September 2008

Cafe Europa: Refreshed wine list, Parker points program

September 23, 2008 // 0 Comments

Jianwai Soho restaurant Café Europa launched its new wine list on September 18 with a by-the-glass tasting. I sipped through eight of the dozen samples before being stopped by the strong arm of reason (translation: I needed to go to a meeting) and my favorite was Alvaro Palacios Petalos 2005 (Spain) with its tight black fruit. Lawson’s Dry Hills Riesling 2005 (New Zealand) will appeal to those who seek a citrus zing, while Meerlust Chardonnay 2006 (South Africa) is nice for those who like oak. I’d previously tried and liked Shaw & Smith Sauvignon Blanc 2006 (Australia). For those into […]

Lost in translation: A Rose is a Rose is a Rose?

September 22, 2008 // 2 Comments

By Ma Huiqin When I was asked for an English-Chinese list of wine grape varieties for this blog, I considered the best way to provide this information. Should I include ‘霞多丽’, ‘莎当妮’, or ‘夏多内’, since all three have been used as a translation of Chardonnay? Similarly, should I include ‘美乐’, ‘梅鹿辄’, or even ‘梅尔诺’ as a translation of Merlot? Wine is not a part of daily life in China, so it is hardly surprising that most people are unaware of grape variety names. Even students majoring in English or French are unlikely to study them. And while there is a […]

Tasting time: Beijing

September 17, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Upcoming wine events in Beijing Thursday, September 18, 7 PM, Café Europa (Jianwai SOHO), RMB15+ per half-glass By-the-glass tasting of new wine list; call 5869-5663 for more info. Thursday, September 18, 7-8:30 PM, Amigo (Central Park), free Top Cellar’s best sellers, with 8 wines from Top Cellar; RSVP at Friday, September 19, 7-11 PM, Oh! Marco (Financial Street area), RMB100 8 Chilean & French wines at RMB100 per bottle; RSVP at 6622-0566. Saturday, September 20, Radisson SAS Hotel, RMB 228 (RSVP essential) Taste of the Nations; 150 wines from 12 countries; by Torres China; RSVP with […]

Hong Kong-based Jeannie Cho Lee, Debra Meiburg earn MWs

September 16, 2008 // 1 Comment

Debra Meiburg and Jeannie Cho Lee, both based in Hong Kong, are in the newest Masters of Wine (MW) graduating class . Gaining an MW is no easy task, as the exam covers theory (topics range from viticulture to the wine business), practice (blind tastings), and a dissertation. In other words, your brain, tongue, nose, and liver need to be top-notch. A sizable bank account also helps, since tasting thousands of wines, including very expensive one, and visiting wine regions is highly recommended. Here’s how the Institute of Masters of Wine puts it: The MW Education Programme is largely self-study, […]

China Wine Tours: First visit slated for April

September 16, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The added logistical challenges surrounding this year’s Olympics has seen China Wine Tours shift its first visit from October to April. The itinerary will include wineries in Shandong, Hebei, Shaanxi, and Shanxi, as well as a chance to see major historical sites and try a range of cuisines. For more details, see the China Wine Tours site. For photos of a visit I made to Chateau Bolongbao, just outside Beijing, with China Wine Tours’ Marc Curtis, see here.

Wine Word: Consultant, publisher, and writer Ch’ng Poh Tiong

September 12, 2008 // 4 Comments

By Jim Boyce As a publisher, writer, lawyer, and tasting panel judge, Singapore-based Ch’ng Poh Tiong has long been a key player in the wine world and especially on the Asian scene. In May, he organized the first International Congress of Chinese Cuisine and Wine, held in Beijing. I talked to him about the feasibility of pairing wine and Chinese food, about his publications, and about the key factors impacting wine growth in China. – You have been in the wine publishing game for a long time, doing everything from publishing The Wine Review to writing for publications such as […]

Friday food fight: Mapo Dofu

September 12, 2008 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce The wine and dirt pairing didn’t garner many recommendations, so let’s return to something a bit spicier and tackle Mapo Doufu, a Szechuan speciality. Let’s go to Wikipedia on this one:   Mapo doufu… is a combination of tofu (bean curd) and minced meat, usually beef, in a spicy chili- and bean-based sauce, typically a thin, oily, and bright red suspension…. True Mapo doufu is powerfully spicy with both conventional “heat” spiciness and the characteristic “mala” (numbing spiciness) flavor of Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine. Frankly, I’m thinking ice-cold draft beer with this dish, which ranks among my favorites, […]

Tasting time: Beijing

September 11, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce   Upcoming Beijing wine-related events September 12, 7 PM, Aria (China World Hotel), RMB3888 Hart Davis Hart wine dinner, with 6 wines; limited to 10 customers; RSVP at 6505-2266, x36 or September 13, 6 PM, La Baie des Anges, RMB150 Cheese and wine tasting, with 3 wines, 3 cheeses; / 6657-1605 for more information. September 18, 7 PM, Café Europa (Jianwai SOHO, Building 11), RMB15+ per half-glass By-the-glass tasting of new wine list; half-glasses at less than half price; call 5869-5663 for more information. September 20, Radisson SAS Hotel, RMB 228 (RSVP essential) Taste of […]

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