Hong Kong’s culinary delights on Lamma Island

With Holly Peng, Ying Hui and Rita Toth

Fish and Châteauneuf. Say what?

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

11 September 2015

Before I went to Hong Kong for the first time in May 2016, several connoisseurs told me how good the food is. Friends like Mike Lux, who travels there regularly.

Indeed, you can find many Michelin chefs working in this city of seven million people. I enjoyed a superlative lunch at Hong Kong’s top Italian restaurant with none other than Matteo Bruno Lunelli, CEO of top sparking wine producer Ferrari. And thanks to Wilson Kwok, for great bistro style food at his excellent W’s Entrecôte restaurant, with various winemakers from around the world. Wilson loves wine and food, and he and his sister manage the restaurant with style.

One of the most eye-opening meals I enjoyed during my Hong Kong séjour was at the Genuine Lamma Hilton Fishing Village Restaurant on Lamma Island, about 20 minutes from Hong Kong by boat. It was in late May, on the festival for Tin Hau, the goddess who protects fishermen. The restaurant was busy all day, having served some 600 customers, so the staff seemed a bit tired by the time we got there for an exclusive dinner, organized by wine enthusiast and friend Ronny Lau. Read More

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Wines that won’t wilt your wallet #Bdx15

Dinner evening Fieuzal

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com

24 July 2016

In celebrated Bordeaux vintages, consumers may find that prices are out of reach. Sure, wines like Ducru Beaucaillou and Léoville Las Cases are excitingly delicious, but not all us mortals can afford them.

A sign of a top vintage is finding barrel samples that please your palate across all price points. And Bordeaux 2015 makes me happy, too, as it features many high quality cru bourgeois level wines that won’t wilt your wallet. So it is easy to be all smiles about the vintage, as the photo above from a lovely press dinner at Château de Fieuzal shows, with fellow taster Vasily Raskov from Moscow and Emilie Gervoson of Château Larrivet Haut Brion.  Read More

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English fizz hits the headlines


And it is delicious: Visit to Gusbourne Estate

By Panos Kakaviatos for wine-chronicles.com 

24 July 2016

Just how delicious English bubbly can be was reconfirmed to me over dinner with Gusbourne Estate’s Andrew Weeber and promotion agency Vita Bella’s Guillaume Jourdan. It was the conclusion to a wonderful day of visiting vineyards, tasting wines, and enjoying a fine summer picnic with great wines.

We ended the visit with a relaxing summer evening, enjoying veritable fish and chips at a most charming bed and breakfast in Kent, the Woolpack Inn Warehorne.


Freshly caught cod – not fried but grilled to perfection – paired perfectly with homemade potato chips, or thickly cut fries, in American English. The wine? Gusbourne Estate 2010 Blanc de Blancs vintage brut: crisp, precise and creamy. It proved a perfect match for the food. Read More

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Ferrari conquers Hong Kong


Not the car, the quality bubbles!

By Panos Kakaviatos for Wine-Chronicles.com

23 June 2016

Today more than ever, Ferrari impresses people worldwide as an ambassador for the Italian art of living.

No, I do not mean the automaker, but rather the sparkling wine producer, with vineyards in the extraordinary natural monument of the Dolomites, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in June 2009.

The appellation is Trentodoc, which can define itself as a sparkling wine from the mountains, thanks to a special blend of elements: land, high altitude and climate. Just several months ago, I had visited the region, and tried some of the sparkling wines from there. The star remains Cantine Ferrari Trento. Indeed it is not for nothing that Wine Enthusiast awarded the estate as European Winery of the Year in January this year.

Over a century ago, back in 1902, Giulio Ferrari took advantage of cooler climates high in the mountains to make sparkling wine using the Champagne method. After two world wars and economic depression, Ferrari chose Bruno Lunelli to take over.

To illustrate the worldwide appeal of these wines, current CEO Matteo Bruno Lunelli travelled to Hong Kong during Vinexpo in May 2016, to host a very special lunch at the city’s top Italian restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo. Read More

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Crafting personalized Champagne at Duval-Leroy

Champagne before it becomes Champagne – and making it your own

19 June 2016

By Panos Kakaviatos for Wine-Chronicles.com

One of the most unique things about Duval-Leroy Champagne is that the domain permits individuals – usually wealthy businessmen and their mistresses, as I was told at the estate – to craft their personalized bubbly blend. It costs between $30,000 (for non-vintage blends) to $50,000 for vintage blends. In return, private clients get 600 personalized bottles of Champagne that they themselves crafted, based on tastings of still wines from various lieu dits with varying levels of residual sugars and different vintages.

A recent visit to Duval Leroy with several fellow wine writers included this fascinating experience, with directeur de caves Sandrine Logette-Jardin, who has been with the estate since 1991. A trained enologist, she specializes in blending and takes the time to guide private clients to blend their own Champagnes, dubbed cuvee sur mesure. So we amused ourselves pretending to be millionaires who can afford the pricey fee for our own crafted blends. It was fascinating for example to try the same 2010 vintage, but with different levels of residual sugar. Initially sampled with five grams of residual sugar, we tried it again with six – and opinions varied. While some preferred the liveliness of the former, I almost preferred the richer style of 6 grams, as it lent more body while not losing verve. You can see a bit of this experience in the video below.  Read More

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