Since February 2008, oenophiles, wine distributors and merchants from all corners of the globe have flocked to our humble city, popping their corks for one highly attractive factor: the nixed wine tax. Sales have skyrocketed, and little wine bistros and shops have sprung up across the city like grapes on a flourishing vine.
It’s hardly a surprise, then, that the popular Parisian establishment Le Quinze Vins sought Hong Kong for its very first overseas location. The original French hole-in-the-wall is a staple for wine lovers, featuring an overwhelming list of French labels as well as serving traditional cheese and cold cut platters and steak frites, among other wine-heightened nibbles. The new Hong Kong sister shop and bar, on the quaint lane that is Swatow Street in Wan Chai, operates in much the same way, boasting a simultaneously modern and classic façade, bolstered by rich accents of red – that reminds us of the hue of a well-developed pinot noir. The brasserie-esque furnishing invites both parties of close friends and couples and seats around 40.
As far as cosy, authentic wine bars go, Le Quinze Vins knocks it out of the park, and there’s little to fault. It’s almost as if the owners transported a European space – a tried and tested formula – into Wan Chai.