Navigate the fascinating world of wine buying with Aeos Auctions, Hong Kong’s first wine auction to offer daily online auctions, seasonal live auctions and community wine workshops, under the esteemed guidance of seasoned wine consultant Simon Tam.
The auctioneer scans the room as the energy in the room intensifies, the bidders eyeing each other to see who will have the final bid on the magnificent wine. A paddle goes up. The auctioneer asks if anyone is willing to go higher. The competing bidders shake their heads. “Going once, going twice, sold for HK$12,000” exclaims Simon Tam as he slams the hammer down, marking the end of the auction for this lot.
HK$12,000 for 12 bottles of 2014 Hospices De Beaune Volnay-Santenots Premier Cru, Cuvée Gauvain (Domaine de Montille) is a pretty good deal, considering 12 bottles would normally retail at about HK$11,676 and are extremely hard to find in Hong Kong.
That is what Simon Tam is trying to do with Aeos Auctions: make wine more accessible to wine lovers, whether they want to start a collection or enjoy the wines immediately. Previously Christies’ Head of Wine, Asia for 9 years and the founder of Hong Kong’s first wine school—Independent Wine Centre—in 1994, Simon noticed that wine aficionados were often intimidated by the idea of buying wine through an auction house, as they imagined the prices to be astronomical to match the prestige of the auction house. With Aeos Auctions, Simon wants to take the pretence out of wine buying. “I want to bring fun back to the market, it’s about getting the right wine at the right price.”
With wine consignments sourced from collectors around the world, Aeos Auctions offers wines from both emerging and established winemakers through an online platform, where auctions last a week and new wines are added to the roster daily. Aeos Auctions’ concept of rolling auctions is truly what sets it apart from other auctions, giving bidders the time to do research on the wines they want to bid on.
Take the 2006 Bouchard Père et Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru for example. The starting bid for 4 bottles is at HK$8,000, and according to Vivino, one bottle’s average price is HK$2,511.58. As a bidder, you know the four bottles are worth about HK$10,000, so getting anything under would be a good deal. “Do you research on market trends and determine your maximum price,” warns Simon, “and keep in mind that Aeos Auctions charges 22.5% commission, which is already lower than other auction houses.”
Starting bids could start at HK$1,800 for a bottle just like they could start at HK$14,000. The beauty of Aeos Auctions is that lots could come in sets of 12 bottles, 6 bottles, 5 bottles or even 1 bottle, giving the bidder an opportunity to curate his or her own wine cellar, as we know space is scarce in Hong Kong and filling an apartment with multiple 12 bottle cases of just one wine sounds ambitious, albeit heavenly.
There are also seasonal live auctions, like the one coming up on January 22nd at The Murray. The auction will be led by Simon himself, and his wine expertise will be of great help in determining the right value of the wine, based on provenance, scarcity, and condition. Attendees will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bid on a collection of Burgundies from the renowned Domaine René Engel, known around the world for some of the finest wines of Vosne-Romanée. With three generations of Engels each making a mark in the wine world with their own distinct style, the name Domaine René Engel quickly became known amongst Burgundophiles. However, the untimely death of Phillipe Engel put an end to production and the historic estate was sold off. Saturday will be an opportunity to purchase a piece of Burgundy legacy.
Aeos Auctions is also about instilling wine knowledge and will therefore be hosting community events such as Chinese wine pairing dinners in addition to workshops where Simon will help oenophiles further their education in wine and become better at determining which wine is worth buying. With investments having already expanded from stocks and real estate to crypto and art, wine is another area of investment worth looking at.