French expat CHRISTOPHE introduces us to the range of quality wines on offer at Bakus Cellars, and suggests some top drops for different seasons and occasions in Hong Kong. All wines are available to buy online for delivery in Hong Kong – read on for details of how to order and a special offer for Expat Living readers.
We’re guessing “Bakus” might have something to do with the god Bacchus … are we right?
Our name is indeed a nod to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine! We wanted a meaningful name with a modern and fun touch. Since we aim to make everything more simple and easy, we just dropped a few letters!
What’s your background in the wine industry?
I come from the third generation of a winemaker family based in the south of France, so wine has always been part of my DNA! Most of the wines in our range actually come from family friends who are also wine makers. After several years working in F&B in Asia, I decided to follow my passion and start Bakus Cellars. As a regional wine hub, Hong Kong is probably the best place to start such an adventure!
You launched in 2020; has the pandemic been disruptive?
Actually, it was the trigger for this project. I used to travel a lot, and I was almost never in Hong Kong in recent years. The pandemic just made me realise it could be an opportunity to make something meaningful during these challenging times, when obviously travelling wouldn’t be as easy and frequent as before. Very quickly, the company was created and the adventure started.
Speaking of which, would you say that wine habits have changed over the past year or two?
I think the pandemic has definitely changed wine habits in Hong Kong; with all the restrictions regarding social gatherings, people obviously started to spend much more time at home. This led to a spike in home deliveries for all food and beverages. Now, even though life is slowly getting back to feeling like pre-pandemic Hong Kong, I believe that people will continue spending more time at home, and inviting friends and family over to enjoy foods and drinks. So, home deliveries are a norm now – and that will keep growing in the coming years. Wine, of course, is part of it.
Where do your wines come from?
We exclusively source, import and distribute wines from family-owned wineries and small vineyards that have a strong attachment to their local terroirs and regions. We don’t carry international brands. Our partners are all passionate winemakers with an outstanding knowhow and a strong dedication to produce wines that reflect their personality and that of the terroirs. This also allows us to negotiate better rates directly with the wineries to guarantee fair prices for our customers in Hong Kong.
At the moment, our range covers eight main wine regions of France: Provence, Savoy, Rhône Valley, Bordeaux, Alsace, Champagne, Loire Valley and Beaujolais. In coming months we’ll add more regions, from France and Europe. We’re constantly seeking new hidden gems for our catalogue, so we can offer more choices to customers.
What sets you apart from other importers/distributors?
Our aim is for a simpler and more down-to-earth approach – we want to make wine more accessible to everyone, without compromising on quality. All wine lovers know that it’s not the price or the label that makes the quality of the wine; it’s the work of the winemaker behind it. So we are as clear as possible about the origins of our wines and the stories behind them. Customers can see clear and simple displays of all this information, with easy functions to help them find the perfect wine depending on the grapes they like or the areas they’re interested in, or the kind of food they plan to serve with the wine.
Tell us about your Bakus Boxes.
Bakus Boxes provide an easy and exciting way to discover our range – they come with details and explanations about the wines, including pairing tips, and the selection in the box changes each time. Each box includes wines from different areas, made with different grapes and techniques.
We have some boxes sorted by wine colour, but most customers prefer the “Surprise Me Bakus Box” to add some fun to the experience. We also recently created a Quarantine Bakus Box that includes three bottles and two cups; it’s a great way to send some comfort to relatives or friends during a difficult time.
Three Wine Recommendations From The Bakus Team
Name a great wine in your range that’s ideal for…
… the HK summer
“Our ‘Origines’ rosé from Provence is a sure-fire winner for a Hong Kong summer. This fresh, light and fruity wine will be a perfect match with any junk trip, barbecue or beach/pool party during the hot days. It’s our bestseller for the summer.”
… eating with local food
“Definitely our Alsace Riesling. This dry and minerally wine will go perfectly with most dim sum dishes. Whether it’s spicy, sweet, fatty or tangy, Riesling easily handles all of those flavours.”
… when the thermometer drops
“During the cold days, we would recommend our Cornas, from the Rhône Valley. This red wine will be the perfect ally for a Sunday roast or a stew at home.
EL readers can enjoy 10 percent off wines online at Bakus – just use the discount code “EL-BAKUS10” when ordering.
To order, visit the online store at bakuscellars.hk. All wines are available to buy by the bottle, and delivery is free in Hong Kong for orders of six bottles and up. Delivery usually takes one to two working days.
This article first appeared in the Autumn 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.