Jack Kao (高捷)
City of birth: Saigon
Western Zodiac: Scorpion
Chinese zodiac: Monkey
Rượu mini hay rượu mẫu là cách gọi tên của những chai rượu có thể tích phổ biến nhất là 50 ml. Đối với những người chưa bao giờ nghe nói về rượu mini thì khó hình dung được nó to nhỏ như thế nào. Nó chỉ bằng hai hoặc ba ngón tay chụm lại mà thôi. Nguồn gốc hay lý do để những lò rượu trên thế giới đóng những chai nhỏ như thế này để làm gì? Tiếng Hoa gọi những chai rượu này là rượu mẫu do dịch bắc cầu sát nghĩa từ hai chữ “sample liquor”, tức là làm rượu mẫu để chào hàng cho các đối tác... (đọc thêm click here)
In 1998, I bought one special miniature bottle of liquor at central station in Frankfurt during my business trip there. It has very cute long shape and on its label showing my zodiac “Scorpion” details in German “Feurig, fleibig, forschend, Gemutvoll, selbstbewusst, willensstark, ausdauernd, leidenschaftlich” Later, a German friend helped me to translate it into English “Fiery, hard-working, scholarly, sentimental/warm-hearted, self-confident, strong-wiled/determined, persistent / persevering, passionate”. However, I found at least one of those is completely right. It is PASSIONATE. Without this character, I can not build up my collection like this today. Ten years later in 2008, I have a chance to go back Germany and that time I bought whole set 12 bottles of 12 zodiacs. You can see full set at http://kao-miniature.jimdo.com/international/germany/
Another figural bottle I just had recently in June 2010 is Monkey Mobana made in Portugal. Different from western zodiac based on month of birth, Chinese zodiac is based on year of birth. I was born in the year of Monkey which is the ninth of twelve symbol animals i.e. rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Chinese astrology used them to describe people’s character. It has a history dating back more than 2000 years. Out of Cognac and some Scotch Whiskies which I specialize in collecting, there is always a reason behind of every bottle I keep. Another reason: I also try to have few bottles from each country which I visited or my friend is staying there. Click here to visit my international collection.
Another set of mini which I love so much is set of Trio Happy Smiling Buddha. My religion is Buddhism as same as majority religion of Vietnamese. I got the White Buddha in 2009 and one year later I got the Black and Red in order to make them in full set. They are made in Barcelona, Spain (20% alcohol for the Red and Black, 15% alcohol for the White, full and sealed). This set is put in a respectful place among my display-shelf. Look at his smiling face, you will never feel any stressful stuff in your life any more.
(Updated 07/2012), recently I collected another Happy Buddha carrying a wine gourd on his back. It is 150ml in volume and 52% alcohol content which is a vey strong stuff. Its origin is from China. Bronze-like paint made this miniature bottle like a statue than a bottle. I am happy to have him in my collection.
Since I was born in the year of monkey, I admit my character having something also like monkey such as naughty and active. Since then, I really love reading a Chinese Classical Novel named “Journey to The West” of which I especially like The Monkey (Sun Wukong) who learns the art of the Tao, 72 polymorphic transformations, combat and secrets of immortality. In July 2012, I collected a set of 4 miniature figural bottles carrying meaning of this story. These ceramic bottles are produced by Sam Seng Co Ltd. in Hong Kong. They are 40ml in volume and 30% alcohol except the white horse in 100ml volume. I am happy to have another monkey in my collection.
I started collecting miniature bottles in 1996 during my first business trip aboard. Reason hooked me in this passionate hobby is just about their lovely cute shape. One of my very beginning bottles which I still keep it up to today is Otard Jade Cognac 3cl. This droplet shape lures me and I hooked in. Then, I gradually build up my collection. They were bought during my business trips wherever at duty free shops or any shops I stop-by along the way. There are so many types out there such as cognac, armagnac, brandy, vodka, tequilla, rum... Time goes by, I felt in love with Cognac. This pale color is really magical to me. The aging of eaux-de-vie shows its history. I have turned to collect only Cognac since 2008. They are not cheap stuff. However, I love them so much and I have no choice but to pay for their price. (Click here to visit my Cognac collection)
During a short trip in Paris on 05-2004, I had a chance to visit Napoleon’s tomb located in Esplanade des Invalides, Paris. Over there, I also had chance to see many cannons and straightaway like these stuff so much. When I was young, I always made cannon by myself. The gun was made by aluminum pipe taken from outdoor TV antenna; the body was sawed from a piece of wood whereas the two-wheels were taken from another car-toy. Since then I am collecting mini liquor bottle, I especially felt in love with mini liquor bottle decorated as a cannon. Thus, I built up one separated page for this category. You can watch it by… click here. Updated by 07-2012, I have about 30 mini bottle cannons from 11 liquor producers, of which half of them are Courvoisier cannons. This cognac house claims “brandy of Napoleon”, thus, they have sure to go with Napoleon Cannon. I specially like those made by cast-iron, metal or bronze since they are heavy and solid like real. The oldest cannon I collected may be the wooden Courvoisier Cannon produced in 1930s. You are welcome to comment, exchange information, trade…about this collecting item.
By collecting minibottle, I get to know lot of friends who have same hobby from over the world. It makes this world becomes small. By trying to share my collection on website, I now know a bit of web-design and so-called HTML. I have been searching many websites which can be able to show the beauty of bottle shapes. I started with SNAPPAGES where my first website is at http://miniliquor.snappages.com . I am not really happy with this because the server is very slow and it likes a blog not for displaying a collection. This site has already obsoleted long time ago. I end it up with JIMDO which I am very happy now. Today, many other collectors also start using this site. You are welcome to visit my collection and I am more than happy if you could drop few lines in my guest book.
Happy collecting rare bottles!
PS. Since number of miniature bottle collectors keep on increasing, we need a tool where we can express our passion and exchange experience. In 10/2015, we formed our club named Saigon Liquor Collectors Club (SLC). Please visit our club at our links below:
STEP BACK IN TIME TO TREASURES PAST
MY MINIBOTTLE CLASSIFICATION
|11||Wine & Champagne||28|
|12||Not mini but micro||61|
|13||Beer, Soft drink & Others||88|
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