Last week marked the launch of another wine retailer in Hong Kong. Ponti Wine Cellars, opened their Kowloon flagship store to a receptive audience of 150. The company, opening its first store in 1988, now has four wine retailers in Hong Kong, as well as Singapore branches. In his speech, Mr Antonio Koo, Managing Director of Ponti Wine Cellars, said that;
“22 years ago when we first started Ponti at the basement of my father Daniel Koo’s legendary Shui Hing Department Store, wine duty was 20% tax on the value of the bottle plus a separate alcohol tax…In February 2008, the government abolished the duty altogether. For consumers, Hong Kong will become the ultimate wine haven with some of the most competitive prices in the world.”
The abolished wine tax has resulted in numerous wine retailers sprouting in Hong Kong and Macau, as well as bringing many Mainland Chinese collectors across the border. The Ponti Cellar is 3000 square feet and houses more than 2000 labels. To kick off the opening Ponti is offering eight weekend tastings with free entry but reservations are essential. Phone 2730 1889 for more details.
Many countries are grappling with their alcohol taxes and laws. Pennsylvania, of all places, has introduced the use of wine vending machines, to avoid harsh liquor licensing laws.The Associated Press reportsthat shoppers may swipe their drivers license, blow into a breathalyzer to confirm their sobriety, and then peruse the electronic wine menu. Will these vending machines overtake wine retailers? We doubt we’ll be seeing an influx of fine and rare wine vending machines any time soon.
Guests toasting at the Ponti Wine Cellars launch
From right to left : Mr Antonio Koo, Managing Director of Ponti Wine Cellars, Mr Alfredo Mario Rescic, Consul-General of Argentina, Mr Les Luck, Consul-General of Australia, Miss Alessandra Schiavo, Consul-General of Italy, Miss Adele Bryant, Consul-General of New Zealand, Mrs Candy Koo, Project Director of Ponti Wine Cellars, Mr Frank Burbach Consul-General of Germany