May 2009

What wine pairs with stinky tofu? The China National Sommelier Competition 2009

May 26, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Know which wine pairs with stinky tofu? Able to identify the difference between a corked wine and one that is oaked? Realize that the pros ease open – rather than pop – a bottle of sparkling wine? Then the China National Sommelier Competition 2009, organized by Asia Wine Institute and Asia Business Group, might be for you. The contest is open to citizens of China who are aged 18 or up and who have been working in wine for a food or beverage restaurant establishment in China for at least one year. For more details and the […]

Palette Vino in Beijing: Cozy confines, good wines, superb prices

May 21, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce As I am a fan of the Palette Wines portfolio and of enjoying a few bottles with friends in cozy hutong surroundings, the combination of the two is bound to be a winner. Since writing last October about the Dongsishitiao branch of Palette Vino, in Beijing, I have returned four times to enjoy the reasonably priced wines and relaxed atmosphere. Palette Vino scores on several fronts. The prices are slightly above retail and thus about as low as you can find in the city, with wines on the by-the-glass menu from RMB30 and many of the several […]

It makes me feel dirty all over: X-rated Australian wine in China

May 19, 2009 // 4 Comments

Note: You can follow this blog on Twitter and Facebook. Those who enjoy using the term “wine porn” should get a bottle  of the Australian wine Alice White as sold by mega-booze firm Constellation here in China. The tasting notes on the back label provide a description that sounds fit for B-grade porn flick. Namely, they inform consumers  to expect the sensation of “sweet fuck.” I’m not sure if that means savory, creamy, musky, or evoking wet horse saddle, or what would make for a proper food pairing (one friend suggested sausage). But the company clearly made a huge mistake. […]

China road trip: Food and wine in Changsha, Hunan province

May 12, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Brian Yao A couple of weeks ago, I visited a customer in the suburb of Xingsha in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan province in south China. I love this place and find the local spicy food to be quite good. I stayed in the Venice Hotel, which has a good restaurant and some decent wines. Unfortunately, the restaurant was closed so I was unable to eat there and try a bottle of wine. Instead, I ended up eating in the lobby and drinking a Tsingtao beer. The next day, I decided to search for a place to eat […]

Chantal Chi on the road: Is there “terroir” in China?

May 11, 2009 // 3 Comments

By Chantal Chi After spending a decade visiting the world’s wine regions, I decided this past year to see how the wine industry is progressing at home in China. Flying over China makes me realize that this country, with its diversity of climates and soils, is best considered as a continent. Given this, there should be an ideal “terroir” for wine in China, right? My travels started in the northern province of Hebei, which surrounds the nation’s capital, Beijing. Smaller wineries have arisen here since bigger players settled down more than a decade ago. French-Chinese joint venture Dragon Seal led […]

Simply Bordeaux 2009: 100 bottles of wine in the hall, 100 bottles of wine…

May 6, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The Simply Bordeaux 2009 tour recently stopped in Beijing to promote the “top 100” wine selections for China as chosen at a tasting held in January. I participated in that tasting with three wine experts in Shanghai – we judged more than 300 different bottles of Bordeaux in just over two days. The invitation to join the panel surprised me because I am neither a wine expert nor had I tried so many wines in such a short time, so I give kudos to CIVB for taking the risk of involving a consumer. (Note: I wrote two […]

Is there any good Chinese wine? Our trilingual answer…

May 5, 2009 // 3 Comments

By Jim Boyce Is there any good Chinese wine? I have heard this question hundreds of times and it is usually either from a) a foreigner living in China who has tried entry-level wine from one of the massive companies that dominate the market, such as Great Wall and Dynasty, and found it sorely lacking or b) a foreigner living outside China – whether it is a wine maker, a writer, a consumer, a blogger or someone else –  who is curious as to what the country has to offer. The answer is yes, but it is hard to find, […]