WORD FROM THE CHAIRMAN
In 2016 it’s hard not to take Asian wines seriously. Over the last three years I’ve experienced hundreds of wines across the tasting bench at international competitions including wines from China, India, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia and Taiwan. In the short span of four years, the wines have dramatically improved in quality, as proven by the gold and silver medals awarded at elite competitions. Because of this I was compelled to give these wines a platform to be recognized annually in the Asian Wine Review. I am convinced that Asian wine firmly deserves its place at the dinner table. But what about the rest of the industry and our consumers?
From first hand discussion with industry counterparts it’s agreed that turning a blind eye to Asian production would be a mistake. Although traditionalists may scoff, Asian Wine is coming to a store near you, so being prepared to meet this supply and the emerging demand before your competitors is vital. Consumers are not yet fully confident to present Asian wines when entertaining. But much like the craft beer craze, the desire to taste more obscure wine is clearly evident. A fact that I am seeing first hand in the restaurants in Asia who have already listed Asian wines. This is seen not only from local residents and expat communities, but also in the millions of annual visitors to Asian destinations. Consumers are now seeing Thai, Chinese & Indonesian bottles creep onto wine lists, only to be quickly Instagramed, shared back home and given an immediate global audience. The days of Asian wine as a gimmick are over. Some of the infrastructure, such as French château replications in Chinese fields, may still scream kitsch. What truly matters is the undeniable Asian wine revolution happening inside the bottle. A wealth of talent combining formally trained local winemakers, alongside international winemakers in the region, are at the forefront of this change. Wines of Asia are no longer coming but are well and truly here . - Eddie McDougall Chairman of the Asian Wine Review
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