New standards continue to be set in terms of wine sales in Asia - and industry insiders say things can only get better.
The weekend saw the second-largest wine auction ever held in the region and for the organizers of next month's Wine & Gourmet Asia fair - to be staged October 28-30 at The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel - those results are simply an indication of the wider variety of tastes being developed.
"Every year we are seeing change,'' says Michael Dreyer, Asia Pacific Vice President of Koelnmesse, which organizes Wine & Gourmet Asia.
The event markets itself as a leading fair for Asia's "hospitality industry leaders as well as all gourmands and wine enthusiasts',' and follows on from the successful Vinexpo Asia event, held in Hong Kong in May.
"We only focus on fine wine and fine foods at our event, which makes us different, but the wine market alone in Asia is getting stronger every year, especially in China which as everyone knows has developed a huge market for such wines as Bordeaux.''
As well as exhibits, Wine & Gourmet Asia will feature the Asian Cocktail Championship, a "live" chocolate art demonstration, wine seminars and food tasting event.
Meanwhile, the East Meets West wine auction, hosted at the weekend by Acker Merrall & Condit, picked up combined sales of HK$68,131,876 (€6.5 million), second ever only to the auction house's "The Imperial Cellar Sale'' in May which scooped HK$152 million (€14.7 million).
"The continued and increasing strength of our sales here in Asia highlights the increasingly sophisticated taste of wine collectors in Asia. The vitality and persistent strength of the growing economy in Hong Kong and China cannot be ignored,'' was the reaction afterwards of John Kapon, Acker Merrall & Condit's president and auction director.
Acker Merrall & Condit (
http://www.ackerasia.com) plan more auctions in Hong Kong in November and December.
Wine & Gourmet
The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, Macau