April 2008

Tasting time: Beijing

April 30, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Upcoming Beijing wine-related events Friday, May 2, 6:30 PM, Sequoia Cafe (Sanlitun), RMB 100 Sparkling wine tasting; RSVP with Frank at 13701-178-073. Tuesday, May 6, 7:30 PM, SALT (RMB488) Altano Reserva wine tasting, with oenologist Jorge Nunes and a degustation menu, by Torres China; RSVP with Sophie at 5165-5519, x208 or sophie@torres.com.cn. Thursday, May 8, 7-9 PM, Block 8’s Med, RMB100 Ladies Wine Club, featuring Italian wines and five-course meal; contact Kristen at lum.kristen@gmail.com Thursday, May 8, 7-8:30 PM, Amigo (Central Park), free Chilean wine festival, with 16 wines, by Top Cellar; RSVP with Cedric at marketing@topcellar.com.cn […]

China winery visit: Bordeaux-style Chateau Bolongbao

April 28, 2008 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce I joined Marc Curtis of China Wine Tours on March 24 for a visit to Chateau Bolongbao, just outside of Beijing. Curtis will bring his first tour group from the United States to China in October, with the planned itinerary including Beijing, Xian, Shanxi, Xinjiang, and Shanghai. Here are some photos from the visit, led by the winery’s Tang Jie. A view of Chateau Bolongbao from the gate. Given that Beijing winters can be quite cold, these vines are buried beneath 35-40 centimeters of soil in the fall and then uncovered in the spring. A hilltop view […]

Beijing Metro: The ‘wine humidor’

April 28, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce If you hear the words “wine humidor” and think of oak barrel displays, wooden shelves, and row upon row of top-end wine, you might be a tad disappointed by the Metro hypermarket on Beijing’s outskirts. This is a storage facility, plain and simple, with fluorescent lights, fabricated steel shelving, and a warehouse feel. While I spotted wine such as Napa Valley Shafer and Barossa Valley Penfold’s Grange alongside ice wine and the usual Champagne suspects – a three-liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot is RMB2190 – the selection is lighter than I expected. In terms of Chinese wine, […]

Wine on The Wall: Robert Parker comes to China

April 26, 2008 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce Wine writer Robert Parker makes his first trip to China next month and the price tag for the two dinners that ASC Fine Wines is organizing for him is nothing to sniff at: RMB15888 (USD2270) per head. The Beijing dinner will be held on May 24 the Great Wall and catered by Brian McKenna, chef at Shangri-la Hotel restaurant Blu Lobster. The dinner, limited to 40 people, will include eight wines Parker rated 94 points or higher, with three at 100 points, including Chateau Haut Brion 1989 and Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2002. The Parker dinner […]

Wine education in China – campus edition

April 23, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Huiqin Ma Campbell Thompson of The Wine Republic was a recent guest lecturer in my Wine Culture and Appreciation course at China Agricultural University, on the outskirts of Beijing near the Summer Palace. He presented on China’s wine market to about 120 students from universities throughout the city. None of the students are in majors related to the wine business. They venture to the school every Saturday afternoon because they find wines attractive, mysterious and romantic – and want to know more about it. My course is an elective that started in 1999 and is open to university students […]

Tasting time: Beijing

April 22, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Upcoming Beijing wine-related events Tuesday, April 22, 7 PM, Barolo (Ritz-Carlton Beijing), RMB488+15% Giovanni Rosso wine dinner, with wine maker David Rosso; by East Meets West; RSVP with 6445-5797 (EMW), 5908-8151 (Ritz-Carlton) Thursday, April 24, 7:30 PM, Cafe Europa, RMB180 Yering Station tasting with 4 wine-food pairings; by The Wine Republic; RSVP at 5869-5663 or 13910-097-621. Thursday, April 24, 7 PM, CRU Steakhouse (JW Marriott), RMB888 + 15% “Best of Bordeaux” wine dinner, with Saint Julien, Saint Emilion, Pessac Leognan, Pauillac and Pomerol, by ASC, RSVP with Helen Lu at 6418-1598, x226 Friday, April 25, 6:30 PM, […]

Tim Hanni: Hate Sauvignon Blanc? Try blaming your childhood

April 21, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce “If you hated mowing the grass as a youth, you might just hate Sauvignon Blanc.” “There is so much stress on luxury goods that we would rather people not drink wine if it’s the ‘wrong’ brand.” “Imagine you are trying to sell shoes and you don’t realize people have differently sized feet. If a shoe doesn’t fit someone, you wouldn’t tell them, ‘Well, your foot isn’t mature.’” These are some of the intriguing comments made by Tim Hanni when he spoke to a small group of China wine industry people in JW Marriott’s Pinot Brasserie in Beijing […]

Coming up: More posts than you can shake a corkscrew at

April 18, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Expect a steady flow of posts over the next two weeks. Along with articles by Ma Huiqin and Campbell Thompson, we will introduce a new contributor to the blog. I will also include write-ups of my meeting with Tim Hanni, the Crown Wine Cellar opening, some new “great value” French wines in Beijing, a visit to Chateau Bolongbao just outside the city, an update on the Time Out China Wine Guide, and my first experience as a panelist in a blind tasting of wines. We will be posting some Chinese translations of Grape Wall posts, too. Busy, […]

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