At the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade tonight (27 October), the 2011 Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival was officially launched amid the smooth jazz tunes created by famous erhu-player Jessie Hou and local singer Mimi Lo. Their East-meets-West performances gave a rousing start to the four-day festival organised by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB), which promises to be a feast of the world’s flavours.
Officiating at the festival’s opening ceremony tonight were: Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region The Honourable John Tsang, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Mr Gregory So, HKTB Chairman Mr James Tien, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism) Mr Andrew Wong, President of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Industry (co-organiser of the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival) Mr Pierre Goguet, Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux Mr Stephan Delaux, Board Member of the Bordeaux Wine Council Mr Allan Sichel, and Ms Susanna Lee, Vice President and General Manager of Global Merchant Services, East Asia of American Express International, Inc (presenting sponsor of the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month).
Admission to the festival is free for both local residents and visitors. With the hearty support of merchants, the number of exhibition booths this year has increased by 20% to nearly 300, showcasing wines from 19 wine-growing regions and a large selection of cuisines, including Asian and Western, as well as local award-winning dishes.
To add more international colours to the mega event, two themed parties – Spanish Night and Japanese Night – will be staged during the festival. Tomorrow night (28 October), participants will be able to join the Spanish Night inside the Wine School, during which they can sample Spanish wines and delicacies while enjoying folk performances from the country under one roof.
Additionally, the Grand Tasting Pavilion, sponsored by Riedel this year, has been doubled in size and enhanced in decorations to provide holders of the Grand Wine Pass with a cosy and relaxing setting for wine appreciation.
As for entertainment, besides Jessie Hou and Mimi Lo, record producer and singer Hanjin Tan, jazz musicians Eugene Pao and Angelita Li, as well as singer Bondy Chiu, among others, will perform live on different nights during the festival.