With entries now open for the 2024 World’s Best Wine Lists awards, we asked some of the 2023 winners about their approach to building an award-winning list. This week, Lisboa Food & Wine Group Sommelier Henry Chang gives the lowdown on the approach to putting together the Best Short Wine List in Asia at Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon at the IFC Mall, Hong Kong.
What does Winning a WBWL award mean to you and the team at Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon?
Winning such a globally recognized award holds signiﬁcant meaning for us. Each year, the competition is ﬁerce, making it an even greater honor to be acknowledged by esteemed professional judges. This recognition serves as a vital source of encouragement for our company, restaurant, and sommelier team.
What are you trying to achieve with your list?
In crafting our concise wine list, our utmost goal is to meticulously select each wine with utmost care, offering our clients a comprehensive range of reﬁned options that harmonize ﬂawlessly with our culinary offerings. Additionally, we actively seek out wines from diverse regions across the globe, aiming to curate a selection that showcases the best of different countries for the enjoyment of all our guests.
What do you feel is the biggest strength of the Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon list?
The greatest strength of our wine list lies in its remarkable diversity. It encompasses a wide array of regions and wine styles, embracing a collection of old vintage wines that add depth and character. Furthermore, we have taken great care to ensure our pricing is reasonable, making our list accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of wine enthusiasts.
Name three wines on the list at Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon that you feel best represent what you’re trying to do.
Dom Pérignon of various vintages: This iconic Champagne carries the title of the King of Champagne and is a perfect pairing for seafood in French cuisine, showcasing the epitome of elegance and reﬁnement.
Bordeaux of different vintages and regions: Bordeaux wines offer guests the opportunity to experience a range of ﬂavors and styles, immersing them in the diverse realms of wine and demonstrating our commitment to showcasing the best of Bordeaux.
German Riesling Auslese, BA and TBA: These German Riesling wines have become increasingly popular choices for after-dinner enjoyment among our guests. Their unique sweetness and complexity make them an exquisite selection that resonates with the evolving preferences of our patrons.
What is your favorite wine and food pairing based on a wine and a dish served at Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon?
My favorite wine and food pairing is the Domaine Marquis d’Angerville Clos des Ducs Volnay Premier Cru 2009, paired with one of our signature dishes: Crispy duck conﬁt with fresh ﬁgs, cabbage, and mashed potato. This Burgundy Pinot is elegant, lean, offering delicate notes of strawberry and raspberry, along with a silky texture. The red fruit ﬂavors, light tannins, and earthy aromas of the wine perfectly complement the gamey and smoky elements of the duck leg conﬁt. The saltiness and richness of the duck fat also help balance the tannin and acidity of the wine, creating a harmonious pairing.
Aside from the list itself, what other things can you tell us about the wine program at Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon?
Aside from our exceptional wine list, we take pride in our comprehensive wine program that extends beyond the list itself. We place great emphasis on the continuous training and development of our sommelier team. Our dedicated team members undergo rigorous training to enhance their knowledge and expertise in the world of wine. They are passionate about guiding our guests through the wine selection process and offering personalized recommendations that perfectly complement their culinary choices.
Additionally, we organize a variety of wine dinners in different restaurants throughout the year, providing our guests with unique opportunities to explore and appreciate the art of wine pairing. These special events allow us to showcase the versatility of our wines and create memorable dining experiences.
By combining our exceptional wine list, curated wine events, and a knowledgeable sommelier team, we strive to deliver an unparalleled wine experience to our valued guests.