July 2009

Beijing bubbly: Champagne really sucks…

July 28, 2009 // 10 Comments

By Jim Boyce … the money out of our pockets. And I mean the price of mass market bubbly such as Mumm or Moet & Chandon. Consumers typically face a price of RMB700 per bottle at bars or clubs that paid ~RMB250 or sometimes even less to buy it. The reality is that choice is often not dictated by what tastes best, or offers best value, but by deals between the Champagne distributors and bars and clubs. Thus, the big bubbly boys can offer cash incentives, volume discounts, and other support to convince the bigger bars and clubs to feature […]

Tasting time in Beijing: Cedar Creek wines from Australia

July 20, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Brian Yao The Kerry Center Hotel branch of Top Cellar recently hosted a tasting of Cedar Creek wines from Australia. Guests in Beijing joined the wine maker Graham Cranswick from Cedar Creek to try three reds and three whites, including the winner in the red wine category of last March’s Grape Wall of China Challenge, Cedar Creek Shiraz Cabernet 2008. Top Cellar is offering a 25 percent discount on all Cedar Creek wines during July.

Photo essay: Pouring, pondering, and penning at China National Sommelier Competition

July 13, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Posts about the China National Sommelier Competition have been, um, pouring onto this blog. Last week I posted the full results as well as an interview with Shinya Tasaki, who oversaw the judging. Next up: photos from the event. And I have a few more posts in the queue… – See also What happens if I eat the cork? Q&A with world sommelier champ Shinya Tasaki Full results: The China National Sommelier Competition

What happens if I eat the cork? Q&A with world sommelier champ Shinya Tasaki

July 10, 2009 // 1 Comment

– By Jim Boyce Shinya Tasaki won the world’s best sommelier title in 1995, chairs the technical commission of the ASI (International Sommelier Association), and oversaw the jury at the China National Sommelier Competition in Shanghai this week. If someone has unusual questions about how to serve wine, Tasaki should be able to answer them, right? Here are his answers to eight of my questions… – Say I have a bottle of very cold red wine that I want to drink right away. Can I warm it in a microwave? It’s possible to use a microwave because it won’t change […]

China National Sommelier Competition: Full results

July 10, 2009 // 4 Comments

– By Jim Boyce As mentioned yesterday, Hans Qu of the Intercontinental Hotel in Shenzhen took top spot at the China National Sommelier Competition on Tuesday in the Westin Bund in Shanghai, while Vivian Tian of the Kee Club in Shanghai took second place. Both will go to Osaka for the Asia-Pacific competition organized by the Association Sommelier Internationale (ASI) in November. Here are the top five candidates and the trips they won: Hans RJ Qu, Intercontinental, Shenzhen – Trip to Spain provided by Torres Vivian Tian, Kee Club, Shanghai – Trip to Argentina sponsored by Wines of Argentina Jason […]

China National Sommelier Competition: Hans Qu of Shenzhen Intercontinental Hotel takes top spot

July 8, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Hans Qu of the Intercontinental Hotel in Shenzhen took top prize in the final round of the China National Sommelier Competition held in Shanghai yesterday. Vivian Tian of the Kee Club in Shanghai took second place. Both will go to the Best Sommelier of Asia-Oceania competition to be held in Japan this November. The finals, organized by Tommy Lam and Asia Business Group, were based on the rules of the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale (ASI). Shinya Tasaki, chair of the ASI Technical Commission and deemed the world’s best sommelier in 1995, headed the panel of judges. […]