October 2011

Decanter magazine and Jia Bei Lan 2009: Was it really Chinese wine?

October 30, 2011 // 5 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce How do we know? How do we really know it was Chinese wine? That is a question many people, particularly outside China, have asked since Jia Bei Lan 2009 became the first Chinese wine to receive an “international trophy” at the Decanter World Wine Awards. The award immediately had people asking questions — or perhaps making accusations is a better way to put it — about the wine, including the idea that perhaps it was French wine stuck in a Chinese bottle. Those questions continue nearly two months later. I appreciate skepticism. China does face issues […]

China Wine Press: Scottish castles, Australian winery sales, Japanese manga

October 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

All the wine world’s a stage and China keeps getting bigger roles. China Wine Press looks at media coverage of that drama, with each item preceded by an inane comment from me, just to keep things real. By J. Boyce (China Daily forgot to ask what wine goes with haggis.) Ellie Buchdahl of China Daily reports on the only, as far as I know, Scottish castle in China that doubles as a base for a winery. It is called Treaty Port and founder Chris Ruffle notes that start-up was no walk in a glen: “If any part of the process […]

Grape Wall Challenge 2011: Nine distributors confirmed so far

October 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Eight Nine wine importers / distributors have confirmed they will participate in the Grape Wall of China Challenge 2011. This year’s challenge, the third annual, is slated for November 8 at Modo in Beijing. It will see Chinese consumers judge wines that retail for less than rmb100. Each distributor may submit up to four wines (see details here). There is space for about 50 bottles in total. Interested distributors are asked to confirm participation by October 28. Those who have joined so far (in alphabetical order): ASC Aussino China Wines and Spirits East Meets West French Wine Paradox Links Mercuris […]

Uncorked: Pudao Wines opens in Beijing, features Decanter awards line-up

October 20, 2011 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Pudao Wines is marking its official opening on the north side of The Office Park in Beijing with a line-up of 23 wines that received recognition at Decanter magazine’s World Wine Awards and will be rotated into the enomatic machines over the next few weeks. There are 16 wines available at the moment, including Jia Bei Lan 2009 from Helan Qing Xue in Ningxia, the first Chinese wine to win an “international trophy“. I just called Pudao Wines and was told a sample of Jia Bei Lan is rmb20, while a bottle costs rmb380. Look also for […]

From Xinjiang to Liaoning: Five years of Decanter awards for Chinese wines

October 20, 2011 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Jia Bei Lan Cabernet Red 2009, from Ningxia-based operation Helan Qing Xue, has been a hot topic since it became the first Chinese wine to win an “international trophy” at the Decanter World Wine Awards. I’ll leave for another post what this means in terms of such magazines acting as “gate keepers“, whether judges at such contests reflect the tastes of consumers, and so on. For now, a note that Helan Qing Xue is only one of several operations in China that have received recognition at the Decanter awards over the years. I have no idea how […]

Wine-derwall: 35 different Chinese wine bottles

October 18, 2011 // 0 Comments

~ A magazine asked me for a “wine” shot so I grabbed about three dozen Chinese bottles in my apartment, a.k.a. Chateau Double-B, arranged them on bookshelves, then clicked away. Needless to say from the photo quality above, the job required a professional. But I thought I’d share that one because if you are interested in Chinese wines you might have seen, tried or heard of some of the labels, such as Grace Vineyard, Bolongbao, Catai, Huadong, Xi Xia King, Yunnan Hong, Dragon Seal, Bodega Langes, Suntime and Champs D’or. There are also a few wines I’m not sure (if?) […]

Grape Wall Challenge 2011: Call For Wine

October 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

Call for Wine Grape Wall of China Challenge 2011 November 8, Modo, Beijing ~ The third annual Grape Wall of China Challenge will be held at restaurant Modo in Beijing on November 8. This post is a call for interested distributors to submit wines. The goal of the challenge, or GWC, is to find good inexpensive wines as decided by Chinese consumers. This year, the winning wines will go in Modo’s enomatic machines. (See here for more information on why we hold the GWC.) Distributors may submit a maximum of two white and two red wines. Each wine must have […]

Rare China wine dinners: 1968 Beerenauslese and 2010 Erguotou

October 14, 2011 // 0 Comments

~ Call me cocky but I’m claiming a recent wine dinner I attended was the first to include a 1968 Austrian Beerenauslese, an organic Israeli Petit Syrah and, according to the date stamp on its screw cap, a 2010 Chinese Erguotou. I tried this trio of beverages with three fellow Grape Wallers: the feast was organized by Ma Huiqin, for a visitor from Chile, with Li Demei and Frankie Zhao also in attendance. Here is the beverage breakdown. Austrian Stift Klosterneuberg Beerenauslese 1968: I bought this during a Wine Austria tasting because I couldn’t resist the price, rmb600, which is […]

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