Running over, so back to writing. I have authored the below feature – telling the story of Hong Kong’s past, present and future wine scene – for US-based online wine magazine Palate Press. It appears in full on their website: due to copyright, only the opening part of the piece is produced on The 23rd Parallel. For the remainder, please click on the link at the end of second paragraph. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Hong Kong. A city of more than 7 million people shoehorned into a small parcel of land at China’s five o’clock. This is an Asian city with a growing Western influence, with food and drink a central cultural tenet. Despite a rapid growth in middle-class incomes since the mid-1990s, the local moral compass has retained the importance of “face”: this raising of one’s profile through vocational and academic rigour, in order to enhance social standing, has been one of the key drivers of the wine scene here.
In addition to education, there have been two other catalysts for the growth of wine consumption in the city. The first was the points-based assessment of wine. Linked heavily to the ritual of gifting, people started buying high-scoring bottles in an attempt to align themselves to the notion of sophistication. Secondly, a two-stage drop in duty on wine from 80% to zero in the 2000s meant the volume of wine being purchased rose dramatically.
…click here to continue.
I’m hugely excited to be contributing to the Palate Press team, the current front cover of which can be seen below. In circulation since 2009, their online magazine has a significant national and international following. You can find out more by going to their website.
And now that I am back on the grape, be sure to check out our latest tasting adventures here.