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Uncorked: Greg De ‘Eb

Greg De ‘Eb, general manager of Crown Wine Cellars, is a former diplomat based in Hong Kong. Crown Wine Cellars is Hong Kong’s premium wine cellar facility, private wine club and home to some of the world’s rarest wine. It is based in the Deep Water Bay Drive Bunkers, formerly used by the British military. De ‘Eb opens up to db HK about his greatest vices and the best and worst things about the HK wine business.

What vintage are you?

1966 – a very good year for Mouton. I tasted one with a very dear friend in the Crown Wine Cellars library once and it stood out as the best.

What bottles sparked your love of wine?

A night spent a long time ago with John and Erica Platter at their beach home being educated by John (who is a true, passionate wine lover) over 17 very special bottles from all over the world and with just four people (including my then wife to be).

What would you be as a wine?

A Californian Cabernet at least 40 years old with residual sweetness. Great ageing potential that holds itself very well with tremendous flavour!

Where are you happiest?

At home reading stories to my children.

What’s your greatest vice?

The “3WC” – wine, women, watches and cars, but not necessarily in that order.

Best advice you ever received?

Never confuse a person with their position. The German Ambassador in 1997 told me that. It’s safe advice.

Most overused word?

People are always bandying the words “Professional” and “Expert”. Now it doesn’t really mean anything.

Your cellar is underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?

Probably my 1930 magnum of Lafite – it’s ready to drink now and an ideal way to drown your sorrows if you have just lost your entire collection!

What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?

The best thing: the camaraderie and sharing. The worst: people forget others once they climb higher and treat their lives purely to make money and become self-serving.

What’s on your wine bucket list?

I would love to assemble a private dinner involving the 10 most characterful wine makers in the world with the one bottle that they secretly love the most, along with nine of my best wine-loving friends.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

It would have to be the head of the Bill Gates Charity Foundation (because I am trying to build an innovative low-income old age home in a military heritage site and the foundation’s support could see it happen)… and Jessica Alba.

Personal satisfaction (Parker points out of 100)

Typically between 97-99, currently on the upper side but it requires expert re-evaluation every few years as I evolve and mature.

What wine would you serve at your funeral?

The Last Drop Whisky – seems appropriate!

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No