2 very different wine buying experiences

this week was interesting related to my very young ''wine career''.  not only that franco is in town and it's for me a good reason to open some of my best bottles, but also because there are so many wine events in hong kong in the run-up to the holidays.

in particular, i had a delightfull wine buying experience yesterday at berry bros & rudd hong kong (bbr for the intimates). 

to be honest, i went with a little apprehension as i somehow thought they would receive me with a bit of attitude (after-all, i was wearing jeans and looked very much the student i was 20 years ago) and i also thought their selection would be limited to the very fine wines and would set me back several thousands. 

far from being true to my preconceptions, they completely shattered them.  firstly because the consultant who took care of me, mr. william chan, was very charming and very attentive to my needs.  he was very knowledgeable and did not at all try to over sell (or undersell for that matter) me anything - he was concerned to meet my requirements.  second because their selection is actually very wide and you can tell by their list that they are in fact concerned with quality.  no matter the price range. 

i am very satisfied with the experience and they certainly won me over to become a very regular client.

(you can click on each photo for a large version)








then, the not so delightful experience.

when i started this blog, i promised i would stay positive and only discuss good experiences.  however, as we say in french, every rule has an exception...

i went to the gosset champagne dinner at the fcc on monday with a fine wine personality who is also in the process of establishing her wine career here in hong kong.  she is actually vry well connected and involved with quite a bit of wine writing herself.

and so we tasted and ate, tasted and ate some more.  we listened to the presentation from their representative.  compared notes.  we then went over our ritual of taking pictures of the bottles we tasted that evening.  all the while, the representative was working the room, going from table to table, chit chatting and pushing the sale.  i could see that he did push the sale in just about every table.  he then reached ours.  looked at us.  smiled with the patronizing smile of a used car salesman.  obviously made a calculation and without a word, continued to the next table.

now, do i feel so insecure to describe the moment in this way?  i do not think so.  in fact, i asked my dinning partner if she say what i saw.  she did indeed she replied.

i was flabbergasted.  i was about to place an order for 6 bottles, 4 of them their most expensive served that night.  i lloked at the order form.  without a word, continued with my dessert without looking back.

really.  of all people who were attending the dinner on monday, our table was perhpas not a table to be so patronizing to.

and so it is...