Tai Tam Country Park
3rd October 2009
I'm a keen runner so when I saw an event that married wine tasting with running I was one very excited little camper. Organised by Wine Hot to raise funds for the Variety charity, the event was held at Hong Kong Island's spectacular Tai Lam Country Park. The themed run was styled as a journey through the wine regions of France. As things got underway I wasn't just impressed by the mere existence of a pre-race toast, but by the fact it included a pep talk about how the event wasn't timed, how there would be no places allocated and how it most certainly was not a race.
My brother and I headed off at a pretty good pace. The running was good, the views spectacular and the first few wines decent: a Corbières Rosé; Domain Pelle Menetou-Salon 2007, a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire and Seppi Landman Gewurztraminer 2008 from Alsace. We were within the first twenty or so to arrive at the tasting table located on the Tai Tam Upper Reservoir dam wall, but somehow ended up being the last to leave. While sipping Chateau Moulin-à-Vent 2007 from a tiny cup something strange happened: what had previously been a charity run somehow metamorphosed into a day on the booze; it honestly felt like we were in a bar. When the boys serving the Beaujolais were finally dry, we headed down hill for a sip of Cuvée des Vignerons Vacqueyras 2007, a sample of Chateau Puy Castera Haut-Médoc 2004 and at the finish a plastic cup of Albert Beerens Champagne. What would normally be a half an hour run had become a six marathon; it was dark when we crossed the line. Sam, the bloke responsible for the running the show, was great; he didn't just put on the event for charity, but also insisted that we didn't leave until all the booze was finished.
Sunday I woke up with a very sore head; a half eaten bag of Big Big Chick scattered next to me and a wine stained t-shirt crumpled on the floor. While I may have indulged a tad too much; the Tai Tam Coteaux was an absolute blinder of a day. I enjoyed the wines - my favourites were the balanced Moulin-a-Vent and the rich and silky Vacqueyras - I enjoyed the scenic run, but most importantly I enjoyed the spirit of good natured fun, generosity and camaraderie that infiltrated the day. The Tai Tam Coteaux was awesome; get on board next year folks.
Visit event website.