Something new: getting Messi
Hongkongers love their European football teams and few are more revered than Spanish giants FC Barcelona, whose current squad has been described by many as "the greatest team of all time".
Now the dedication of local fans - and their appetite for spending money on official merchandise - is being rewarded with a taste of Spain itself. The club has launched a special-edition wine, limited to 10,000 bottles, for sale only in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and the mainland.
The wine, a 2008 Reserva Tempranillo from the Bodegas Altanza winery - highly regarded by influential wine critic Robert Parker - comes in a black bottle, with the FC Barcelona logo featuring on both the glass and the handmade wax seal. Each bottle carries the name and shirt number of one of six star players: Xavi (6), Andres Iniesta (8), Cesc Fabregas (4), Carles Puyol (5), Gerard Pique (3) and Lionel Messi (10). The wine is sold in a black box or in wooden cases of three or six.
According to Nao Stones, sales and marketing manager for Naku Wine, with whom Barcelona have teamed up on the offering, the concept is "modern luxury, yet sporty".
Quite what "sporty" wine is, we don't know, but if you're buying just remember good wine is for drinking, not displaying. After all, if you're a Barca fan there will be no shortage of occasions on which to celebrate.
The FC Barcelona 2008 Reserva Tempranillo was unveiled at Hofex, the international food and drink trade show that was held last week at the Convention and Exhibition Centre, in Wan Chai. It will be available from next month, at various shops and restaurants. Prices have yet to be announced. For updates, visit www.fcbwine.com.