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A Great Collector

A 30-year-old Hong Kong businessman could have the greatest cigar collection in the world
James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Richard Branson, Sept/Oct 2007

(continued from page 3)

CA: I thought you were a big fan of Davidoff Cubans as well?

Wong: Of course. I enjoy Davidoff cigars as well. 5000. Dom Perignon is good during the day. Very refined. Well, I like to try all kinds of cigars. Recently, I have had Romeo & Julieta Cazadores from the late 1980s. But nowadays, it gets harder and harder to find these old cigars. It is almost impossible now. And you have to really be careful of the quality now.

CA: You mean you have to be careful how these old cigars have been stored?

Wong: Yes, in terms of how it has been stored. Sometimes in auction you have to be careful. Now that I am not in Europe as often [as I used to be], I can't really go and check out the cigars all the time before they are sold at auction. Every once in a while you find some interesting boxes. But it is not like before when you could find 15 boxes of Dunhill here and 30 boxes of Davidoff there. Now, it is one box here and one box there.

CA: If you had a friend who was thinking of starting to collect cigars, what advice would you give? Would you tell him to buy young cigars and store them like bottles of fine wine?

Wong: Oh definitely. I think that is the way to go…to buy the cigars young and to taste the difference with age. If you have a box of cigars, you can try one now, then you can try one in a year's time, then try one in two years' time, and so on. Then you know when it is the best time to smoke your cigars. Then you can smoke the whole box! It's fabulous. You get such enjoyment out of that.

CA: What is the humidity and temperature that you keep your cigars at?

Wong: I like to keep them a little bit dry so you don't run into too many problems. So I like a humidity of about 65 and a temperature of about 19 to 20 degrees centigrade [66 to 68 Fahrenheit].

CA: Have you ever had a problem with weevils or beetles in your humidor?

Wong: Touch wood—not so far. One or two boxes here and there, but nothing too bad. You have to keep them cool all the time, and I go through the cigars every now and then to check the boxes. I am not too worried about the old cigars if the bug has come out already. But it is the new cigars you have to be careful about. The new stuff, you have to go through it.

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