March 2008

Les Millesimes: A three-story wine club in the heart of Beijing

March 28, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce On Tuesday night, The Wine Republic’s Campbell Thompson and I visited Jianwai Soho’s three-floor Les Millesimes, a wine club that includes a “cellar”, two restaurants, a cigar lounge, wine displays galore, and 17 themed-private rooms that range in size up to more than 200 square meters. This place is big. If it were a wine bottle, it would be a Jeroboam, or maybe a Salamanzar. The first floor has the entrance and “wine cellar“, which holds a Bordeaux-heavy portfolio, including Mouton Rothschild, Latour, and Petrus, along with a sprinkling of Champagnes and dessert wines. Thompson and I […]

Posts coming: Meantime, a movie clip on the Saskatoon berry-gooseberry debate

March 27, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The posting has been light this week, but I’ll soon have write-ups on three visits in and around Beijing – to winery Chateau Bolongbao, to the Crown Worldwide wine cellar that will open on April 10 and to a new three-floor wine club called Les Millesimes. Until we return to our regularly scheduled programming, here is a short wine-themed movie clip on that scholarly dispute – Saskatoon berries vs. gooseberries.

Grape press: China wine news from around the Web

March 23, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Here are a few tastes of recent online items about the China wine scene. ‘Millions of Chinese will be disappointed’ In her Financial Times column, Jancis Robinson writes about her recent trip to China. Since her last visit in 2003, Chinese wines have not made the progress she had hoped: On my first forays in 2002 and 2003 I had been struck by the relatively low quality of Chinese wine and by what an extraordinarily high proportion of it tasted like very, very thin, not quite clean, red bordeaux. Wine made from grapes was still a pretty […]

Job wanted: Australia-based wine maker seeks China position

March 20, 2008 // 0 Comments

A reader recently contacted Grape Wall about working in China. Here are the details: An Australia-based wine maker is planning to move to China and is looking to work in the local wine industry. He is open to opportunities that range from consulting on the late-harvest period to working in distribution, and has interest in creating a label specific to the China market. He is based in Yarra Valley. He has worked in France (Burgundy), Italy (Piedmonte), and Australia (McLaren Vale / Clare Valley) and has a degree in oenology from Adelaide University. To contact him, e-mail:

Wet your whistle: Upcoming Beijing wine events

March 20, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Upcoming Beijing wine events March 20, 7 PM, Jasmine, RMB518 Chateau Gigognan wine dinner, with sales director Frederic Bayle, by East Meets West; RSVP with Wendy at East Meets West (6445-5797) or Jasmine (6553-8608) March 20, 7 PM, Grill Restaurant (Radisson SAS), RMB588 Kendall-Jackson wine dinner, with Asia-Pacific Regional Director Jack Cook, by ASC; RSVP with Helen Lu (ASC) at 6418-1598, x226, or Daisy Wang (Radisson) at 5922-3152 March 21, 6:30 PM, Sequoia Café (Sanlitun), RMB100 French wine tasting, selections by Taillan winemaker Alain Leroux; RSVP with Frank at March 21, 7 PM, Il et Elle, […]

Pinot smackdown: Sequoia holds first in a series of tastings

March 19, 2008 // 4 Comments

By Jim Boyce Last Friday night’s wine tasting at Sequoia Café focused on Pinot Noir, with four choices from Torres China. Sequoia’s Frank Siegel plans to organize Pinot tastings with other distributors, thus giving customers an idea of what’s available in the market. As with other blind tastings at Sequoia, customers received a poker chip and, after going through the wines, stuck it in the box corresponding to the one they liked most. The wines: 1. Rochford Reserve 2004 (Yarra Valley, Australia) 2. Miramar Estate (Torres) 2002 (Sonoma, California, US) 3. Domaine Drouhin 2002 (Oregon, US) 4. Joseph Drouhin 2005 […]

Update: reports on Customs investigation of wine importers

March 19, 2008 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce A March 18 story reports that ASC Fine Wines has denied it faces a major fine and deportation of company directors due to under-declaration of duties. Decanter cites a post on, in which Simon Tam, the International Wine Centre director in Shanghai and Hong Kong, stated ASC is “is looking at a fine rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of €5m, and the potential deportation of some of its top executives…” Tam’s post is in a members-only section of the site. According to Decanter: ASC spokesman Matthew Gong told the report is ‘based on […]

Interview: Wine ‘antisnob’ Tim Hanni

March 18, 2008 // 2 Comments

– By Jim Boyce Tim Hanni, one of the first two Americans to become a Master of Wine, has gone from someone who once “‘completely looked down on people who drank wine he considered inferior” to what the Wall Street Journal called the “antisnob.” He is the man behind the Budometer, a questionnaire that looks at how an individual likes his or her tea, coffee, beer and snacks in order to determine what kind of wine they will likely enjoy. He is also a wine consultant and founder of Napa Seasoning. What is the Budometer and how applicable is it […]

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