‘Learn how your tongue works’ Wine Skool 101

Not only a Master Winemaker and the host of our upcoming show  The Flying Winemaker Eddie McDougall runs a Wine Skool program at his store in Hong Kong (also called The Flying Winemaker).  Wine Skool is all about teaching people how to essentially taste their wine, or at least recognize what they are tasting.  The balance of flavours and it’s length, how they linger or if they are gone immediately.  He explains the parts of your tongue that tastes specific flavours – sweet, salty, bitter; the slurp of air which wine buffs love to emphasise and why they do what they do and say what they say about wine.

Eddie teaches Wine Skool

Far from being snobby and high brow it was really light hearted and fun, I wasn’t participating but rather shooting for promotional material for our upcoming show going by the same name as Eddie’s store, The Flying Winemaker.  But I did pick up a few tips on the way, note to self, next time I’m in Hong Kong I need to do a class for myself.

Lesson one, the majority of us don’t know how to use our tongue, to taste wine at least.  So Eddie broke it all down in simple terms for the group, who, by the way, were decked out in lab coats just so they could really understand the science of it.  I had to giggle when Eddie said you aren’t going to taste the bouquet of fruity flavours wine aficionados often gush about, a array of sumer berries with fresh peachy tones and a crunchy granny smith apple that was grown in organic soils and saw 82 days of sunshine before it was hand picked by backpackers and injected into this concoction of grapes, okay maybe embellished a little for drama but you get what I mean.  You may get A fruity flavour come through but don’t be alarmed if it’s not as specific as some people describe.

Shooting Wine Skool

Also the length of taste was a cool thing, slurp some air with your wine (rather than just gulping it down) and the flavour lasts a lot longer in your mouth r.  I must remember this when a ever get to taste a great bottle of Penfolds Grange or alike (one day).

Needless to say there was some great knowledge imparted, Eddie really is a wine guru and it was fascinating seeing him in his element, if you are at all interested in wine you are definitely going to love The Flying Winemaker (the show and the store) – I really need to write down more of these tips to impress people at my next dinner party or at least the 3 people reading this blog actually make that 4 now that my dad has worked out what a blog is.

After shooting wine school it was time to interview Eddie to find out what his thoughts are about the show, what he thinks about wine and the wine industry in Asia and how he plans to destroy the myths about Asian food and wine through the show.  This would help me to write voice over and also get a more solid picture of tour host. It was insightful and engaging, if I do say so myself as the interviewer; Eddie has an amazing story, wine literally changed his life taking him in a completely new direction to follow this passion and he is adamant that since then he has never worked a day in his life.

Wang Fu's mmm dumplings

Famished we headed for a late lunch, a friend had recommended Wang Fu dumpling house and while not the healthiest of meals the tasty little parcels were full of flavour and at $35HK ($4AUD) for a plate it was a cheap and cheerful lunch.  Complements to the chef on the Pork, shrimp and watercress special – divine.


  • Drink wine at The Flying Winemaker or take a Wine Skool class
  • Forget the diet and dine out on dumplings, we went to Wang Fu on Wellington Street

2 responses to “‘Learn how your tongue works’ Wine Skool 101

  1. Fascinating post, Amy! Debunking the incompatibility of wine and Asian cuisine sounds like a great concept–I’ve tried Australian semillon with ginger and sweet grass as well as sushi with champagne (both great combinations; especially the Japanese/champagne–something about the yeast in the champagne playing off the yeast in soy sauce) but The Flying Winemaker has huge scope and potential–especially here in Canada. Wine-lovers don’t know what to do with Southeast or South Asian cuisines. I write a small blog called The Wine Serf which explores budget-friendly wine/food pairings so I’ll be following with a lot of interest. All the best and thanks for blogging about this.

    Darryl Crawford

  2. Hi Darryl, great to hear from you. I am no expert myself but I am definitely learning a lot in the process of developing this show – Eddie tells me BBQ Pork with a chunky oaky Chardonnay, Vietnamese Pho with a Rose, Pinot Gris with Indian Tikka Masala… my mouth is watering.
    Actually I did try the Cava that we had at dinner at Loretta Cheung’s house, it was brilliant, made with Champagne methods but at half the price I’m sold! (http://wp.me/p2UoJW-1F )
    I’ll definitely have to check out your blog and hopefully we can bring The Flying Winemaker to screen in Canada.

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