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curious about, as compared to before. All that means that we will probably get there quicker than the Europeans did, but definitely our region is very new to wine. At most, [we are in] the second generation of serious wine drinkers.


What is the right way to present wine suited to the Asian palate? Even though I wrote a whole book about it [called “Asian


Palate”], to really understand the Asian palate is a complex thing. It has a lot to do with our dining culture; it has also a lot to do with which part of Asia and so forth. What may work in one part of Asia may not work in another. So, understanding what the Asian palate wants is something that we are still discovering. With my book I tried to better define the Asian palate. My conclusion it is that it is very regionally based. If you’re living in Sichuan province, your palate is going to be very different because of the food you eat there. The only thing we know for sure in terms of what the Asian


palate prefers right now is that we like red. And there is a strong preference for reds from France. We still don’t know for sure if it is because people prefer the taste of red wine, like Bordeaux, or if it is just because French wines have been marketed longer and have done a better job at promotion. I think it is something we won’t discover until we do some


serious market research.


You are the master of wine at Galaxy Macau. Given that it is so difficult to assess what Asians really like, how do you choose the best wines? There are general principles that can be used as guidelines;


and we know that there are certain ingredients that don’t work so well with wine. For example, if the food has a lot of vinegar we know it ‘fights’ with wine – it’s an understood and accepted concept. We also know that if you have a lot of chilli in the meal, it can really kill the wine flavour; more refreshing wines, such as


those with higher acidity work better with really spicy food. The goal, when you introduce the wine, is to make sure it


doesn’t kill the flavours of the food. On the other hand, you also want that the food doesn’t completely kill the wine; you want to appreciate the wine flavours. You want to keep the integrity of both present. [Here are] some of the basic principles within Galaxy


Macau: [Let’s think of] Terrazza, the Mediterranean restaurant - almost all Mediterranean wines will work well there. Another guideline is that a lot of the customers are coming from the mainland and we know that they like quite a lot of different styles of red. So, we have a lot of that on the menu. Because there are a lot of Asian restaurants at Galaxy Macau


– especially Chinese restaurants – we want a selection of wines from China, wines from different parts of Asia, because of the concept “local food goes with local wine”. We know that the best wines from China are getting better and better and these will work with local dishes. I have identified the grape variety Pinot Noir as very


versatile. When you have spices and all those interesting flavours, you really want to have a wine that doesn’t change that flavour and doesn’t fight against it. To me, Pinot Noir is the red grape variety that works the best. It doesn’t really have high tannins – those can affect a lot of flavours from different parts of Asia, such as India, or influence the seasonings used. That is why I have made sure that we have a huge selection, with 88 Pinot Noirs from around the world – it is probably one of the biggest selections in Asia.


On Galaxy Macau’s wine list, where do the majority of wines come from? Mainly from the mainland, just by sheer size and also


proximity. We are closest to the mainland and they are one of the top ten producers of wine in the world now. Chinese are producing a lot more wine than Thailand or Japan and we will continue to build on and increase our selection.


“Even though I wrote a whole book about it [called ‘Asian Palate’], to really understand the Asian palate is a complex thing. It has a lot to do with our dining culture; it has also a lot to do with which part of Asia and so forth. What may work in one part of Asia may not work in another. So, understanding what the Asian palate wants is something that we are still discovering”


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