The Fine Wine Capital of the World? | James Suckling | Blogs | Wine Spectator


I received an e-mail today from Acker Merrall & Condit, the New York-based wine merchant and auctioneer, and it reported that its second wine auction in Hong Kong totaled about about $4.8 million. Over 1,100 lots of wines were sold at this past weekend’s sale in Hong Kong, including 2,000 bottles of Bordeaux, 3,000 bottles of Burgundy and 1,200 bottles of the world’s finest Champagne. A Hong Kong wine collector paid slightly more than $68,000 for six bottles of 1985 Henri Jayer Richebourg, the legendary Burgundy.

I have to think that the fine wine capital is now the Far East trade center. I remember about 15 years ago when I wrote that New York could be the new fine wine center after London wine auction houses opened sales there. But it now is moving again, from the Big Apple to the Pearl of the Orient.

You don’t believe me? I hear that many wine collectors—particularly those in the United States—now insist that their wines be sold in Hong Kong. They know that the Chinese, both mainland and Hong Kong, will pay premiums for their wines, sometimes two or three times more than what bidders would pay in New York or London. Some wine auction houses openly say that they would be in the red if it weren’t for their sales in Hong Kong. Most top fine wine brokers in the world now have offices there.

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This blog post is very educational. I remember reading a few years back in the introduction to a definitive wine book how the author (no names mentioned…he is famous) thought London was the wine capital of the world. That must be due to the perfect weather!!! It may have been temporarily the wine trade center and it is not a surprise it moved to Hong Kong. East Asian are wonderful in many ways and their ostentatiousness is so great that world-class economies can be built upon. They have to show off so bad they have to set the record for how much wine (cocaine next???) they consume and what absurd prices they pay. Or may be they are so sophisticated they can only appreciate the most distinct wines and vintages. It has always been this way. For example, most people don’t know French drink Armagnac (what is that???) and the world-famous Cognac (make 6 times more than Armagnac in volume) is not the preferred taste there. They export it to East Asia. They have more sophisticated palates in EA.
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