Not a vintage selection

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.
Martin Moodie

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The Moodie Blog is on the road again. This entry comes to you from London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 en route to Hong Kong International Airport and then the short ferry ride to Macau for this year’s Trinity Forum.

As always we’ll be observing the travel retail industry along the way.

Heathrow T5 is an excellent terminal, functional and elegant. It’s easy and chic on the eye and there’s a decent diversity of shopping and food & beverage offers.

My only criticism of the place is that it lacks soul. Where is the message that this is the gateway to London and cool Britannia? Nowhere.

But it’s a fine terminal nonetheless. The BA lounges (I am writing this Blog from one of them) are excellent and it’s a nice, relatively stressless place from which to embark on a trip.

I shopped at World Duty Free for some wine to take to Macau. Alas, the wine offer at Heathrow has never been the same since Berry Bros & Rudd quit in an argument over rents.

World Duty Free’s offer at T5 is workmanlike at best and largely confined to wines supplied by the majors. A marked contrast to the thrillingly eclectic range at the Aelia outlet at Paris Charles de Gaulle Terminal F, for example.

I asked a very affable salesman named Ash – good name for someone working in the tobacco and liquor area – for a bottle of Cloudy Bay.

“Sorry Sir, we are right out of stock,” he said. Odd – the 2008 vintage is available all over London, and in other WDF stores at Heathrow I believe.

He recommended a 3 Stones Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, the same region. It was less than half the price and I reckon about two-thirds of the quality.

Ash didn’t really know his wine – “the quality is exactly the same”, he told me, while also referring to Riesling as “Riseling” – but he was affable and very, very helpful (and knowledgeable) on what I could take into Hong Kong (I wanted to buy two bottles).

“Is Hong Kong your final destination Sir?” he asked.

Right question. He was only selling me what he knew I could retain. Well done Ash. So I bought my two bottles – I am going landside at Hong Kong International so will pack the two bottles in my case, even though I am pretty sure I can take them on the ferry to Macau as is.

That’s it for this Blog – my flight is boarding. See you in Macau.

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