June 2009

Tommy Lam: State of wine service in China, national sommelier finals, and more

June 26, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Tommy Lam is the organizer of the China National Sommelier Competition 2009, which will hold its finals on July 7 in Shanghai, and the junior sommelier series set for Beijing on July 5 and Shanghai on July 6. Lam holds an MBA and Wine MBA, is involved in wine programs in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tianjin, and is a certified wine specialist, sommelier, and WSET trainer (see more details at bottom of page here). I asked him about the upcoming finals, about the state of sommeliers in China, and about the unique challenges that this country presents […]

On the vine: Junior sommelier session, Oregon wine tasting, Hilton wine fair

June 25, 2009 // 1 Comment

An offshoot of the China National Sommelier Competition, a ‘junior sommelier‘ session will be held in Beijing on July 5 and in Shanghai on July 6. According to the Asia Wine Institute, it is aimed at “less experienced wine service staff, or simply F&B professionals looking to upgrade their knowledge in wine service.” The event involves a three-hour seminar that covers everything from wine serving skills to pronunciation of wine terms. It will be held from 1 PM and costs RMB200. To sign up, download this form and send it to Francesca Xu at Francesca.xu@asia-businessgroup.com /010-5828-7720. Oregon wine tasting events […]

Taste test in China: Chateau ‘Sun God’ wine by Great Wall

June 25, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Brian Yao Thanks to a friend, I had the chance to talk to the agency for Great Wall winery and taste one of its products. The purpose was to help find a proper marketing strategy for the wine Chateau Sun God. Five people attended the session, all of them wine consumers in Beijing with a history of drinking imported wines for at least one year. The agency asked us about a half dozen questions, such as which wines we have purchased, how often we buy wines and where, and so on. We then tried the wine without knowing anything […]

Grape Press: Chinese firm buys majority stake in Bordeaux vineyard

June 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

AFP reports that a Chinese company has bought a portion of Bordeaux vineyard (my highlights): A Chinese firm has taken a majority stake in a Bordeaux vineyard, the latest move by the emerging Asian giant into the world of French wine, a company who advised on the deal said Sunday. HongKong A and A International, a holding company, paid an undisclosed sum for the stake in Chateau Richelieu…. The Chinese company has previously specialised in the areas of golf, property and luxury clothing…. The development marks the second foothold gained by a Chinese firm in the French wine industry, after […]

Let the pouring begin: China National Sommelier Competition finalists set

June 17, 2009 // 0 Comments

The jury for the qualifying rounds of the China National Sommelier Competition, by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI), has chosen eight candidates, rather than an originally planned six, to participate in the finals in Shanghai on July 7. According to a press release for the event, the candidates are: Frank Hao – The Opposite House, Beijing Lin Chun Ke – The Opposite House, Beijing Leo Jin – Pudong Shangri-La, Shanghai Ma Jun – Les Millesimes, Beijing Hans Qu – Intercontinental, Shenzhen Jason Shi – China World Hotel, Beijing Vivian Tian – Kee Club, Shanghai Diego Zhang – Intercontinental […]

Miguel Torres: Selling wine in China, the new Torres-Grace wine, and more

June 15, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce I recently tagged along to Chengdu with a group of writers as Torres president Miguel A Torres donated RMB500,000 to build a school to replace one severely damaged during last year’s earthquake in Sichuan. We also tried a new Muscat wine called Symphony made via cooperation between Torres and Shanxi-based winery Grace as well as two wines from Ningxia-based winery Silver Heights that are distributed by Torres China (tasting notes to come). Before the event, I sat down with Miguel Torres to ask a few question about wine and China. How did the wine project between Torres […]

Grape press: Chinese find too much ‘la feet’ in port; ‘made in Hong Kong’ wine

June 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

– By Jim Boyce What is one major challenge of selling vintage port in China? Ironically, for a country that has a love affair with La Feet (er, Lafite), the problem with port might be too much sole, writes Elin McCoy in this Bloomberg piece: The best vintage ports are largely made the old-fashioned way, by barefooted people stomping on the grapes in traditional open granite vats called lagares…. [Port producer] Quinta do Noval sells well in Japan, sales director Aymeric de Gironde tells me, but so far, interest in China hasn’t taken off. One problem may be those feet. […]

Grape Press: 9000-year-old Chinese ‘wine’ recreated; plus, Is beer better with Chinese food?

June 8, 2009 // 2 Comments

American brewer Dogfish Head has cracked an ancient Chinese secret. According to John Roach at National Geographic News, the brewery has created a beverage “similar to one made in China some 9,000 years ago.” Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, used a recipe that included rice, honey, and grape and hawthorn fruits. He got the formula from archaeologists [including Patrick McGovern] who derived it from the residues of pottery jars found in the late Stone Age village of Jiahu in northern China.” The brew – described as falling somewhere among beer, mead, wine, and cider […]

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