The Mystery of Malt and Grape

Report of the Mystery of Malt and Grape 29 April Friday 9:00 pm to 10:50 pm

The first online wine tasting event – the Mystery of Malt and Grape was held successfully on 29 April 2002 via zoom.

At 3 pm, the organizing committee started to gather at the home (our distribution centre) of our Chairman Mr. Vincent Chiu. 5 different kinds of wines and whiskies were put into small tasting bottles (total 120 bottles) with 3 kinds of snacks and 3 kinds of cheese for pairings. In addition, each participant of the event also could get two special “rocking” whisky glasses as souvenirs for the party. They were all fit nicely into a St. John’s carrying bag for each participant.

Then starting from 4:30 pm, our committee were all mobilized to transport the tasting packages to our alumni door-to-door! 10 packages in NT and Kowloon sides went out first by Alex and Vincent. Then KL, Kevin and June helped to delivered the rest 12 packages to the alumni on the HK Island. The whole exercises completed at 8:00 pm when all our tasting packages reached the hands of our alumni finally.

About 20 alumni and friends took part in the event at 9:00 pm sharp. After a brief self-introduction session of each participant, the event was kicked off by Mr. KL Lee our first speaker. KL started with the introduction of the white wine – the Donum Chardonnay. KL clearly explained the uniqueness of this special USA Winside Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Pouring from the tasting bottles of the Chardonnay, our alumni had a chance to taste this delicious white wine “together” online and made their comments openly. It was really a great experience as we were all drinking together on the same wine!

After the white, KL then introduced the red wine – the Donum Pinot Noir. It is from the same Vineyard. The Pinot is deep ruby in color, with aromas of black cherry, raspberry and a hint of cedar…. Then our cheese expert Alex Ho explained how to pair the wines with the different kinds of natural cheese in the package. It was really a perfect match – cheese and wine!

After the white and the red wines, our next speaker Mr. Kevin Ng came on the stage – in Zoom! He bought to the event 3 different kinds of whiskies. Each of the whiskies has different characteristics The first one was a rare whisky – the Japanese Hakushu 12 years old whisky. Kevin explained clearly the making of this single malt whisky and the criteria and the alcohol content for a wine being classified as whisky. He also told us why whiskies with a year attached to them are more valuable that those without. So, our whisky lovers were actually very pleased to have a chance to taste the Hakushu 12 which is actually one of Kevin’s personal special collections.

After the Hakushu, we went for the 2nd whisky – the Highland Park distillery only hand-filled bottle (a Scotch whisky with sherry cask). Because rather than the usual Highland Park maturation method of various types of Oloroso sherry cask (American or European oak, first-fill or refill etc.), Full Volume has been matured only in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. The one we were tasting was even hand-filled bottle! Our alumni with the explanations from Kevin could feel the difference between the 1st and the 2nd whiskies.

Then the highlight came from the 3rd whisky sample. Kevin did not disclose the name of the whisky in the hand-out, but rather asked our alumni to make a guess. Many of them made a good guess. But it was actually a Taiwanese whisky – Omar from the Nantou Distillery. The whisky has a bit peatier – burned wood smell. It was really a surprise to many alumni that the whisky is from Taiwan. And it turned out that many alumni liked the Omar than the previous two whiskies!

Our online gathering came to an end successfully at around 10:50 pm after each participant was given a chance also to express their impression about the wines and the event itself.

To fight the COVID 19, SJCAA has done tremendous effort of providing high quality of networking and gathering opportunities while keeping our social distancing. We wish in the very near future, we could drink and dine with our alumni again face-to-face in our Dining Hall at St. John’s.

Stay in good health; and stay in touch with the Alumni!