One type of wine dinner I really love to host is “Mini Themes”. Here, rather than creating a single broad horizontal or deep vertical theme to frame all the bottles for the evening, we break these ideas into flights – in tonight’s case five. This approach has a few virtues. For a start, more variety of wine in an evening can lead to a bit more stimulation and discovery for the wine lover. It’s also easier to develop a complementary menu, as the wine styles flow easily with the dish matches. The only guiding principle is that the combination of wines makes some narrative sense within that flight. It might be a vertical of one wine producer, a horizontal of a region… but I also like with these mini themes to pull together wines with something in common, but that we wouldn’t otherwise connect at one dinner. Perhaps, from the art world we can create the term “wine diptychs”.

Let’s pause here for a moment to explore that source of inspiration. One of my favourite art books at home is one that accompanied Pace London’s joint exhibition of paintings by Mark Rothko and photographic seascapes by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Two artists of two provenance in two different generations working in two different media, but the connection is strong. I love this sort of experience in wine. So tonight we will explore that too.

We begin this evening somewhat classically with Piper Heidsieck’s ‘Rare’, a cuvée de prestige that deserves in moniker – only nine vintages have been released in four decades. The first – 1976, which we shall try this evening – was released in 1985 to celebrate the bi-centennial of Florens-Louis Heidsieck’s presentation of “a cuvée worthy of a queen” to Marie-Antoinette in 1785. So, our first flight is a trio of great vintages of Rare – 1976, 1988 and 2002.

Then the first of our “diptych” mini-themes – 1964: a bottle of Château Clos Fourtet from the St.-Émilion limestone plateau, recently released from the deep cellars of the estate, and an incredibly rare bottle of Château Musar from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The vintage 1964 is renowned for both places. Tasting these two side by side will be very interesting.

Next two outside-of-France “first growths”, both of which have been vinous ambassadors for their respective countries for decades, both of which – stylistically to my mind – are acid-driven rather than tannin-driven. Both have traditionally demanded long-cellaring to see their virtues, and so here we have them in that almost universally great vintage, with a third of a century of age to their benefit, 1985 Vega Sicilia ‘Unico’ from Spain’s Ribera del Duero, and 1985 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. Despite differences in terroir and blend, both are made in similar long-wood-ageing approaches and with similar goals for longevity in mind. I often think of them together. It will be interesting to see how they compare in this flight.

The next diptych – centred around benchmark class Syrah/Shiraz, iconic representation of the Hermitage classic, and the Australian response, in adjacent classic vintages. Both, in my experience, are easily capable of delivering vitality and complexity with 50 or more years in bottle. These two are in their drinking apogee: 1982 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Hermitage ‘La Chapelle’, and 1981 Penfold’s Grange Hermitage.

Finally, a beautifully elegant pair from 1953. These two, in their individual ways, show what fine fruit, botrytis, and fresh acidity can deliver, even after two thirds of a century.

I’m looking forward to sharing this enjoyable and illuminating evening with you.


Flight 1:
1976 Piper Heidsieck - Rare
2002 Piper Heidsieck - Rare
1988 Piper Heidsieck - Rare

Flight 2:
1964 Château Clos-Fourtet
1964 Château Musar

Flight 3:
1985 Vega Sicilia - Unico
1985 Biondi Santi - Brunello di Montalcino Riserva

Flight 4:
1981 Penfolds - Grange
1982 Maison Paul Jaboulet Aîne - Hermitage 'La Chapelle' 

Flight 5:
1953 Domaine Huet - Vouvray Le Mont Moellëux Première Trie    
1953 Château Doisy Daëne

'Mini-Themes' Wine Dinner in Hong Kong
Wine Luncheons and Dinners
Date Friday 17 January 2020
Time 19:00
Venue La Rambla (8 Finance St. 3071-73 Level 3, IFC mall, Central)
Ticket HKD 5,500 per seat
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Event wine list

Vintage Wine Bottle size Score
1976 Piper Heidsieck - Rare 750ml -
2002 Piper Heidsieck - Rare 750ml WA95
1988 Piper Heidsieck - Rare 750ml -
1964 Chateau Clos Fourtet 750ml -
1964 Chateau Musar 750ml -
1985 Vega Sicilia - Unico 750ml WA93
1985 Biondi Santi - Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 750ml -
1981 Penfolds - Grange 750ml WA97
1982 Maison Paul Jaboulet Aine - Hermitage 'La Chapelle' 750ml WA92
1953 Domaine Huet - Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Premiere Trie 750ml -
1953 Chateau Doisy-Daene 750ml -

Wines available for sale

Vintage Wine Bottle Size Unit of sale Qty of unit Qty of btl Btl price (HKD) Score Location
2002 Piper Heidsieck - Rare (Individual Giftbox) 750 OC1 120 120 2,200 WA95 HK
2002 Piper Heidsieck - Rare (Individual Giftbox)
750 ml OC1 HK HKD 2,200 / BTL 120 case available
Bottle size
Qty of unit
Qty of btl
Btl price (HKD)
Under the law of Hong Kong, intoxicating liquor must not be sold or supplied to a minor in the course of business. 根據香港法律,不得在業務過程中,向未成年人售賣或供應令人醺醉的酒類。 The wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. Title to all wine remains with The Fine Wine Experience until paid for in full.提供的货物仍有待售。 货物所有权只在收到全额付款到The Fine Wine Experience的帐户後转移。
HK / HK storage; ready for delivery within 1-2 business days.
HK-Shop / available for in-store purchase in Sai Ying Pun.
HK Pre-arrival wines in transit to Hong Kong. Please contact us for arrival estimate.
En-Primeur / wines still in chateau; will arrange delivery to once wine is received in HK