There are a large number of wine and alcoholic beverage shops in Hong Kong, and specialist stores and retailers can be found throughout the city. Opening hours are generally between the hours of 11am and 11pm but many supermarkets sell wine and beers on their premises and online as well.
In 2007 the Hong Kong government abolished duties on wine and beer in a bid to promote the city as a fine wine and drinking location. This has led to a major growth in this industry so much so that Hong Kong today is regarded as the premier wine market in the Asian region and the city routinely hosts fine wine auctions as well as industry events like Vinexpo which provides a platform for wine producers from around the world to showcase their products to the well informed Hong Kong audience.
Almost all of the wine sold in Hong Kong is imported from overseas with wine from France being the most popular, followed by Australian and Californian varieties. Good bottles of new world wines can be found for as little as HK$35, while those who prefer the fine and rare wines are often willing to put down any amount to acquire them. In fact wine auctions conducted by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong often surpass their estimates. Another interesting fact about Hong Kong’s wine enthusiasts is their preference for red wine rather than other varieties.
Such is the craze and the purchasing power of oenophiles in Hong Kong that when renowned composer, Andrew Lloyd Weber decided to sell his collection of wines, he chose to have them auctioned in Hong Kong where there is a great love and appreciation for French wines. The auction, which was estimated to fetch HK $32 million, brought in as much as HK$ 43.3 million and all 740 lots were sold at the auction. Hong Kong today is the world’s third-largest auction center after New York and London and wine auctions do especially well in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
Hong Kong doesn’t produce any wines but Chinese rice wines and cooking wines from the mainland are easily available at the local supermarkets along with other Chinese alcoholic spirits like Gao Liang and Mao Tai. In fact, Mainland China also produces a sizable of quantity of western style wines from vineyards like Grace Vineyard, Dynasty and Silver Heights which have a huge market on the mainland. These locally produced Chinese wines are also currently promoted by local Hong Kong restaurateurs who seem to be trying to create awareness about them. Many wine experts have analyzed local Chinese wines and have actually deemed them ‘passable.’
In addition to wine, other spirits like whiskey, vodka and even beers and lagers are popular in Hong Kong. All the major supermarkets and liquor stores sell beer, whiskey and vodka along with liqueurs and various other spirits that have been imported from all over the world.
Some of the more popular wine and spirit shops are as follows:
|SoHo Wines & Spirits||16 categories of alcoholic drinks and over 500 products including wines, spirits and beers. Free delivery for orders over HK$500.||49 Elgin Street, Soho||http://www.sohowines.hk||Yes|
|Adelaide Cellar Door||Online retailer specializing in
wines from Australian and New Zealand providers.
|J’s Cellar||Specializes in wine tastings and events.||9B, 279 Des Voeux Road Central||http://www.jcellar.hk||Yes|
|Cellar Link||Offers wine storage and management services, and premium wines online.||N/A||http://www.cellarlink.hk||Yes|
|Watson’s Wine Cellar||The largest wine retailer in Hong Kong with 14 stores. Stocks more than 2,000 different wines, including vintages sourced directly from over 20 countries.||Various, throughout Hong Kong||http://www.watsonswine.com||Yes|
|Castle Fine Wines||Offers a wide selection of wines from a variety of regions. Free delivery for 6 bottles or more.||15A, 1/F Kornhill Plaza North Point||http://www.wine8.com||Yes|
|My Wine Man||Online retailer which stocks a variety of wines from Australia, New Zealand and France at reasonable prices. Only sells by the case.||N/A||http://www.mywineman.com||Yes|
|Castello del Vino||Stocks a good selection of Italian wines, all imported directly from the vineyards.||12 Anton Street, Wanchai||http://www.starstreet.com.hk||No|
|Margaret River Wine Shop||Exclusively stocks wines from Western Australia’s Margaret River region.||3 St Francis Street,
|Ponti Wine Cellars||Operates four stores in Hong Kong, carrying between 800 and 1200 wines from all the key wine-producing regions.||Various, throughout Hong Kong||http://www.pontiwinecellars.com.hk||No|
|Maxi Wines||Offers French wines direct from the producers. All wines are exclusive to the company.||9 Cochrane St,
|Golden Gate Wine||More than 80 brands and 400 varieties of American wines, all sourced from wineries in California, Oregon and Washington.||N/A||http://www.goldengatewine.com||Yes|
|Gallerie Du Vin||Specializes in fine and rare wines from France, as well as cigars and wine accessories. Also offers wine storage services.||24 Lyndhurst Terrace,
|Berry Bros & Rudd||Stocks a premium selection of wines, ports and champagne. Also provides wine-related services such as investment advice, corporate wine tastings, brokerage service and vineyard visits.||307-308
33 Hysan Ave, Causeway Bay
|Rare and Fine Wines||Rare and Fine wines operate from four locations in Hong Kong and offer a wide selection of premium wines and spirits sourced from all over the world.||Various||http://www.rarenfinewines.com.hk/||Yes|
A comprehensive list of wine and alcoholic beverage stockists, brokers and wholesalers can be found at the following website:
Wine Appreciation Courses
The abolition of duty on wine in 2008, has created a huge market for wine in Hong Kong as expected. Additionally it has also sparked an interest in wine education and several institutions in Hong Kong now offer wine appreciation classes and courses. Some of these institutions include:
The Open University of Hong Kong Professional Diploma in Wine Assessment and Services
The Fine Wine School at Berry Bros and Rudd