Monday, April 28, 2014

Branding grape varietal

We should be proud of Australian who are so cooperative and passionate about their grapes. They are not just loving it, they believe it.
In 10 years time Shiraz becomes a popular grape varietal that is well known across general Hong Kong citizens.
Given this is not easy to pronounce word (well slightly easier than Cabernet Sauvignon) and appear in different forms: Syrah, Sirah, people still relate Shiraz to Australia.

Great effort. Looking at other less known grape variety: Chenin Blanc, petit Syrah. They are with similar or longer history than Shiraz. Yet They have appeared in the market for quite a while yet without strong presence or coverage like supermarket and restaurants. They then can't beat Sauvignon blanc Chardonnay as easy drinking white.

Thanks to the power or marketing. Constant select as the topic on wine magazine, huge promotion on wine competition results, pair Shiraz with Australia. Good branding made image equivalent to history.

A further extention of this example is GSM - stands for Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre. Easy to remember, easy to market. Now most of the people will link the direct competitor of Australia with Rhone Valley, not the other way round. Again, power of marketing. The more union the winemakers in doing these, is this blue sea method?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Whisky Pot - 威士忌火鍋

When we figured a hard time in choosing cuisines for a whisky gathering, due to
1. How do they charge us the corkage when we just sip and put it back , 10 bottles?
2. What main course can pair with different whisky style?
We ended up with a free will of choices: Hot Pot at home.

Our most desired way of enjoying whisky is with our friends' imported Japanese beef, pork fillet and oysters, marvelous joy, especially with my parents who is overwhelmed with a surprise dinner we made "accidentally" for them.

From the photo below, only Balvenie was shared among us last year, others are all opened new.

Previously we made a trip separately to Scotland, therefore we had a little knowledge in differentiating what we preferred the most.
Islay - Distinct smoky based whisky
Lowland - Citrus, grassy character whisky
Highland - Dry to sweet peat, vanilla and nutty whisky 
Speyside- Mellow, sweet and fruity whisky

(from left to right)

1. Hermitage Cognac (reserved)  from Grande Champagne - Grand Cru de Cognac , 20 years
Hermitage Cognacs are the result of very specific distillation qualities and long, careful ageing in oak casks, from a single estate producer.

-Grape and fruit, very distinct source of grape
-Fruit-driven sweetness, followed by choke, rougher harsher alcohol 
-Honey and caramel rounded up as a finale. 

2. The Balvenie Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky - Doublewood 12 years
In 1883, George Ballantine could boast 20,000 of blended stock in bond, so he began to allow malts to age. Over the years a more discerning flavour was born - one that would make an outstanding mixer.

Produced by Pernod Ricard, therefore more commercial element in packaging.
Looking forward to try the limited edition and 40 years old Whisky
- As this was opened over a year, no more vanilla, only rough alcohol remains
- New oak, less vanilla
- Orange peel, still full body and strong length

3. Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky - The Original 10 years
Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from
Scotland's tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks.

-Pale lemon colour, citrus almond vanilla spice note, when swirl, the bouquet is very pungent and strong
-Smooth, medium body
-Citrus peel, more vanilla on palate, this citrus and vanilla mix is very typical highland style
Video on professional Original tasting

4. Yoichi (余市) Japanese Single Malt Whisky 20 years
Distilled and matured in Hokkaido, unlike the Scotish Whisky, it is aged in aged casks, with mellow well-rounded palate, a bold and powerful taste. In limited quantities.

Special Thanks to Tommy, my friend's husband who brought this all the way from Hokkaido.
- Strongest alcohol level among all
- Smoky chokey, yet a balanced sweetness in nose and in palate
-Less malty flavor, more of a caramel and toffee based , oaky nutty smell, suggesting an aged whisky and also can age so well. 

5. Glenfiddich 15 years

Glenfiddich is the name of Deer Valley, is one of the few remaining  family owned distillery, located in Speyside

This Glenfiddich 15 years, aged in European, American and New American oak to carefully release the virgin cask flavours, the whisky is then mellowed in our unique Solera vat before being married in Portuguese oak tuns.

- Spicy, cinnamon, honeycomb, fruity
- Less strong in alcohol
- Very mild and less of character amongst the rest.

6. Macallan elegancia 12 years
Macallan, a famous brand for daily partying Whisky in Hong Kong. When I say daily partying, I refer to exhaustive overnight party drinking at bars and karaoke.

Macallan is one of the largest Speyside Whisky brand. Their distilleries often made in small copper pots, with a rich and fruity full bodied style. The fame of this brand can be proved by its appeared at the back of $10 scottish note!

- rich and fruity, stone fruit and caramel
- simple and consistent across nose and palate

7. Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky 17 years
First planned village in Britain, founded in 1768, distillery established in 1779 as the 1st Islay Malt.

This Whisky is no longer issued.It was under the core range of Bowmore series.
-On nose, it is very cigar, smokey, peat, the smokiness like bacon suggests that this must be from Islay
-On palate the spice and cigar gets a lot stronger. 
-Sulphur ending. Don't know what ingredient is causing this, is it because this 17 years is more than 17 years already?

In general we preferred Glenmorangie as this is well-balanced wine with fruit, bacon, smoke and charcoal all blended in one whisky. This is the Whisky of the Night.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...