By Jim Boyce
I should have written had.
On Tuesday, I got a promo email titled “The Iconic Bollinger Champagne for ¥350” from M1NT Cellar in Shanghai. The “cellar” is an extension of M1NT Club, a place I associate with F1 events (it seems like it has a monopoly on those parties), fish tanks full of meter-long sharks (particularly unfortunate for those creatures when people slap the glass) and a flirtation with opening a Beijing branch. Now I also associate it with the growing number of establishment going into China’s online wine (and spirits and beer and other necessities) game.
Back to Bollinger: rmb350 might not seem inexpensive to many outside China — it translates to USD56 or EUR44 — but it is low here, given imports face ~48 percent in tariffs / taxes, the market, especially for bubbly, is limited, and economies of scale are not as elsewhere.
Unfortunately, on Thursday, the M1NT Cellar website had an update on the Bollinger special: “Temporarily Sold Out: Call Us For Details“. I called. The person who answered politely said there would be no more Bollinger for at least a week. Would it be available at the special price? She wasn’t sure.
Thus, an excellent special that fizzled out quickly. Anyway, the site is nevertheless worth a look for those in search of wine, beer and spirits, and you can still get a bottle of Greywacke Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for rmb150.
The answer is: M1NT in Shanghai.
This club is among a number of establishment that have gone into the online wine (and spirits and beer and other necessities) game. See the website — M1NT Cellars — here.
UPDATE: Shortly after posting, I heard back from Alex Cummings, head sommelier at M1NT Cellar. He said that the Bollinger stock sold out in two hours but other deals on Champagne and others wines are coming soon.