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Anthony Wong – Uncompromising Taste

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黃秋生.從不妥協的品味

 

Photographer: Dennis Yong                 Venue: Angel’s Share

 

Hong Kong Film Award-winner, Anthony Wong, is a powerhouse actor, embodying charisma on-screen, and – as Cru finds out through a casual chat over wine – a candid yet perceptive disposition off-screen.

兩度奪得影帝的黃秋生,在舞台上,是名充滿魅力的實力派演員,在現實生活中,除了性格爽朗、言論大膽外,也有感性的一面,《釀. 生活》跟他一邊飲酒,一邊談天說地。

 

 

A personal favourite of mine, Anthony Wong has appeared in over 200 films but never shows signs of pretension –demonstrating his acting finesse from roles such as the crafty Johnson in The Justice of Life, grunge-cop Tung in Beast Cops, and of course the uprightly macho Superintendant Wong in the critically acclaimed Infernal Affairs, Wong is undoubtedly a pillar of acting strength in Hong Kong’s film industry.

 黃秋生是筆者最喜愛的演員之一,演出超過200部電影,從不做作,無論演什麼角色都入形入格,由奸角反派,如《他來自江湖》的Johnson,到《野獸刑警》的爛鬼東那種邊緣人,再到《無間道》中的黃sir那種正氣凜然、man到爆的正派角色,絕對是香港影壇的中流砥柱。是很多人眼中的大男人、英雄豪傑,就讓我們看看他會否酒後吐真言吧。

 

 

“Now that’s beer!”

Wong admits he never gave beer much thought until he attended boarding school in the UK, whereupon purchasing a couple of British beers, he promptly realized, “Now that’s beer!” Returning to Hong Kong, Wong was disappointed to find that apart from the creamy Boddingtons, nothing else quite compared to what he had experienced in the UK, so he now opts to imbibe in the occasional Tsing Tao, though he adds that the extra-chilled porcelain bowl is essential! Whiskey on the rocks also used to be a beverage of choice for Wong, though due to his hectic work schedule and the toll such alcohol can take on one’s body, it is now enjoyed in moderation.

“My interest for wine started with some close friends of mine,” recalls Wong, “Sean Lau and Francis Yu are both wine lovers – from collecting and drinking to thorough research – they really know it all, so I often drink with them. I did try my hand at really learning about wines once, but I felt it was a bit too troublesome –all I want is to enjoy some good wine! Sometimes I’ll find something I love, and after figuring out the year, brand, and region, I’ll realize that I can’t even buy it because they’re sold out, so I have to start the process all over again –it really is quite a time consuming process.”

「這才是啤酒!」

談到酒,秋生說本來不覺得是什麼一回事,只是喝喝啤酒,無什麼要求。自從到英國留學後,在超市買了一些啤酒回來,才驚覺:「這才是啤酒!」回港後卻找不到那麼好喝的。除了喜愛那帶creamy的Boddingtons外,「其他都不像話兒...」。但在香港喝回Boddingtons,也沒有像外國的好喝,現在間中只會喝青島罷了,而且一定要用隻雪到結霜的米通碗才是享受!本來都十分愛喝威士忌加冰的,但因為工作關係,飲得太多以至傷胃,現在比較少喝了。

「遇上葡萄酒,主要是一班朋友、死黨開始。尤其是劉青雲、吳鎮宇,他們又玩酒又鍾意飲,又研究又睇書,又買酒櫃又訂酒,於是我會經常跟他們一起飲,有次跟青雲食飯的時候,旁邊正在舉行試酒會,整個餐廳都充滿酒香,非常吸引。試過去學酒,但是覺得太煩了,我只是想飲好酒罷了。而且當我愛上一款酒,知道年份、牌子、產區,過一陣子想買的時候竟然已經沽清了,又要再重新選另外一款,太煩了,想飲枝好酒又要花多兩、三天時間。」

 

French Bordeaux, a personal favorite

Deciding to forgo the effort of learning about wines, Wong now simply joins his wine aficionado friends at wine tastings, trying wines from Australia, Chile, Italy, etc. However, he pledges his loyalty to French wines, or Bordeaux wines to be exact, stating his theory as never considering a wine’s label, year, or region, but rather, if it’s something he enjoys, then it’s a good wine. We offer him three types of wine to taste including a Bordeaux, an American Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Chinese Merlot. Without knowledge of which glass is which, Wong still manages to single out his favorite Bordeaux. “I think Bordeaux is still most suited for my taste,” he says, “It’s a solid wine with a certain something that I can’t find in other wines – even wines that try to emulate French wines can’t match their robust, full-bodied intensity.” When it comes to critiquing the other two wines, Wong simply says, “No,” or “Tastes like an alcoholic Ribena…” Would he consider a trip to Bordeaux, then? “Not a good idea,” Wong replies – to visit Bordeaux would mean a seven-day drunken stupor where he would refuse to move at all, probably content to just sit around all day admiring the landscape!

