Former Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen might have failed in his bid to become Hong Kong's chief executive, but there is one area in which he has not failed - impressing people with his rare and expensive wine collection.
And wine lovers with fat wallets are being given a chance to savour his collection when 810 lots go on sale at auction house Christie's tomorrow and Saturday in a sale expected to raise HK$29 million.
Wine expert Keith Wong Wing-kit, business development manager of the company Wine Explorer, said Tang had some of the rarest wine in the world.
He said that the top lot - six magnums of Romanée-Conti 1995 - is arguably the rarest in the world. Only an 18th Century Lafite can beat this lot in terms of rarity, he said.
"It's so rare it's hard to find it anywhere, except in auctions, no matter how rich you are," Wong said.
He added that it is rare because Romanée-Conti - the name of the French wine and also name of the vineyard - is one of the best vineyards in the world and changed its selling policy several years ago.
In the past, it limited customers to buying one case at a time. But customers now are allowed only one bottle each time.
Wong said that if Tang bought this wine in 1995, it should have cost him HK$20,000 for each magnum.
The six magnums he is selling are expected to fetch HK$700,000 to HK$1 million.
Also drawing Wong's attention is the 12 bottles of Montrachet Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 1978, which are expected to fetch between HK$400,000 and HK$600,000.
Wong said this was also a rare wine, but not from the best field in the vineyard.
The auction house quoted Tang earlier as saying he was selling because, "I realised I have far too much wine, and I would never be able to consume it in a lifetime."