Latest News from Bowes WineYou may have noticed changes to Bowes Wine's MO in the last year or so. And those of you based in Asia will perhaps realise that it is some time since I jumped on a 'plane and paid a visit. There are a number of reasons for this and I thought I would explain exactly what's going on.
The wine business is especially fecund with active wine merchants at present, many of whom have divisions focussed on Asian business, of which a number have offices in Hong Kong and/or Singapore. They are, of course, in situ and have the facility for interacting face-to-face with their customers if not 24/7 then 12/5 at the very least.
And naturally, when one loses a few key clients in those markets - some to retirement and the enjoyment of treasures squirrelled away over the years, others to cellars sufficiently stocked with the good stuff to last a lifetime and beyond - it is increasingly difficult to replace them.
I am very keen to visit Asia again at some stage in the not-too-distant future, but budgeting for what is a pretty expensive outing in the face of what in modern parlance would probably be called "negative growth" is tricky.
And it is partly for this reason that we have diversified our business with the creation of GrapePip. I realise that GrapePip is an utterly different business to Bowes Wine (as evidenced by the modest take-up among Bowes Wine clients) but it is, as we see it, an entirely unique platform and it is growing at 25% year-on-year. We are also having increasing success with The Daily Drinker.
The FutureI was in London yesterday for the first tasting since the spring. It felt like the first day of a new term and I relished the opportunity to give my taste buds a good work out. And work out they did. There were a great many superb liquids being poured.
I am very keen to continue identifying fine and interesting wines for Bowes Wine clients around the world. (Example - a red from the high slopes of Mount Etna sampled yesterday was like top red burgundy seen through a Mediterranean filter; a wine that will age gracefully and always be fascinating and, most importantly, delicious.) I hope you will continue to enjoy reading about my findings and take me sufficiently seriously to partake in my selections.
With the shipment to wine to Hong Kong now not only very easy, but relatively cheap, we would like to produce a short and pithy list of wines that clients in the SAR can include on a Crown Wine Cellars boat for enjoying on Asian shores. Our brilliant house champagne will remain a staple. We will also include drinking wines that feature in The Daily Drinker that will look, in HK terms, extraordinary value.
We will continue to send out news of GrapePip, but I am sure that some Bowes Wine clients would rather not receive these. If you are in this group, please let me knowand you will be excluded from all future mailings relating to GrapePip business.
Other than that, life goes on. We have another wine tasting event planned for 67 Pall Mall on 17th November to which all are welcome. And a visit to Burgundy beckons. I cannot wait to check out the '16s. It was a tiny harvest, but news about quality is good. Pricing, of course, remains a concern: a combination of currency woes and a shortfall in quantity might make some consumers want to look elsewhere for their gems!
If anyone has any questions or concerns about the direction in which Bowes Wine is heading, please do let me know.
In the meantime, best wishes
Caspar and Victoria