On Friday night I was at the warehouse with our logistics manager drinking one of our last bottles of Arianna's Frappato when we finally got the call we were waiting for—our pallets had been picked up from the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals and had just been loaded up onto a delivery truck.
Every time a new shipment comes from Europe I get excited, especially if the wines are from a producer we've never worked before with. But there's also a huge element of trepidation, since we can't ever be 100% sure how the wines fared across the long journey.
Often there are breakages, and sometimes some bottles even get stolen by some thirsty port workers in France, who have an admirable taste for good wine. We had heard this time that some boxes were broken, so I was pacing around nervously, expecting the worst.
When the pallets were wheeled in by the under pallet carrier I quickly checked through all the boxes to find the 5 that were broken open. Miraculously, not a single bottle was broken—the cardboard was a little damaged, but the wines themselves were in perfect condition.
What more, all the wines were still cool despite the Hong Kong heat, and what was a 30+ day journey from Europe to Asia.
As you know, we take great care to pay for chilled reefer shipment, which is absolutely imperative since our low-intervention wines need to be treated carefully with love and care. What was great about feeling the bottles 3 days after they had arrived in Hong Kong (they have to sit and clear customs first), was that their temperature was a testament to the shipping company's ability to keep these wines safe.
Buy That Fridge
But after they arrive in our warehouse there's still a lot to think about. We do ship on an air-conditioned van, but Hong Kong is an incredibly tricky place to keep wine. Now that winter is over and the sweltering heat of summer is starting to pile in, we really do hope you have a wine fridge (even a small one!) to keep our fragile wines healthy.
Of course it's not like we aren't going to sell to anyone who doesn't own a wine fridge, but note that for any wine lover in Hong Kong, having one is essential to drinking.
It's not only about starting a collection, but also about drinking your wines at the right temperature. Room temperature here can often be in the high 20's to 30's (or fluctuating depending on air-conditioner use), which isn't ideal at all for wines.
Personally I have a pretty large fridge which I keep at 15ºC for both red and whites, while Anne and Yasmin keep theirs at 11ºC since it's a lot smaller, and they basically are only putting whites and roses in there for the summer. If you are an impatient wine lover like those two, then consider getting a separate small fridge just for keeping wine around 11-13ºC for immediate "cellar temperature" drinking (for whites).
Either way, it doesn't matter what brand of wine fridge you are interested in, but as a duty to yourself, your wines, and us, please get one before the summer hits.