– By Jim Boyce
Beijing enjoyed yet another “100 wines for 100RMB” (USD14) event as GELIPU and Winelink teamed up to present Australian and South African wines last Saturday at Tim’s Texas Roadhouse.
Save for occasional rinsing water shortages and a few shaky pours that ended up on hands instead of in glasses, the staff did a decent job. Kudos to the organizers for placing A4-sized printouts in front of many bottles to indicate the producer, vintage, varietal and price, thus saving much squinting. Based on the lively chatter throughout the night, most attendees had an excellent time.
For the South African wines, the very drinkable Stonecross Merlot Pinotage at RMB 65 per bottle stands up to other competitors in that price range, such as Signos and Fortrant. The Stonecross Shiraz is also worth a try. Among the higher priced labels, the 2005 Klien Zalse Shiraz packed a wallop at 15 percent alcohol and offered nice dark fruits – this one isn’t cheap at RMB350.
With the Australian wines, I noticed people enjoying the The Little Wine Co Gewurztraminner 2006, with its ample grapefruit flavors (RMB235), and one patron said her favorite wine of the night was 2003 Bremerton Old Adam Shiraz (RMB1288).
The tasting included over a dozen liqueurs and ports from Castle Glen Vineyards. The Ginger White Port – according to the label, it is aged in American oak – is hot and intense but tasty (RMB239). The Dragon’s Breath liqueurs, all at 30 percent alcohol, were very in-your-face. Numerous people raved about the the chocolate and chili version – suffice to say, save this taste bud-vaporizing liquid until after finishing your wine.
Spicy liqueur is no match for chili-eating champ Gabriel Monroe.
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