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Perfect Pairings: Hong Kong's culinary delights and German wines in Mainz (with photos)

     To showcase the perfect match of Chinese food and German wines, the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, Berlin (HKETO Berlin) together with the German Wine Institute (DWI) organised an extraordinary lunch event "Perfect Pairings" in Restaurant Bootshaus on April 27 (Berlin time) in Mainz, Germany.

     A team from the Chinese Cuisine Training Institute (CCTI) of the Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong, led by the Executive Chef of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Mr Ronald Shao, and the Senior Instructor of the CCTI, Mr Leung Kin-sum, tantalised the taste buds of about 70 guests from the wine industry, the hotel and hospitality industry and the media with Chinese cuisine. Their sophisticated creations were paired up with the finest German wines, selected by Hong Kong-based master of wine Ms Jeannie Cho Lee.

     The team presented delicate dishes like baked crab meat in shell with onions and bread crumbs, which was paired up with a full-bodied Pinot Blanc, and steamed sea bass fillets with crispy yellow bean and broad bean paste, paired up with a dry Riesling.  

     Hong Kong is not only the culinary capital of Asia, but has also developed into a major hub for wine trade. The Director of the HKETO Berlin, Mr Ivan Lee, highlighted the benefits offered by Hong Kong to German wine exporters in his opening remarks. "Hundreds of wine-related companies have set up or expanded their business in Hong Kong, including wine traders, distributors, retailers, auction houses, storage business and wineries. With its excellent facilities and proximity to the rapidly growing Chinese market, Hong Kong has become the leading wine hub in Asia," He said.

     Since 2008, Hong Kong has exempted all wine duties and duty-related administrative controls. With no value-added tax or goods and services tax, Hong Kong is the first free wine port among major economies. The value of the city's wine import has increased significantly since 2008. "In 2012, Hong Kong's total value of wine import was over EUR 800 million, compared to EUR 265 million in 2008," Mr Lee added.  

     With only about seven million population, Hong Kong is already the third largest export destination for German wine in Asia. Mr Lee encouraged German wine businesses to make use of Hong Kong's platform as the gateway to the vast Chinese market, and visit the globally recognised flagship wine events such as the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair and the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival in November to learn more about the latest trends and opportunities.  

     Mr Lee also highlighted other aspects of the wine boom in Asia. "Besides being a wine trade fair hub, Hong Kong has firmly established its position as one of the three largest wine auction centres in the world, alongside New York and London, with total sales amounted to about EUR 120 million in 2012," he said. According to a recent survey, Hong Kong's average adult consumption of five litres of wine per year is the highest in Asia. Hong Kong is therefore a profitable consumer market.  
     To promote its role as a wine trading hub, Hong Kong has enhanced co-operation with major wine producing countries and regions in the world. In May 2012, Germany and Hong Kong signed a declaration of intent to promote co-operation in wine-related businesses.

Ends/Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Issued at HKT 02:09


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