Wealthy In Hong Kong Not Just Buying Gold, They’re Drinking It

Limited-Edition “Gold Luxor Brut” Champagne Distilled With 24-Carat Gold Leaf

Luxor Brut is limited to a run of 1,000 bottles (Image courtesy Luxor Brut)

Luxor Brut is limited to a run of 1,000 bottles (Image courtesy Luxor Brut)

Gold holds a special allure and particular cultural resonance in China, where the yellow metal has functioned as a “hedge” for centuries. Though private ownership of gold was forbidden from 1949-1979, in the thirty years since China’s economic reforms began, gold consumption in China has skyrocketed. Over the past few years, China has become both the world’s largest producer and consumer of gold, taking the latter distinction from India for the first time in recorded history in 2009 (though many observers think this may be a short-term developement).

In Hong Kong, however, gold consumption is about to take a much more literal turn, as wine merchant Bacchus has begun selling a limited-edition “Gold Luxor Brut” champagne. Limited to a production run of 1,000 bottles, and distilled with pure gold leaf, Luxor Brut combines two things increasingly treasured by Hong Kong residents — 24-carat gold and champagne.

If the Luxor Brut website (French), is any indication, the champagne’s marketing line in Hong Kong may rest on the brand’s assertion that gold has medicinal benefits — including aphrodisiac qualities. Whether that’s true or not is anyone’s guess, but tying alcohol with health benefits is something that may resonate with Hong Kong (and mainland) Chinese drinkers: medicinal (in the Chinese Traditional Medicine sense) spirits like huangjiu (“yellow spirits”) or snake wine have been consumed in China for centuries.

Whether gold-flecked champagne could have that kind of longevity in the Chinese market is highly doubtful; however, in today’s Hong Kong, it’s likely to be a hit.

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Culture, Food, Wine, & Spirits