The Wine Guy Eddie McDougall: Off-the-map wines

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Good day and welcome to 2016! My focus for this year’s vinous column is to take you with me on my globetrotting to both the traditional and the unconventional wine regions of the world. Each month I’ll alternately highlight tipples you may or may not have tasted – let alone even heard of – from regions that are off-the-traditional-map as well as from the more familiar winemaking countries. Be prepared to be shocked, be ready for an adventure and rest assured that your glass should never be filled with any bad wine throughout this year.

Each of my biweekly columns will start with me spilling the beans on a bunch of impressive wine stats that should impress your peers, charm your newest flame and arm you for the toughest of conversations with wine nerds. To give you a headstart, try unleashing this from your armoury – did you know that the Languedoc-Roussillon region in the south of France produces more wines than the entire country of Australia?

Next up in the column is a punchy wine geography refresher. Don’t worry – wine geography will cast away all those demons screaming out hard-to-retain facts about longitudes, latitudes and strange weather systems. This section is intended to give you key insights as to how a country’s global location, regional environmental conditions and its mountains’ altitude or slope will dictate the wine’s style, body, varietal mix and quality.

So, statistics – check. Geography – check. Now on to my favourite area – wine science. This section will be the insider’s guide on how the grape varietals and wine styles from these known and not-so-known wine places should smell and taste. I will also share with you some bottle suggestions, handy tasting descriptors and where to find great examples of these wines in Hong Kong. After all, I do want you to try and actually taste these wines, where possible!

Sharing with you my wine recommendations is not the end of the road, as many of us know that the most important science in Hong Kong is gastronomy. So, to complete this circle of knowledge, I will be feeding you the answers to ‘what should I eat with this wine?’ I hope this will help you avoid making wine pairing blunders or being intimidated by those know-it-all winos. 

This year is hopefully going to be an exciting one for wine. I have started a syndicate called Tongue Explorers, which combines industry professionals with experience in marketing, media, viticulture and hospitality. Our young energetic team has the mission to boost the efforts of our professional partners. With our creative abilities we want to help the winemakers to focus on their craft while we work out how best to introduce their vintages to the public. Look forward to me introducing bottles with more exclusive access, professional insight and industry knowledge. So, prepare to take your palate on a journey with me, the wine guy. Cheers!

Follow Eddie on Instagram @theflyingwinemaker

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