But amid all the opportunity in the fastest growing market in the world comes a stark warning about the threat of fake wine.
The founder of Hong Kong’s Independent Wine Centre went public this week with his fears of the growing threat of fake wine in the Chinese market.
According to a report in The Independent:
Tam has been quoted in the local press as saying friends of his had been offered as much as HK$10,000 (936 euros) for an empty bottle of Chateau Lafite 1982.
Apparently the bottles are then filled with ordinary wine and offered on the market for a knockdown HK$40,000 (3,700 euros) – down from the average price of HK$100,000 (9,400 euros) going for that vintage.
We have to act fast.
All wine duties were abolished in Hong Kong in 2008, and as a consequence the city has become the world’s largest market for the auction of fine wines – bigger even than New York and London.
This is not a new Hong Kong phenomenon. In 2001, thirty bottles of 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild were found to contain wine that retailed for 15 euros a bottle.
Of course, the UK has it’s own fake wine scam. Go to any supermarket in the land and you’ll see hundreds of branded products claiming to be wine when in fact they are filled with a machine made sugary grape juice concoction.
It’s wine Jim but not as we know it.