Grand Tasting Pavilion only.
- You can buy food from the many food vendors with cash. You will find things to try like weird cheese from Georgia, to empanadas from Argentina. They may not always complement your wine choice.
- There is live music in the evenings and you can check out the full schedule here.
- With such a fantastic venue, our tip is to try then buy a bottle, or a case of your own. Find a seat with a view of our wonderful skyline and enjoy. Then start over again.
When: October 23 (noon – 11:30pm), October 24 (noon – 11:30pm), October 25 (noon – 10:00pm)
Where: Central Harbourfront Event Space, Central (near Central Piers 9 & 10)
How much: Purchase your entry ticket on the door ($30) and token packages inside the venue. You can also buy wine passes at the Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centre at the Star Ferry Concourse and online at Cityline. However, you still need to pay the $30 entry fee on the door. If you have a CCB credit card, be sure to look out for the extra benefits.
The CCB (Asia) Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival marks the launch of Hong Kong Wine & Dine month. Click here to find out what other tongue-tingling events are in store.
Still thirsty? Why not check out these 5 Giant Cocktails For Sharing, and 5 Bars That Give Old Cocktails a New Twist, or take wining and dining to new heights at one of these Bars Under The Stars? Cheers!