Aside from being a bloody legend, Victoria ‘Tor’ Williams is the managing director of Victoria Wines, an online wine retailer that aims to bring the best wines from around the world to Hong Kong. We grabbed her for a quick chat to talk all things Hong Kong and wine before the inaugural Pinot Palooza on December 1!
Tell us about yourself and your wine background?
I’m originally from Liverpool, UK. I was managing a bar in Hong Kong and I had a great wine rep and thought why don’t I try that out. I moved into a wine sales job in 2000 and have been involved in the HK wine trade since then. I set up my own company in 2012 after managing other companies for several years.
When did you move to HK and what have you discovered there, in relation to the wine scene in particular?
I moved to HK in 1995 with a job in fashion retail. I moved to work in F&B managing bars & restaurants from 1997 and then on to wine in 2000. The wine scene in HK has completely changed in the time I’ve been here. There weren’t so many companies or choices of wines. In 2008, Hong Kong went duty free on wine, which brought in hundreds of new companies and thousands of new wines. We’re really lucky now to have such a great selection of wines available here but the industry is super competitive.
Where do you pinot?
I pinot everywhere, but particularly at home … a large percentage of my wine fridge at home is pinot.
What’s the one thing we must do in HK?
Just one?? I guess if you’re only visiting once you should hike up The Peak on a clear day .. get there before sunset so you get day and night views of one of the most incredible city views anywhere in the world. If it’s polluted or raining don’t bother – you won’t see anything.
Where are your three favourite places to eat and drink in HK?
Tough question! The restaurant scene evolves so quickly here – so I’m going with restaurants that have been around for a while. I love The Monogamous Chinese – a tiny place under the escalator in Soho with fantastic Northern Chinese cuisine. The Globe for a good pub .. many lunches are spent here trying to get over the night before! For a chilled out lunch at the weekends on the beach, I head to Bather’s at Cheung Sha in Lantau .. drinking rose, looking over one of the top beaches in HK makes for a perfect long and lazy weekend lunch.