I sat sipping a glass of unidentified red wine and staring at a copy of the painting Amitié by Chen Yifei one evening early this month. Although the painting, which sold last year at Sotheby’s for over HK$17 million, was shown from a projector, the intimate moment that it captured between two women wearing cheongsams was moving. It was easy to initially appreciate the gentle brushstrokes, the soft pastel colours used and the beautiful details in the painting.
No other auction has been as successful over the past six months as the one held by Christie’s this past weekend. What Christies had in their favour this time, despite the somber global financial mood, is timing. The timing was perfect for an ex-domaine sale of wines from the cellars of legendary Burgundy wine maestro, Henri Jayer. He is more than just a talented winemaker or vigneron, in Japan he is a wine God immortalized in the popular manga, Les Gouttes de Dieu (The Drops of God). read more
If you can imagine a wine market at the opposite end of the spectrum from Hong Kong, it would be Norway, where I spent the past week. Norway goes beyond just regulating and taxing the wine industry, the government owns and/or controls nearly every aspect of alcohol sales. The government used to import all wine but since it was liberalised in 1996, importers have taken over the role and supply the monopoly’s shops or sell direct to restaurants. Norway is one of a handful of wine monopolies in the world; others include Sweden, Finland and most of Canada.
The first time I visited Macau in 1994, my parents begged me not to go. They were worried that as a South Korean I could potentially be kidnapped by North Koreans that operate in Macau. While these fears seem ludicrous now, Macau in the 1990s was a very different place. Alarming news stories supported my parents’ fears: Gun fights, bombings and murders linked with the triads were regularly reported and many large international corporations warned their employees about the dangers of visiting Macau. read more
Award-winning book Asian Palate and Mastering Wine are both available in English or Simplified Chinese. Also check out our Asian Food & Wine Wheel.Browse