A long time ago in Hong Kong, a group of wine lovers got together to taste wine and have an enjoyable evening with friends. At the time, The Hong Kong Wine Society met regularly and they took things somewhat seriously.
On the other hand… Not The Hong Kong Wine Society had a different approach. There was only one rule: No Spitting. I have no proof, but there remains a suspicion that the rule had less to do with the prominent signs on the Star Ferry, than the idea that wine was to be drunk and not swilled and subsequently spat out.
It’s now over 25 years since the inception of NTHKWS and the Society still thrives, both in Hong Kong and the UK. With the return of members over the years, the UK chapter started meeting and now convenes twice a year, following the traditional format. A home hosted evening of tasting, followed by dinner and a good catch up on the gossip. There are now two rules as far as I can tell: No spitting. And to be a member you had to be a member in Hong Kong. Good tradition in my book.
So, thinking we would have long moved house and be settled and ready to host the evening, yours truly said we would do the November event. And in keeping with all the best laid plans, a month after we actually completed on our purchase, we entertained 18 friends from NTHKWS, at our house.
Amidst the preparation of food, arrangement of accommodation, redecoration of rooms so we could actually put up a few friends I had to think about what we should taste….
I consulted with the Oracle(s) and settled on Shiraz / Syrah from around the world. One of the aims of the Society has always been to find interesting and good value wines so I sourced alternatives from Bowes Wine, Berry Bros, Odd Bins as well as Waitrose and Captain Cork’s cellar.
Another of the traditions of the Society was that the expensive wines rarely did so well… to the point that we usually preferred the underdog. Last weeks tasting was no different as, from 8 wines priced between 3.50 and 30 odd quid, the winner was almost the cheapest:
Result Wine Vintage Price
1 Dona Paula, Los Cardos Shiraz 2004 6.00
2 EQ Syrah 2004 13.60
3 Joan D’Anguera, El Bugader 2001 25.00
4 InyconShiraz 2005 3.49
5 Qupe Syrah Bien Nacido 2000 22.95
6 Rusden, Black Guts, Shiraz, 1999 30.00
7 Crozes Hermitage 2004 12.95
Domaine des Lises, Maxime Graillot
8 Kanonkop 1997 25.00
The Dona Paula is available from an Odd Bins near you.