Robert Parker, the essential guide to fine wines, is bringing the first ever edition of Matter of Taste to Hong Kong. The event, featuring wine pairing dinners, is the first of an exclusive series for members and guests. Over 200 exceptional and iconic wines from around the world that are rated 90 or more points by Robert Parker Wine Advocates will be showcased at the event, where guests will be able to mingle and catch words of wisdom from wine critics including Neal Martin, Luis Gutierrez and Mark Squires.
For a sneak peek of what’s to come, we spoke to Gutierrez and Martin about their thoughts on the most exciting wine regions and which presidential candidate they would bring to a dinner party.
If you could only taste one wine of the 200 being poured as part of this event series, which would it be?
Luis Gutierrez: The beauty of the wine world is its diversity, so why choose one when you can have 200? Everything with moderation including moderation!
Neal Martin: Perhaps the Trotanoy 2010, part of the Masterclasses. I have a fascination with this château and I love the 2010 vintage. Of course, it's about 20 years too early, but what the hell.
Tell us about the most exciting region you’re covering for The Wine Advocate right now.
Gutierrez: I’ve just returned from Argentina, where the name of the game is not only Malbec or Mendoza, it's also about places, yes, often with Malbec and in Mendoza, but with individual names, Gualtallary, Uspallata, El Challao, Pedernal, Barreal… There’s never been so many exciting projects in different regions of Spain, from Ribeira Sacra in Galicia to the Canary Islands, going through the most classical Rioja and Jerez, of course. And the same with Chile, with exciting developments in Bio Bio, Itata, Maule or Limarí. I also do the Jura from France, and I just cannot wait to get back there! But those are only examples, because there are so many!
Martin: They are all exciting in different ways. Even somewhere as traditional as Bordeaux is innovating and using new technology perhaps more than any other region. But the two most exciting in terms of improvement are Beaujolais and South Africa. What they both have in common is a younger generation of winemakers whose ideas are changing the whole way we look at those regions. And I think The Wine Advocate has been at the forefront in reporting on both by regularly visiting not just the top growers, but the "new kids in the block".
If you could swap coverage with one of the other RP reviewers for a year, who would you choose and why?
Gutierrez: What? I would’t change my job for anything in the world!
Martin: Monica Larner - because I have never been to Barolo.
To you, is wine most like music, painting, architecture, fashion, poetry or something else entirely?
Gutierrez: Wine is about places, about time and about people. It’s part of gastronomy and culture, it’s part of our heritage.
Martin: If I can turn that round, I would say music, but only in that wine satiates all the senses apart from sound (unless you count the fizzing of a fermenting barrel). Apart from that, wine is silent. So when you drink wine with music, you are engaging all five senses.
If you were to host a dinner party for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, what wine would you serve?
Gutierrez: Wow! I cannot even think of the situation! I’d rather share the best wines in the world with people that appreciate them...
Martin: I’d give Hillary the wrong address. She would end up with the head of the FBI and a bottle of Mateus Rosé. Trump? I would also give him the wrong address, send him to somewhere in Mexico City with a corked bottle of 40-year old Albanian Pinot Gris. Myself? I will hook up with Barack and Michelle Obama with a magnum of 1962 La Tâche and 1955 La Mission Haut-Brion. Stevie Wonder would join us halfway through, perform "Music In The Key of Life" in its entirety and we would finish with a bottle of 1906 Climens.