Wine Auction in Hong Kong

I have heard of a furniture auction, an estate auction, and an art auction.  Hell, I have even hard of a bull auction.  I am from Texas after all.  But, until a few days ago, I had never heard of a wine auction.

I have never seen a more disgusting display of wealth, power and decadence in my life.  It was so much fun.

Wine Bible for this auction.

You enter this restaurant under tight security and are handed this book.  You can’t tell from the picture, but the book weights about 4 pounds and is hard cover.  It holds the key to every bottle, case and magnum of wine they are going sell over a period of three days; about 1,500 lots.

From this book, you can find out the name, age, region and description of each wine.  They also used a lot of strange acronyms such as owc – it means original wooden case.  All of this effects the price of the wine.

The book is also filled with all of these clever descriptions for the wines in each lot.  My absolute favorite description said that the wine, “had a tomato sex appeal”  I am not kidding.

Here is another actual description as seen in the bible (book).

Typically the cases of wine would range between 40,000 and 60,000 HKD.  That is about 5,000 to 7,800 USD.  Here is the board which tells you which lot is up, the list price and what the previous lots sold for.

We purchased Lot 150.

Now the best part of the wine auction is tasting the wines.  You have wine dealers and vineyard owners walking around to all the different tables to let you taste their prized possessions.  They are a crazy eccentric group of people.

I got to sample a 1971 Lynch Bages Cabernat.  That wine is older them me.  It was so good.

I also sampled a 1982 Chateau de la Tour Cru Clos-Vougeot – isn’t that a mouth full.  And a 1991 Chateau de la Tour.  Now I have no clue what all that means, but it was some really good wine.

Simple the best

But, my favorite was the Armand De Brignac Champagne – Vintage NV – Ace of Spades, Brut.  A 36 bottle lot sold for 10,000 USD.  A little over list price.  But, this was the best Champagne I have ever tasted.  It was just beautiful.  But, the funny part was that when it was brought to our table I guess in order for me to relate to the wine, the sommelier told me that the champagne was endorsed by none other then P Diddy himself.*

*Actually it is endorsed by Jay Z and I knew this already.  I didn’t correct him though.  No need to embarrass him.

All in all, I would have to say this was one of the best outing I have been too in my five years in China.  These people treat wine line a business transaction.  It wasn’t the type of auction that I am used to.  No fast talking auctioneer and no screaming and cheering when you won the bid.  It is frowned upon evident by the weird stares I got when I clapped after we one a particular active bidding war.

But, everyone was so nice and we got to drink wine. A lot of wine.  And, I can say that the rumor is true.  You don’t get a hangover when you drink good wine.

Anyone else been to a wine auction?  Was it the conservative atmosphere that I described or was you experience different?  What is the oldest bottle of anything that you have drank? 

U – Underground Railway

My all time favorite thing about traveling is finding my way around new cities.  I prefer to walk around and get lost and then find my way back again.  It is the best way to get to know a city.  Another great way to see the city and to cover more ground is by utilizing the public transportation system.

All of my favorite cities have great PTS. The street car in New Orleans, the subway in New York, the tube in London, the metro in Tokyo and Hong Kong and now the Underground Railway in Sydney.

We had one day with nothing planned so we decided to jump on the train and see where it took us. We got on at Central and took the train 4 stops to Bondi Junction.

Bondi Junction is a great shopping area of Sydney.  It has several stores that line the streets and then a huge mall.  I have to give you a little back story so you understand why this was such an exciting site for me.

In China, there are a lot of high end malls.  Lots of name brands.  You can find any and everything you need in China.  Except for a shoe in a size 9.5.  In the six years I have lived here, I have never been able to purchase a pair of shoes.  It is really sad because, I love shoes.  I mean, I really love shoes.

I have been wearing the same 3 freakin pairs of shoes for 18 months now (last time I was in USA). I needed new shoes.

In Sydney Australia, I found shoes.  In fact, I found several shoes stores in Bondi Junction and every single store I went to and every shoe I asked to see had a size 9.5.  I was in 9.5 shoe heaven.  I was such a great feeling.  I brought 4 pairs.

So, I send thanks out to you all.  To Sydney for loving big feet people, to Bondi Junction for housing some great shoes stores and especially to the Underground Railway.  If it was not for you and your easy access all over Sydney, I might still be wearing the same 3 freakin pairs of shoes.