Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wine for Asia 2011: Lucrative & Palatable

WORLD’S wine industry is counting Asia with the phenomenal increase in wine consumption that has built lucrative markets in the region.

With the world supply of premium wine outstripping demand, and the custom of wine drinking is rapidly gaining ground in Asian countries, many wine exporters are eyeing to establish new markets in Asia. In Indonesia, the trend has the tendency to increase with more and more people discovering the pleasure of drinking wine.

To give the world a better understanding of Asian markets, Wine For Asia (WFA) returns for its ninth annual event featuring 370 exhibitors from 23 countries and 10 country pavilions.

Scheduled to take place on 27-28 October 2011 at Suntec Singapore, the esteemed WFA 2011 will present as many as 3,000 trade professionals from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Laos, India, China, Hong Kong and more. 

WFA 2011 is organised by MP International and Wine Resources and will house over 5,000 sqm exhibition showcasing a broad array of wines from Australia, Chile, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Singapore and Spain. The event is expected to attract more than 4,000 visitors worldwide.

“The two-day event truly provides opportunities to meet reputable distributors from Asia while building network with high wine society members,” Malcolm Tham, programme director of WFA, says. “It’s one way to facilitate the drive to boost the wine business for wine trade.”

In addition to showcasing myriad collections of variety wines from across the world, the event will hold programs such as Bordeaux and Italian wine master classes by wine experts such as Antonio Borco and Louis Radman. The wine master classes will feature wines from France, Australia, Chile, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece and Germany.

There will also be product launch of Italian wines and F&B industry forum by FBMA Singapore. The forum presents eminent industry players to share their experience while taking participants into an insight of F&B industry outlook.

Among the interesting highlights at WFA 2011 is Wine Style Asia Award (WSAA). First launched in 2004, WSAA has gained much recognition. “And this year event will present 500 entries from overseas wineries and local importers and distributors. WSAA will confer the awards at a high-profile gala dinner,” Tham adds.

An elite panel of distinguished international and regional wine experts will be the judge to select award-winning wines in The Wine Style Asia Award (WSAA), the wine competition held in conjunction with WFA 2011.

Headed by John Chua, president of Chinelli Consultancy Pte Ltd, the judging panel consists of eight judges. They are Subhash Arora, editor of delWine, India; Cheong Hai Poh, president of F&B Managers’ Association (FBMA), Singapore; Pairach Intaput, Thai Sommelier and Gastronomie, Thailand; Thomas Ling from Entwine, Malaysia; Maria Isabel Mijares, founder and chairwoman of Equipo Team SL; To Viet, wine educator from Toviet’s Wine Cellar, Vietnam; and Yohan Handoyo, wine director of Decanter Wine House, Indonesia.

Yohan will be the first Indonesian judge ever to present at WFA.

Another new highlight at WFA 2011 is the introduction of the Southeast Asia Wine Pioneer Recognition Award.

At the Southeast Wine Pioneer Recognition Award Appreciation Lunch, awards will be given to recognise and honour pioneers who have given significant contributions to the region’s wine industry in the 1970s.

“Over the last 10 years, the wine market has matured greatly and WFA has been at the forefront of this development since the first exhibition in 2003. We wanted to take this opportunity – before they retire – to pay tribute to the wine pioneers who have made significant and important contributions to the growth of the wine industry in the region,” Tham says referring to the objective of the accolade.

WFA 2011 also features ‘Wine Fiesta’, a one-day extension to Wine for Asia, which will be held on 29 October 2011. It’s a rare opportunity for wine enthusiasts to experience the world of wines.

This year, WFA 2011 will have a fun program called ‘Indulgence Singapore”. Taking place on 28 – 29 October 2011, this weekend escape is designed for those who want to attend the inaugural Wine Fiesta.

F&B Familiarisation Tour will be organised in the evening of 28 October. Started with F&B Safari Tour, the tour will include stops at Singapore’s popular night spots such as Clarke Quay and Dempsey Hill, taking participants to blend with the enjoyment of sumptuous food and fine wine while getting an insight into the latest F&B concepts in Singapore.

WFA 2011 has received strong support from local government and trade agencies such as International Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau and Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association.

It has also received endorsements from international trade agencies such as Aicep Global Portugal; Australian Trade Commission; Austria Wine Marketing Board; German Embassy in Singapore; Hungarian Investment and Trade Development Agency; International Bartenders Association; Italian Trade Commission; SOPEXA, the agency for the promotion of French food, wine and spirits; and ViniPortugal, a trade association that promotes Portuguese wines to domestic and international markets.

Prestige Magazine, September 2011