Misha & Olly recently visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to conduct Master Classes and wine events.
The highlights of our visit to Kuala Lumpur were the events we held at New Zealand’s High Commissioner to Malaysia and Brunei, His Excellency David Pine’s residence. We teamed up with Frantz Dumey who heads up Riedel in Asia and we held a joint Riedel and Misha’s Vineyard Masterclass with a group of top level sommeliers and senior F&B folks in the formal dining room at the Residence, which worked perfectly and looked amazing! It’s always hard to follow a Riedel glass demonstration which is very interactive with all the various pouring of wine from one glass to another. It’s also entertaining watching Frantz conduct the interactive demonstration with his inimitable style and flair! But after the Riedel demonstration it was good to showcase Central Otago’s wine offerings – proving that the region is not just superbly capable with Pinot Noir but also the range of cool climate aromatics.
After the Masterclass we were joined by many more Food & Beverage folks, sommeliers and some guests of the High Commissioner. A number of New Zealand food sponsors provided a lovely array of cheese, lamb, wagyu beef, and pastries to go with our range of Misha’s Vineyard wines that were served throughout the evening. The food sponsors were arranged through NZTE office in KL, who were very helpful and supportive of our events. The only thing that didn’t go perfectly was the weather which kept a few people away – the traffic is bad enough in KL but when you’re in the rainy season and have torrential downpours as well, it’s just gridlock! (Note to self – don’t go to KL in the rainy season).
We also held a very successful wine dinner at the new Kampachi Restaurant which is run by the Equatorial Hotel group but not located in a hotel but in a new fashionable residential area in Petaling Jaya (PJ) at The Plaza @Jaya 33. It’s a stunning new restaurant and has Chef Looi at the helm – an incredibly talented man who worked very hard to ensure we had some of the best Japanese food matches to our range of wines, that we’ve ever tried! This is definitely a restaurant to visit if you’re in Malaysia – they do everything well and there’s a fabulous bar area with the most amazing rotating wood pods to have your pre-dinner drinks in privacy. They also have a wonderful wine list and a team of incredibly committed staff – Olly and I were impressed!
Another fun activity whilst in KL was some New Zealand wine training which we did at the Berjaya University College of Hospitality where we met Mae Ho, their Chief Operating Officer and BC Tan, the Vice Chancellor along with Ronald Binati, the head of Somlay, the Sommeliers Association of Malaysia! We then had a two hour session and took students through some basics on New Zealand wine and explained what made it different. We then used the Misha’s Vineyard range of wines to introduce students to some of New Zealand’s key varieties and discussed New Zealand’s approach to those varieties. We had great feedback and will plan to continue working closely with the school to provide some on-going education and information on New Zealand wine to ensure students get some good New Zealand wine exposure before they leave and start building their own wine lists!
Other activities in KL included many trade visits – a great way to see some of the most beautiful hotels and restaurants! Some of the hotels we visited and did tastings with included the stunning Mandarin Oriental, Sheraton Imperial and, Impiana Hotel and we also did a late night tasting at Vintry – a group which has 5 outlets in KL which are all combination wine bars and restaurants where wine is the focus, stocking over 1200 labels and where most of the staff have Level 2 or 3 WSET training. Vintry Jaya 33 outlet has two Enomatic wine systems in its 4,000 sq ft space and was busy when we went there with everyone drinking nice wines!
We also had a very fun visit with Angie Hiew who runs Sentidos at Starhill Gallery who was so excited when tasting our wines, she rushed off the kitchen to cook a fish dish as she wanted to try a Pernod cream sauce to match with our Pinot Gris – and it was a great match!! Angie is already planning a Misha’s Vineyard wine night at Sentidos very soon and will get our friend Roderick Wong, (VP of Somlay) who knows our wines well, to be our Misha’s Vineyard ambassador for the night! It’s so nice when people are so inspired by your wines that they rush off to prepare food to match and then want to have an event as well!
Thanks to CK Chew from Finlux our distributor, and Aaron Wee and the rest of the Finlux team who made everything seem so seamless during our visit. We hope during this visit we’ve managed to win a few more fans (and I don’t think there’s any doubt about that), and we’ll be back in Malaysia soon to continue to spread the New Zealand wine message.