HK wine market ‘now driven by consumers’

19th February, 2016 by Lucy Jenkins

Hong Kong’s wine lovers are buying bottles to drink now rather than viewing wine as an investment, a fine wine merchant has reported.

hong kong“Consumers are still into the big brands,” said Linden Wilkie of the Fine Wine Experience. “But they are after good aged wine to consume immediately, rather than saving it with a view to selling further down the line.”

Faced with mounting Burgundy prices, and failing to see a return on investment in Bordeaux, wine lovers in Hong Kong are no longer “stockpiling” wine by buying cases they had no intention of ever drinking. “It makes the market healthier, I think. Because wine really should be for drinking and it brings substance to the market which becomes less about monetary transactions and more about consumers just enjoying wine for its own sake.”

“Yes, the fine wine market is a bit flat but now it’s now driven by consumption with definitive end consumers. Before the mid 2000s it was hard to define who was actually drinking what, with China’s excessive gifting culture and collectors holding on to cases they would know would rapidly appreciate in value.”

A more pragmatic issue in Hong Kong is the subject of space and the climate that bathes the region in near-permanent humidity.

“It’s just not practical to store wine here. There’s hardly any space, the rental prices are crazy because of this lack of space and also because of the technology involved. You need a temperature controlled, secure storage unit and unless you’ve got a vast collection, for the average wine drinker it’s just not worth it.”

The age-old subject of saving face and winning approval for Chinese consumers is still very much a part of Hong Kong’s wine drinking culture, however, which continues to limit what people are looking for, said Wilkie.

“You can have a really interesting wine by a relatively unknown winemaker that’s making waves in Europe but that it of minimal interest to the average fine wine drinker here.” Rather than in Europe where wine is one component of a gathering of friends with good food in a good restaurant, in Hong Kong wine remains the main focus.

“You’ll have a group of drinkers who will all bring a very good bottle of aged Bordeaux or aged Burgundy and they’ll drink it with Chinese food – abalone, steamed garoupa – food they have been eating for years so that takes a back seat and wine is centre stage which cements their position among their peers and colleagues.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Fine Wine Logistics Coordinator

IG Wines
London, GB

Brand Ambassador East Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
New York - field-based, USA

Brand Ambassador West Coast USA - Ableforth’s

Maverick Drinks
San Francisco / Los Angeles - field-based, USA

Global Travel Retail Manager

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Portfolio Ambassador - Europe

Maverick Drinks
North West Europe - field-based, UK

Senior Partner Manager - Grocery

Maverick Drinks
London/Field Based, UK

Sales Executive

Woolf Sung Ltd
London

Trade Marketing Manager - Maverick Drinks

Maverick Drinks
London / Kent

Business Development Executive Central London

William Grant & Sons UK
London

PR & Communications Officer - Atom Group

ATOM Supplies Limited
London, UK

Crus Bourgeois du Médoc 2015 Official Selection Tasting

London,United Kingdom
21st Sep 2017

The City Wine Show

London,United Kingdom
22nd Sep 2017

Almaviva 2015 Vintage and Vertical Tasting

London,United Kingdom
28th Sep 2017
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 29th September 2017

Click to view more

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

The Global Organic Masters 2017

The drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Organic Masters

Click to view more