April 2009

Enjoy Wine: Aussie writer Jeremy Oliver releases first Chinese-language book

April 29, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Australian writer Jeremy Oliver visited Beijing last week to promote his new Chinese-language book “Enjoy Wine” that he says will help “young Chinese people learn about wine in a way they are happy and comfortable with.” The book is split between explaining the basics, from opening a bottle to ensuring proper storage, and information and tasting notes on 290 Australian wines available in China. Oliver said the book specifically targets readers in their late twenties, especially those who have a university education, a job (and thus disposable income), an interest in wine, and “haven’t had years of […]

Carrefour spring wine fair: Glasses, deals, and labels with animals galore

April 23, 2009 // 2 Comments

Note: My computer crashed this week, so posting has been light, but I have about two dozen articles in the queue. Lots of write-ups of talks with wine personalities, visits to wineries, and tastings coming soon. By Jim Boyce – The Carrefour wine fair, held twice per year, ranks among the best free public tastings in Beijing. True, most of the wine is entry-level and often leans toward brands with cute animals on their labels. On other hand, the event gives consumers a chance sample from among hundreds of wines and thus try before they buy. Last Friday saw a […]

Alder Yarrow of Vinography: Wine and Chinese food pairings as a ‘scam’, four overdone wine topics, and more

April 17, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce – Alder Yarrow of Vinography is often cited as among the most popular wine blogs, if not the most popular wine blog, in the world. I asked him about whether pairing wine with Chinese food is a “scam”, the four most overdone wine topics, the difference between wine bloggers and professional wine writers, stateside perceptions of the China wine market, and more. – To what do you attribute the popularity of you blog? Will you end up the Robert Parker of the blog world and Alder-ize it? While I may be a decent writer, and have worked […]

Leo Liu of Sureno: The Chinese wine palate, Aussie wines, and more

April 16, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce – Leo Liu has been interested in wine since he worked in a Dublin wine bar as a student. He is now operations manager for the restaurant Sureno, in Beijing boutique hotel Opposite House, and I talked to him about the wine selection there, his take on the Chinese palate, his recent three-week winery tour of Australia, and more. – How did you get involved in the wine business? When I was studying in Ireland, I worked for Ely Wine Bar, one of the top wine bars in Dublin. I became interested in wine because they did […]

Wine deal: Summergate to handle Pol Roger in mainland China, Macau

April 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

Wine importer and distributor Summergate has inked an exclusive deal to handle Pol Roger Champagne in China and Macau. According to a press release: … Summergate has been appointed the exclusive marketer, importer and distributor for Pol Roger Champagne in China and Macau. … Best known as Sir Winston Churchill’s favorite champagne and often referred to as the “Gentleman’’ Champagne”, today Pol Roger is enjoyed by prime ministers, presidents, princes, wine producers and connoisseurs… Pol Roger is a member of the renowned Primum Familie Vini (PFV) or Leading Wine Families (www.pfv.org) alongside other Summergate brands, Hugel, Antinori, and Perrin & […]

Lafite in lala land? Bordeaux bigwig to make ‘Grand Cru’ in China

April 13, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce – About ten days ago, Decanter posted an “EXCLUSIVE” story to tell the world what pretty much anyone with a friend in the local wine industry here has known for ages, namely, that Chateau Lafite – the most esteemed foreign wine brand in China – will set up shop in this country: In a historic move, Bordeaux first growth Chateau Lafite is developing a vineyard in China. The renowned Pauillac estate has gone into partnership with CITIC, China’s largest state-owned investment company, to develop 25ha of vines in the peninsula of Penglai in Shandong province. Lafite proprietor […]

Robert Joseph to winery owners: Beware of Chinese wanting gifts

April 9, 2009 // 5 Comments

By Jim Boyce – – Robert Joseph writes on his blog that New Zealand winery owner Graeme Avery was scammed by an outfit in China that feigned interest in his products in order to get him to purchase an expensive artwork. The gift was to be given when the head of the Chinese company visited the winery to seal the deal, a visit that never happened. The details: “Put yourselves in the shoes of a producer with plenty of wine to sell. You receive an email or letter from a Chinese “Buying Center” interested in placing a test order worth […]

Making a wine bar work in Beijing: Olivier Six of Le Baie des Anges

April 9, 2009 // 2 Comments

By Jim Boyce – Despite all the talk about the growth of wine sales in China, and particularly in a city such as Beijing, wine bars that endure more than a few years are a rarity. I talked to Olivier Six, who runs La Baie des Anges in the Houhai area, about how the place got started, the strategy for attracting customers, how he became interested in wine, and more. (All photos courtesy of La Baie des Anges.) – What inspired you to open La Baie des Anges and why locate it on a somewhat secluded side street near the […]

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