Last week I investigated about wines in Hong Kong, China and Asia. The product was a note published by AFP. A judging panel with members from ten Asian countries chose an Argentine red wine called Judas as the best wine to accompany Peking duck. While several wines from around the world came out winners in the framework of the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, this award is particularly relevant.
Peking duck belongs to the Chinese imperial cuisine and was literally created for the emperors. It has a very long and complex cooking process that takes at least a full day, or more than 24 hours. Duck quality and preparation is something that is also easy to notice on the palate. Once a good duck has been tested, there is no turning back. You cannot eat this dish again outside the Chinese capital, the site with the greatest tradition behind this specialty. Judas competed with wines from China, Asia, and the rest of the world. But after interviewing Sebastián Olalla, export manager of the winery that produces Judas, it is clear that this special dish is being paired with a very special wine.
According to Olalla, the grapes for this wine come from a very old vineyard that produces a small quantity of fruit with special characteristics. The grapes are harvested off season and are selected very strictly. Later, the fermentation process also follows a series of steps that separates it from ordinary wines. Watching the preparation of the wine and the food, it is not surprising that savvy palates have found something in common.
Meanwhile, the Chileans are looking for a new positioning strategy for their products. Now they are no longer "good and cheap" wines; they have become "good and expensive." An executive of Belgian origin, who works in that country, explained to me how they are doing it. That is also in the AFP note linked to above.
Uruguay was present at the same Fair. Modestly, it aroused the interest of local importers who acquainted themselves with the products of that country.
The daily newspaper Perfil de Argentina also published a version of my work. This note had a great impact on newspapers and blogs, blogs and more blogs last weekend. The news went viral on the internet and even reached a Mexican radio show. This is a congratulatory salute to all of the South American entrepreneurs who are doing an excellent job in the Far East. While this part of the world in no way represents more than 10% of the business done by wineries of the southern continent, the actions taken by Uruguayan, Chilean and Argentine wine industry entrepreneurs demonstrates their long-term vision and professionalism.