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In 2003 Purple Pager Debra Meiburg offered this news of the, then new, Crown Wine Cellars.
Wine storage is a challenge in Asia, but as you know there are many fine-wine collectors/sharers here. Most keep their wines in London or New York cellars. However, in a first for Hong Kong, a friend is converting eight military bunkers into bonded public wine storage facilities. The ordnance bunkers were built into our lush mountainsides in the 1930s by the British. The walls are 1.3 metres thick and relatively secure, being originally designed to house explosives more in the order of mortar shells than champagne. Facilities will include a wine education and entertainment venue. The opening date is[was] 1 May 2003, for more details contact email@example.com (tel +852 2636-8388).
The owner tells me that Chief Secretary for Administration Donald Tsang had independently come up with the idea to use our historic bunkers and tunnels some time ago. Hong Kong leadership does enjoy good wine, but can't seem to resist the tax base. So, other friends store their wine in Macau to avoid Hong Kong duty.
One group of friends sought facilities with stable air control, good security and, being savvy Hong Kong business people, financial viability. So, they simply rented a retail space - at the Mandarin Hotel. They sold a bottle now and then and had relatively secure storage. Apparently a commuting network (their Hong Kong employee base, I presume) carried one or two bottles into Hong Kong (allowable) as needed.
Most of us have converted our 'maid's quarters' (more of a closet, really) to wine cellars. Priorities! Ours for example, holds about 120 cases on racks. One Taipan friend told me that his maid's quarters-cum-cellar doubles as storage room for his wife's cosmetics, some of which he assures me are worth more than the wines. He highly recommended the cosmetics (La Mer?) to keep one young-looking. When I mentioned that my husband would not be happy that he shared such expensive information, he replied, 'Oh, he'll thank me. It is much cheaper than keeping a concubine.'