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/ Life/ TravelRaising the BarUpdated: 2011-01-23 08:52By Rebecca Lo ( China Daily)Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  SmallHongkongLong a hub for wine connoisseurs in Asia, Hong Kong saw its wine scene explode after the government abolished the sales tax on wine in February 2008. Suddenly, specialty shops sprang up in every corner of the city, and local supermarkets began to stock a decent selection of vintages to go with an increasingly gourmet level of products and produce.Today, the city offers a number of creative ways to sample the nectar of the gods – from tastings in swank wine bars to special yacht cruises.The new kid on the block is California Vintage, a wine bar that opened in mid-January and features 23 family-owned boutique wineries from the length and breadth of the Sunny State. The warm, open interiors of the bar can house up to 60 wine buffs and offers 80 bottles available for tasting by the glass or half-glass. If you want to learn more about each vintage, you can refer to iPads detailing each bottles characteristics and the winery that produced it, or chat with Eric Fung, head sommelier and manager of California Vintage.”You cannot taste the wine properly without pairing it with great Californian cuisine, and that is why we offer food pairings,” says Jeff Ronan, partner and general manager with California Vintage.With innovative West Coast quick bites and casually elegant dishes, the menu is designed to draw out the subtleties of the wine selection. The Fritz Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Creek Valley, for example, is a nice summer wine to go with goats cheese, while a Yorba Zinfandel from Shake Ridge Vineyard has a welcome spiciness that helps cut the heat in chili-laden salsas.Tucked away down a dim alley off Wellington Street, Tastings Wine Bar is a hot spot for intrepid wine lovers who are looking for their next favorite label. With 40 different bottles to choose from, Tastings stores its wines in Enomatic wine dispensers to ensure they are protected from oxidation – and that each glass is a winner.It offers New and Old World varieties, plus champagnes, sparklings and grappa. If you get the munchies, there is a good selection of breads, dips, cheese and cold-cut platters to accompany the libations.Fans of wine from Down Under will be thrilled to hear that Adelaide Cellar Door offers tastings from 40 boutique wineries primarily from Australia and New Zealand.Along with its free monthly wine tastings, it runs lectures by wine masters from the various wineries it represents. Also popular is its wine-laced sailing adventures on a 64-foot Volvo 60 racing yacht.Book your own private wine cruise or join its Chinese New Year sailing on Feb 4.China Daily(China Daily 01/23/2011 page15)8.03K ArtFoodHeritageRock with a dongbei toneFrance firstMighty melodyMusicians to record hundreds of Western classicsCat-themed coffee bar opens in HarbinStunning chocolate Chinese chessSanta Adelaida coffee beansBritish young mans vendor life in BeijingTianhou Temple in N Chinas Tianjin completes repair workExhibition of ancient Chinese architectural woodcarving components kicks off in JinanChinas Baoan ethnic group famous for broadsword forging techniqueRenowned sculptors works in Jingdezhen Editors PicksFunny businessA true picture of turning Lius fantastic fiction into Fengs film Darkness bright sideEat, pray, massagePhotoRegional branch of Louvre Museum opens in FranceBeautiful scenery of Qinghai Lake Cultural festival of light and water in NetherlandsScenery of rime in NE Chinas Jilin city Artist Pan Lushengs solo art exhibition held in Shandong MuseumScenery of Taihang Mountains icefall Most Viewed Life NewsTop Life News NewsPicture books are attracting grown-upsSales that speak volumesDont ask if Im good, and its none of your businessHunter to friendFollowing in the rangers footstepsVideo games enter home of Van Gogh, DaliTaking care of businessHot TopicsPhotos that capture the beauty of China….VideoSlidePodcastPicturesMothers wishes: Episode 2Answer to the end of the worldSlide: Santa Speedo Run in BostonSlide: Mans best friend
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