Text: Ronny Lau
When it comes to Hong Kong pop culture, there is more than Cantopop. Hong Kong used to hailed as the "Hollywood of the East", Hong Kong movies was number one in terms of per capita production as well as the second largest exporter of films in the world. There are so many foreign movie directors mentioned that they were greatly influenced by Hong Kong cinema. Many die-hard movie lovers would watch their favourites again and again, until they memorized all the lines.
Did you know that Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 was once the most sought-after wine, simply because of a line from a Hong Kong blockbuster?
Wine and Spirits are not stranger to Hong Kong cinema. They may be casted in different ways, sometimes they are supporting acts, and sometimes they may even take up the main role. Wine bottles and glasses are not uncommon in the movie scenes, but when they are performing as an extra, you can only see the side of the bottles. If Wine and Spirits are casted as a supporting act, not only you can see the front side of the labels, but also the names are mentioned.
I was looking for the reason Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 was so popular back then. Some of my friends in the industry told me it's because of the 1855 Médoc Classification, and some said that "Lafite" was easy to remember and pronounce, which I didn't agree. Later a friend told me the craze was caused by Hong Kong cinema, especially a line: "Give me a bottle of Lafite 82", from Chow Yun Fat in the movie "God of Gamblers"!
Although I have never heard this dialogue in "God of Gamblers", the urban legend was widely spread on the internet. However, Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 was no doubt a popular wine in Hong Kong cinema. "Young and Dangerous 5", "Exiled" and "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" were some of the movies that this Premier Grand Cru Classé was featured.
There was a scene in "Young and Dangerous 5", Paul Chiang, who played a Malay Datuk Seri, boldly said, "bring me a bottle of Lafite 82"; while in Johnnie To's "Exiled", actor Gordon Lam also had a memorable line: "I use Lafite to rinse my mouth, and it's '82". Johnnie To is well-known for fond of fine wines, so Château Lafite Rothschild 1982 was featured again in his 2011 movie "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", while Louis Koo was trying to keep his date Gao Yuan Yuan longer by ordering a bottle of this wine, and told the sommelier to breathe it for two hours before serving. The long breathing time for Grands Crus Classés is not always a downside, right?
Château Lafite Rothschild is not the only wine needed long time to decant, try Château Mouton Rothschild, the only one upgraded to Premier Grand Cru Classé in the 1855 Médoc Classification, and you know patience is key for appreciation. If you open a bottle of Château Mouton Rothschild 2015, I'm sure your date will stay with you longer.
If you are really into movies, the affordable Mouton Cadet Cannes Festival Limited Edition that was produced by Château Mouton Rothschild is your perfect glass of wine. You may even have a choice for Blanc (White) apart from Rouge (Red), and the special designed bottle is surely an icebreaker for your special moment.
...to be continued.