CITYSCENE

Hong Kong
> California Vintage

Tucked in among the nightclubs on Wyndham Street in Hong Kong’s bustling Central district, there’s an unusual sight: a wine bar, with communal tables basking in the glow of wines lined up along the walls in a preservation and dispensing system. Even stranger, all the bottles hail from California, matched to dishes like Baja fish tacos and flatbread pizzas topped with Laura Chenel goat cheese and Fra’Mani sausage. Opened last year, California Vintage was the idea of Michael Sadak, who took chains like Gold’s Gym and Black Angus Restaurant into Asia with his company, BrandAmerica; he’s executed CV with the help of a raft of advisors plus 22 wineries that have invested in the concept. All are family-owned, ranging from well-known names like Peachy Canyon and Trefethen to others whose wines rarely leave the state, such as Acorn, Cass, Chentella, Kachina and Stoney Ridge. IPads are handy for the shy or tech-obsessed; more fun is talking to GM Shin Chan, who’s studying for his MS. Although CV is designed to become an Asia-wide chain, it’s far too quirky to feel like one. Rather, it’s warm and comfortable, with a terrific view out on a busy HK street. —Tara Q. Thomas

California Vintage, 77 Wyndham St., Central, Hong Kong; 2525.9808, cvwinebar.com (reviewed W&S, 02/12)