With Decanter's first Asia Wine Awards taking place in September, find out more about new judge Charles Curtis MW, who works for Christie's auction house, as the Head of Wine, Asia.
Tell us a little about yourself – Where are you based and where do you work?
I am based in Hong Kong, and I work as the Head of Wine, Asia for Christie’s auction house.
How did you first become interested in wine?
I worked as a chef in my first career, and my interest in wine stems from my love of food, flavours and aromas.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a wine auctioneer?
There is a truism among wine collectors: There are no great wines, only great bottles. The auction-world corollary is great wine is worth what someone is willing to pay for it on any given day.
Is there a person or producer you particularly admire within the wine industry?
Château Latour inspires awe because of the beauty and complexity of the wines, but also because of the consistency from year-to-year.
Which wines are you drinking at home at the moment?
Summertime in Hong Kong can be very hot! I’m drinking a lot of Champagne, supplemented by German Riesling, white Bordeaux, and red Burgundy with the main course.
What are your favourite food and wine combinations?
Reds from the Côte de Nuits with steamed fish with ginger and scallion; mature claret with Peking duck or roast suckling pig, Champagne with char siu bao.
Who was your most memorable customer, and why?
Our clients value their privacy, so I hesitate to highlight the colourful ones. The world of wine auctions, though, is full of interesting characters.
Is there a strong wine scene in your city?
Hong Kong is the global centre for the fine and rare wine trade and a meeting place for wine lovers of every stripe.
Have you noticed any new trends emerging? What are customers asking for at the moment?
Customers today are looking for diversity. Burgundy! Older vintages of claret with good provenance, white wine from classic regions, Champagne, Italian wines… The list is long and getting longer.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most about judging at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards?
I’m looking forward to judging because the Decanter Asia Wine Awards will bring together great wines and great people in one of the cities that I love best.
Written by Decanter