January 2009

The Plimpton effect: Joining the pros for 340 wines in 3 days

January 23, 2009 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce – The book Paper Lion recounts the experience of George Plimpton who tried out for the Detroit Lions football team. The climax comes after three weeks of training when Plimpton is sent into a practice game to quarterback five plays. He fails miserably – he drops the ball on one play, overthrows a receiver on another, and slips and falls on yet a third. Due to the speed and complexity of the game, what seemed manageable to a fan in the stands turns out to be profoundly difficult on the field, and he returns defeated to the […]

Wine Word: Patricio de la Fuente Saez on 1831 Y’Quem, 1917 shipwreck Champagne, and more

January 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce On Monday, I posted the first part of an interview with Patricio de la Fuente Saez, managing director of Links Concept, about the company’s business strategy, the wine sector’s prospects for 2009, and more. Much more fun is this second part of the interview, which covers the best tastings he has attended – including several that featured nineteenth century wines – and how he became interested in wine. – When I met you last month, you mentioned some of the rare wines you have tried in Hong Kong. What tastings are most special to you? There are […]

Grape Press: Aussie wine in China, Hong Kong auctions, ‘Food & Wine Year”

January 22, 2009 // 0 Comments

A few China wine-related items from the Net… – China among few bright spots for Aussie wine exporters While the Australian wine sector faces a crisis, including its first major decline in export volume and value in years, Hong Kong and mainland China rank among the few positive markets: Rare bright spots included China, which imported 32% more Australian wine by value, off a low base, as well as Hong Kong (up 17%) and Japan (up 4.1%). By the way, here is a money quote for China watchers: But that is small comfort to March, who admits taking advice to […]

Wine Word: ‘Wine is Beautful’ blogger Rebecca Leung

January 22, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Hong Kong-based Rebecca Leung is author of the Wine is Beautiful blog, has written about wine for numerous print publications, hosts an online wine program, has judged at numerous tastings, and most recently was selected to take part in the Landmark Australia tutorial. I asked her about how she started in wine, prospects for the Hong Kong scene, her advice for newcomers to wine, and more. – How did you first get interested in wine? It was my 19th birthday in Canada and I can hardly recall what wine it was, but it was a definitely interesting […]

Wine Word: Patricio de la Fuente Saez of Links Concept

January 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce In late November, I met Patricio de la Fuente Saez, managing director of Links Concept, which expanded its China presence by opening Shanghai and Beijing offices in 2008. I later interviewed him about how he got into the business, the strategy of moving into second-tier cities in China before entering Shanghai and Beijing, his take on a tumultuous 2008 and what is ahead in 2009, and more. I’ll run the second part of our interview – which covers his favorite tastings, including a few with nineteenth-century wines – on Friday. – How did Links Concept start and […]

Off the Bund: Marcus Ford to spearhead new wine bar

January 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Note: The shop will focus on retail, rather than be a wine bar, though there will be tastings and some space to enjoy a purchase. Shanghai residents can expect a new wine bar in the French Concession come spring. Marcus Ford, after a decade of service at M on the Bund, is leaving to become retail director and spearhead the initiative for new company Pu Dao, which counts as investors the owners of wine importer and distributor Summergate. Ford says the wine bar will feature more than 500 selections chosen from a wide range of sources, a terrace where patrons […]

Grape Wall of China: Back at the press

January 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Posts have been few and far between of late. Blame it on my two-week holiday in Canada, the crush of projects I faced upon returning to Beijing that ate into my limited blogging time, and the hacking of this site that made it impossible for me to get access. (Thanks to IT guru / pinyin legend Mark Swofford for returning things to normal.) I have started to add posts again and there are dozens in the pipeline, including: A post by Chantal Chi on China’s wine-making regions as well as posts from other contributors. Interviews with Patricio […]

Wine weekend Beijing: Two tasty events to test your palate

January 13, 2009 // 0 Comments

The best way to learn about wine is to taste, taste, and taste some more. Here are two events this weekend that will let you do that with minimal cost: 1. Palette Wines will hold a tasting of 50 different wines on Saturday, January 17, from 2-9 PM, at its new shop near Dongsi Shitao. This is good value given that Palette has a consistently good portfolio. Bottles are available for takeaway at 15 percent off. The entry fee is RMB80. Register with Diego at diego@palettewines.cn / 13801-295-504. Note: Again, the tasting is at the Dongsi Shitao shop, not at […]