最愛法國波爾多

於是秋生不再花這心機,既然朋友那麼熱心,就不再煩好了,跟他們試好多酒:法國、澳洲、智利、意大利...等等。但他只愛法國酒,還只是認為波爾多的最好喝。他的飲酒理論是:從來不看牌子、不看年份地區,飲了下去,他覺得好喝便是好酒。我們當天給他品嚐了三款酒,包括一款波爾多紅酒、一款美國的Cabernet Sauvignon及一款中國出產、以Merlot為主的紅酒。秋生在不知道的情況下能夠選出他喜愛的,果然是那瓶波爾多紅酒。「還是波爾多的最合我口味,那味道給人decent的感覺,其他的都輕挑一點,要學法國的,都沒有那種型格,好像著襯衫的時候故意扣少幾粒鈕,太做作了,而法國酒就好像比較有男人味,沉實中有內涵。」對其他兩枝酒的評價是:「唔得」或者是「飲得的利寶納」!說到如果去波爾多旅行,他說一定不行,因為肯定會醉足七日七夜,醉到什麼地方都不願去,只會想坐下來看看風景、聽聽音樂,由早醉到晚了。

 

 

Le Bon Vivre!

How does Wong buy his wines then? “I check out the price and the wine label – if the label isn’t too weird and the wine is priced at around four to five hundred dollars, then it usually isn’t too bad with meals. The seven to eight hundred-dollar wines are often quite good for sipping and savoring, but when it comes to wines over a thousand dollars – those usually have quite distinct characters and are not to be trifled with. These should be carefully selected as not all will be suitable for your personal taste.” When he has time to spare from his hectic work schedule, Wong truly enjoys life – one of his favorite pastimes is cooking while savoring a nice glass of wine; his specialties include steak, lamb and the occasional chicken and pasta (all of which pair quite nicely with Bordeaux, of course!). “Pizza, though, must be paired with Italian wines,” Wong advises, “French wines really don’t match!” Wong also enjoys the occasional evening with fellow wine loving friends, where they will easily enjoy six to seven bottles of wine accompanied by good music and lively conversation.

Surprisingly, Wong’s tolerance is not as high as we had originally expected, though I am impressed with his work ethic – he pauses his drinking halfway through our conversation, concerned that he would not be able to fully follow through with his photo shoot. His attitude towards wine is also admirable – though he may not be fully versed in the art of wine appreciation, he still maintains a personal standard and taste that is, like his character, solid and unwavering.

 

享受生活

如果他要自己買酒的時候會怎麼選呢?「看價錢及酒標吧:首先酒標正常,沒有古靈精怪的,四至五百圓的,通常都可以,食飯時飲也不錯;七、八百圓的通常都不錯,可以用來慢慢享受;至於過千的酒就不要輕舉妄動,因為她們通常都好有個性,如果你不了解,或沒有朋友介紹,可能不合你的口味,當然她們都是好酒,只是你未必喜歡罷了。」秋生閒時真的非常懂得享受生活,可能工作壓力真的很大,精神沉重。原來他非常喜歡煮食,最愛開枝靚酒,然後一邊煮菜,再慢慢食,慢慢喝,喜歡煎下牛扒、羊扒,也會焗下雞,炮製意大利粉,這些也是非常適合配酒的食物,跟他最愛的波爾多酒最相襯。「但是食Pizza真的要飲意大利酒,法國酒真的不行!」果然識飲識食。他最愛跟懂酒的朋友一晚開六、七枝酒慢慢享受,消磨一整晚,配上音樂跟大家談天說地是他認為十分快樂的事。 原來秋生並沒有我想像中那麼能喝,我們閒談的中途他恐怕會太醉而不能完成拍照的工作,可見他是一個做事認真的人,我也非常欣賞他飲酒的態度,雖然未必太認識葡萄酒,但絕對有自己的一套標準,不會隨波逐流,擁有自己的品味,夠真。

 

(From the March 2011 Issue of Cru Magazine. 刊於《釀.生活》2011年3月號。)