North by Northwest Challenge: The Judges

Fourteen judges tasted 24 wines during the North by Northwest China Wine Challenge held yesterday morning at the Hilton Beijing. The wines hailed from Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Gansu, Ningxia and Inner Mongolia, and, at least for me, demonstrated the increasing dynamism of the domestic wine scene. The process of adding scores, deciphering handwriting and triple-checking everything is under way with the aim of releasing the results tomorrow.

This event was more public than Grape Wall Challenge held Tuesday at Modo, with some journalists on hand as observers and people occasionally popping into the room to watch the action — if sniffing, sipping and scribbling can be described as action. Several people asked who the judges were, so I have listed them below. We had three groups of judges — wine industry, food and beverage industry, and media — and will list which wines each group liked.

Here are the judges (in alphabetical order):


Wine industry panel

Nicolas Carre, sommelier and wine consultant
Fiona Sun, senior editor, China edition of La Revue du Vin
Ch’ng Poh Tiong, editor, The Wine Review in Singapore
Frankie Zhao
, owner, Pro-Wine Consultancy
Julia Zhu, wine director, Hilton Beijing


F&B industry panel

Paul Mathew, bar consultant and contributor to Drinks magazine
Joel Shuchat, tea trader and chef / manager at Orchid Hotel
Geraldo Thomazini, chef and manager of Alameda Brazilian restaurant
Jun Trinh, chef and host of Who Stole My Kitchen


Media panel

Marsha Cooke, Asia bureau chief, CBS News
Steve Han
, founder of soon-to-launch wine info site TasteV
Terril Yue Jones, senior correspondent, Reuters
Rui Leow, writer, Global Times
Iain Shaw, editor, The Beijinger

Results, photos and an event wrap-up to come…

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