Cork or Screw Cap? Symposium at Wine for Asia to throw more light on the issue

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Cork or screw cap? Which is the right closure for wines for the Asian market – or are both equally good?
This issue will come under scrutiny at a symposium to be held at Wine for Asia 2007. The Asia Market – Cork or Screw Cap Panel Discussion will be held on 25 October, the opening day of WFA 2007, at Singapore Expo, from 2pm-3.30pm.
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The event is organised jointly by Singex Exhibitions and Wine Resources. Said Mr Malcolm Tham, consultant with Wine Resources: “Closure for wine has always been an interesting topic for many wine traders in Asia. On the supply side, they are offered wines that come with different types of closure devices, each claiming specific benefits that they will bring to the wine. On the demand side, they are bombarded with queries from consumers, to which they often are not able to provide convincing answers.
“There is an undisputable trend that more and more wines in Asia are now sold with screw caps. This came with the assurance that such closures guarantee freshness in the wine, untainted by occasional TCA from corks. However, despite an increasing presence of screw-capped wines on the shelf, there is still strong resistance from consumers to buy expensive wines with screw caps purely out of aesthetic or other subjective reasons.
“This panel discussion will bring together representatives from various sectors of the wine trade to share their views and personal experiences with regard to closure devices. The forum does not aim to show the superiority of one closure device over another. It is intended to give the participants a good appreciation of the customer issues concerning closure devices and bring away with them some up-to-date
information on the development of closure devices for wine and make informed choices.”
The panel includes:
· Mr Paul White, an American journalist based in New Zealand. He has written an article on closure published by Harpers in their December 2005 supplement issue titled “Scientifically Speaking”. The article has created much discussion, agreements and disagreements within the wine industry.
· Mr David Cowderoy, an oenology-trained (Roseworthy College, South Australia) wine maker from Southern France. Mr Cowderoy has a wealth of experience in wine making and wine marketing. He uses both cork and screw caps for his wines.
· Ms Marta Sá Pinto, the R&D and Quality Technician at Vinocor Cork Factory, Portugal. She will address concerns that many people may have on cork related problems in wines. Ms Pinto has a degree in biology (scientific field) and Masters in Biological Engineering.
· A representative from the New Zealand wine industry to provide views on screw cap developments.
· Mr Graham Hayward, cellarmaster of Singapore International Wine & Food Society
· A regional wine distributor to complete the picture from the market’s perspective.
There will also be a Panel Discussion on “Capitalising on wine to increase the bottom line of traditional dining business” to be held at WFA 2007 on 25 September from 4.30pm to 6pm. Said Mr Tham: “Traditional Asian dining lags behind western dining in terms of wine and dine culture. Most Asian restaurants do not have an elaborate wine list nor competent wine services to ensure a good wine and dine experience. However, many such restaurant owners realise that they have to adapt to changing dining expectations.
“This panel discussion will bring together experts from the F&B industry to see how the traditional dining business could capitalise on wine to create differentiation and increase the bottom line.” The panel will include a representative from an F&B Consultancy, a Chinese Restaurateur, a sommelier, a Wine Distributor and a Chinese Chef.
WFA 2007, the fifth in the series, Asia’s most comprehensive international wine exhibition will occupy an area of 7,000 sqm. It expects to receive more than 4,000 trade professionals from 21 countries – Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hongkong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Preregistered Trade visitors will get free admission while on-site registration will cost $25.
About 58,000 wine bottles are expected to be showcased at WFA 2007. Visitors will also have an opportunity to taste winning wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2007 and the Wine for Asia’s very own Wine Style Asia Award 2007. Wine Style Asia Award is the mark of quality wine destined for the Asian market. The winning wines a selected by 2 panels of judges comprising mainly of Asian judges.
The first round of judging will be on 16 October and the final round on 22 October.

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