Our love affair with wine in Hong Kong has never faded. Today wines are as popular as they were, and drinkers are only getting more discernible as better wines enter the market. Most drinkers still prefer to enter a physical wine store, but more and more people are buying wine online. The Bottle Shop works with many suppliers of wine in Hong Kong, we also import wines directly from various wine making countries. Our aim is to curate the most beloved wine list suitable for dynamic drinkers who wish to explore new palates and characters.
Our award-winning wine shop is located in Sai Kung, and we serve a wide range of wine lovers from local residence to day visitors. We also serve wine online for drinkers throughout Hong Kong. Whilst most wine shops online encourage bulk purchases for a quick turnover, we encourage our customers to try a wide variety of wines with 10% discount for any six or more bottles of wines, including sakes.
What's this about old world wines vs new world wines?
There is no shortage of opinions on new world vs old world wines. However, the most obvious difference is that old world wine regions tend to have classifications to regulate how wine is made, and where they can denote their appellation. Two of the most famous examples are France's Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) scheme, and Italy's denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) system, introduced in 1963. For some classifications, not only do the wines have to meet production method and area specificities, they also have to pass flavour and character tests. Some notable Geographic Indication or Origins include Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP), Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT), Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa), Vino de la Tierra (VdIT), Denominacion de Origen (DO), Qualitatswein (from 13 wine regions), Pradikatswein (Ripeness level), and so on.
Our wine online shop would like to advise that these classifications in the "old world", in countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Germany, can mean quality guarantee on the one hand, but on the other it also means limitations on innovation. Whereas in countries where no such classifications exist, wine makers are more willing to experiment, resulting in a more diverse range of characters in wine.
What's the most popular wine in Hong Kong?
Bordeaux is the most popular wine in Hong Kong, making up a quarter of the value of all imported wines. In fact, as of 2017, whilst the average price of an exported bottle from Bordeaux wine is 7 euros, Hong Kong pays an average bottle of 32 euros (HK$290), the highest in the world. There's an additional factor that goes into this statistic, Hong Kong’s early wine adopters in the 1990s were the middle-income earners, 30 years on they’re still loyal drinkers of Bordeaux wines, maintaining their consumption levels. Furthermore, this demographic group overwhelmingly prefers red wines over white wines, which is also reflected in wine online sales too.
As more and more young demographic groups begin their wine journey, they also come with more education on wines, hence they’re much more discernible when it comes to which wines to choose for different contexts and occasions, such as wines for beach parties, wine pairing with certain cuisines, and so on. Our wine store is therefore tailored towards a much more diverse range of drinkers, and our team is keen to recommend new wines or grape varietals that our customers are yet exposed to. We believe the best wines are those that fit particular occasions, food, climate, place; and it’s our job to make sure our customers walk out of our wine shop with the best product for them.
Any wine tips or recommendations?
Have you ever been in a wine store and found yourself lost? There are bottles everywhere but the old-world wines, like French or Italians, don’t tell you what grape variety the bottle houses? This is common because countries with a rich wine tradition tend to have designated grape varietals to particular regions. For example, if you pick up a bottle of burgundy at a wine shop, it is most likely to be a Chardonnay if it’s a white wine, and a Pinot Noir or Gamay if it’s a red. It is very unlikely to be anything else. Whereas in the newer wine regions like New Zealand, Australia, or America, the grape varietals found in these countries are more diverse.
We actually think it’s best to have a little fundamental knowledge when it comes to navigating any wine shops, whether it’s for wine online, or a physical wine store. Below are some common associations between grape varietals and regions.
- Chardonnay: France Burgundy, America California, New Zealand Marlborough, Australia, South America including Chile and Argentina.
- Sauvignon Blanc: France Bordeaux, France Loire Valley, New Zealand, South Australia, Chile, and South Africa.
- Riesling: Germany Mosel, Germany Rheingau, Germany Pfalz, France Alsace, South Australia, Austria.
- Pinot Grigio: Throughout Italy, France Alsace
- Pinot Noir: France Burgundy, Germany, America California, New Zealand Marlborough, New Zealand Central Otago, Australia Victoria
- Shiraz: France Rhône, South Australia
- Cabernet Sauvignon: France Bordeaux Left Bank, South Australia, Western Australia, New Zealand Hawkes Bay, America California, America Washing State
If you're buying wines online, most wine stores explicitly state a wine’s “specifications”, including winery, production region, grape varietal, vintage, brief description, and even tasting notes. If you’re buying from a physical wine shop, even if you know what you’re looking for, it doesn’t hurt to ask for recommendations.
Why we’re voted as one of the best shops for wines in Hong Kong
We think we have a pretty simple job. Our wine shop only sells products we actually enjoy, and are value for money. As a boutique wine store, we try to house all the important categories of wines, and varietals, to ensure we accommodate all our customers. Our wine online orders are delivered the next day if the order is placed before 3pm. We secure the parcels with environmentally friendly packaging like cardboards to ensure the wines are secured and protected. Unlike many other wine stores, we don’t use plastics as the main packaging. If you ever find plastics in our parcels, they are all salvaged and reused. During storage and delivery, we ensure the wines are at optimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and below, or delivered cold at 4 degrees C. If you’re unsure about which wine online products are right for you, or need recommendations, let us know via email or phone, we can walk you through the selection, and delivery process.