All posts tagged: Hong Kong

On Brexit and the international fine wine trade

Alan Livsey, an Oxonian on the FT’s Lex team has aptly started his wine-commentary piece on the FT as follows: “Fine wine does not take well to shaking – sloshing the sediments around the bottle only muddles the product inside”. There has been plenty of sloshing going around, as Livsey has noted in the same piece. There are tales of booms and busts, sticky prices and the likes. This is especially true when it comes to Bordeaux en primeur – a system that is very near the point of breaking, only to be saved from its brink of doom by a very good vintage. Even so, there are plenty of criticisms on early bottling, unfinished products and so on, which makes you wonder when will the barrage ever stop. But with cheap and abundant shell suppliers, I doubt the barrage will ever end. I am not here to discuss the limitations of the Bordeaux fine-wine market and its en primeur system. I am here to talk about Brexit and its implications on the UK fine-wine scene and the dynamics …

Wine investing and trading I: the Market

Investing and trading in wine can be a joyful or painful experience. Joyful if you have made a super 300% return upon liquidating a wine which you have held for 5 years or you are making healthy margins at a high turnover rate. Painful if you are shifting some wines very slowly at slim margins or you only just break even upon liquidating some wine which you have held for a while. By the time you factor in storage costs, inflation, logistics, FTSE-index matching, etc.; you will inevitably ask why you put yourself through all these in the first place. When the going gets tough, some traders and investors console themselves by telling themselves that they put themselves through all the pain for the love of the wine – which is acceptable, I suppose. Not in the Epicurean sense, of course, but I digress… In the next series of blogposts, I will introduce a set of trading tools developed by WineQuant (WQ) which can be used to understand the mechanics behind wine trading and investment. Supply and …

In vino veritas

Ever since I moved back to Brunei in April 2015, I have made several trips to Hong Kong. I like Hong Kong very much – it is a vibrant city, filled with culinary delights at every corner. More importantly, I get to see and meet up with old friends I have there, some of whom I have been in close contact since we left a Quaker boarding school a long time ago. One such person is Herman Lam, General Manager of a wine merchant business which he founded back in 2013. We would catch up over very nice wines and delicious food. Hong Kong is a fantastic place to drink wines – especially premium ones. This is mainly due to zero duty and sales tax on wines passed by a former Chief Executive who always donned a fancy bowtie and was very fond of his clarets and cigars. The range of wines one can get and find in the local wine scene keeps expanding and improving. I’ve never failed to be captivated. One gem which I came …