In 2008, Hong Kong rescinded the customs duties on wine imports, leading to an exponential boom in the business, fueled in no small part by growing demand in mainland China. In the fine wine market, Hong Kong auction sales are comparable to those in London and New York. But rest assured, there’s more to the scene than Bordeaux and Burgundy futures. From luxe hotel bars to bohemian French wine shops, Hong Kong offers plenty of ways to enjoy vinos from around the world right now.
Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong opened this intimate venue last year adjacent to the Five-Star Caprice. The intimate bar serves wines by the glass, plus bottles from an encyclopedic master list overseen by sommelier Sebastien Allano. To go with the vino, you will find a menu of lighter fare along with a variety of fine charcuterie and some of the best cheeses available in Hong Kong, including raw milk selections from small French producers and a superb, 4-year-old Comté.
Featuring low-intervention, natural and organic wines, this shop has regular tasting events in its funky, eclectic space off Hollywood Road. The most recent outing featured the wines of Domaine Binner in Alsace, Château Sainte-Anne in Provence, and Loire favorite Domaine des Roches Neuves. First just a shop, there’s also now a bar-and-bistro a few blocks away, where French is the dominant language on the menu and among the clientele.
This is the twin to a popular Sydney wine bar, serving natural and biodynamic Italian wines (including the cultish orange wines from Radikon in Oslavia) alongside fresh, ingredient-driven dishes (housemade ricotta with smoked eggplant) made to share. Look for monthly regional dinners — Sardinia and Sicilia have been recent features — and winemaker events. The rustic-industrial space has one long table, plus some counter seating.
Offering more than 160 bottles and 40 glass pours, the high tables at this sleek little cellar bar in Central are regularly packed. The selection is truly global; you might see a California cabernet from Silver Oak winery rubbing shoulders with Côte-Rôtie from Guigal and a New Zealand pinot noir from Archangel. Tasting sizes are available if you want to put together a self-styled flight.
On the 49th floor of Four-Star The Upper House, sommelier Yvonne Cheung’s wine list at Café Gray Deluxe achieves great heights with a balance of Old- (Rioja’s Tempranillo) and New-World (Finger Lakes’ dry riesling) selections from bigger names and lesser-known producers, many biodynamic and organic. Low lighting, earth tones and clean lines make this a sophisticated choice for drinks, and the building’s accordion-like façade means more windows through which to take in the view over Admiralty and the harbour beyond.