Wine collectors looking for professional advice might like to try a new membership-only service that offers tips from top sommeliers. Sarment, which opened in London and Hong Kong last month, was founded by former banker Bertrand Faure Beaulieu, who wanted to get more involved in wine collecting but was tired of dealing with self-interested distributors, according to the company's managing director for Asia, Richard Green. Beaulieu met Philippe Messy - at the time, the youngest sommelier of a Michelin three-star restaurant: Marco Pierre White at the Hyde Park Hotel, London - and they decided to start a company that gave impartial advice to individual collectors, and offered wine storage, shipping, education and investment recommendations. The company plans to offer 75 memberships globally in its first year, 25 of which will be in Asia. 'It's open to anyone with a passion for fine wine,' says Green. 'Hong Kong has a range of potential members with [various levels] of knowledge and experience. We'll be sending out five invitation letters in Hong Kong.' The needs of Asian members are different from those in London, Green adds. 'It's not just the food, it's how they eat. The Chinese palate is so different, if a liquid is taken with food, it's soup or tea. It's a myth that riesling goes with Chinese food - the Chinese palate doesn't like sweet drinks with food.' Sarment has four full-time sommeliers and will recruit more; all have worked at Michelin three-star restaurants and/or are master sommeliers. Sarment membership - which can be re-sold - costs an initial HK$500,000 and there is an annual fee, starting next year, of HK$140,000. To find out more, go to the website: www.sarmentwine.com .