Events & News

Events & News

The Vintage Port Academy Workshops: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong March 2017

The 8th edition of the VPA workshop saw another 116 people became members of the Academy, bringing the total number of VPA members to 847, spread over five cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Macau. All of them attended the annual workshops and successfully passed the examinations.

Like previous years, students had to answerer a tie-break question in which the candidate had to persuade a fine wine collector friend to include Vintage Port in his collection. Euan Mackay, co-founder of VPA and sales director of Symington Family Estates, emphasised that he was looking for story in the answers. The student with the best answer in each workshop would receive the special case of 6 half-bottles of 2003 Vintage Port from the VPA port houses.

The best students and highlights of their answers were:

Beijing: Vincent Li from Jubilant Nova, ‘… Life is too short to drink poor wine….’

Shanghai: Cecilia Li from Jebsen Fine Wines, ‘… You collect for your son; your son can pass it to your grandson; and the grandson can pass it to your great grandson…. Because it is the wine that can last the longest in the world, same as your fortune….’

Guangzhou: Julia Zhu from The Langham Shenzhen, ‘…. You know how proud I am about myself being looking younger than my real age but this port ages so slowly and elegantly that I know I can never beat it…..So what you say? 10 cases I book for you?

Hong Kong: Ronald Khoo from The Dairy Farm, ‘My first experience of vintage port… and it got me thinking recently when my son was born to start a small wine collection for him in his 2013 vintage…. So with this in mind, I highly recommend that you look into….

Congratulations and welcome to all 2017 VPA members.

Vintage Port Decanting Challenge, Beijing March 2017

This year the Vintage Port Decanting Challenge was held in Beijing with five two-person teams from hotels competing for the title.

Nicolas Heath, co-founder of VPA and marketing director of The Fladgate Partnership, said that the goals of this competition were to demystify decanting, and to encourage on-premises not to view decanting as a chore, but rather as an opportunity to create a theatre at the table.

All teams passed the time test of decanting the bottle of Ware 1980 vintage port within two minutes. Euan and Nick then judged on the clarity and wastage of the decanted wine. The team that won was the lady team, Daisy Feng and Darra Feng, from China World Summit Wing. They were well coached by their team leader Bruce Li, sommelier of the hotel.

Both Daisy and Darra were awarded a unique duo vintage case, consisted of a bottle each of Graham’s and Taylor’s 2003 vintage. All contestants received a certificate and a VPA cork puller, useful for opening old wines. 

Aged Tawnies Media Workshop, Guangzhou March 2017

The VPA invited nine wine writers to a discovery journey of aged tawnies, where they tasted and compared the evolution of 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old tawnies. All of them agreed the 10 and 20 Year Old tawnies are versatile to pair with strong flavoured Chinese cuisines. This was followed by a tasting of two single harvest tawnies: Graham Single Harvest 1972 and Taylor Single Harvest 1965. Most of them tried single harvest tawny for the first time and were totally impressed by their complexities.

The Vintage Port Academy looks forward to welcoming more new members at its next annual workshops.

Introductory to Port workshop for VTC, Hong Kong March 2017

This year, the VPA did an introductory workshop for the students at the Vocational Training Centre, who might one day join the F&B trade and serve port to their gueqsts. They tasted Ruby Reserve, Late Bottled Vintage, 20 YO Tawny and Vintage Port and were told the how to serve port properly — at the correct temperature and glassware. They were engaging and we hope one day they will be ambassadors of port.

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