September 2012

From idea to reality in ten weeks: Ningxia Wine Challenge underway in China

September 21, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ Ten weeks ago today, the Ningxia Wine Challenge began with a call to the world’s winemakers to come to China for this year’s harvest. Today, seven winemakers from five continents are in Ningxia and will soon be trying their hands at making wine from locally grown grapes. “Challenge” is an appropriate word for several reasons. For starters, this is the first project of its kind in China and there will be growing pains as the winemakers, the organizers in Ningxia and other parties deal with logistical, cultural and other issues. It is also a challenge because this is a […]

China wine labels: Li Hua is for both drinker and thinker

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

Not many scholars have wines named after them but apparently Professor Li Hua of Northwest A&F University in Shaanxi Province is in those ranks. This bottle was spotted in a collection at Helan Qing Xue in Ningxia and said to not only date from the early 1990s but also be named after Hua, who has been in China’s wine industry for some 30 years. More proof of the close link between wine and education.

The Spain drain: Is China at threat from cheap European wine imports?

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ A few weeks ago, China and Europe went from sipping to spitting as an alcohol industry group in the former claimed that imported wines from the latter are unfairly subsidized. From Reuters: The China Alcoholic Drinks Industry Association this week formally requested the government to investigate whether wine from the European Union was damaging the domestic market. China’s commerce ministry is now considering whether to take action following the request, which made claims of unfair European subsidies to its industry, state media reported. . The EU Chamber of Commerce in China called the developments a “worrisome trend of trade […]

The yolks on Cru: China label depicts virtual wine-food pairing for Lafite et al

September 13, 2012 // 0 Comments

The fascination of some in China with Premier Grand Cru — notably Lafite — is much discussed and documented. And now one importer and distributor in China has depicted a potential — and virtual — food and wine pairing. Egg. At least that’s what the label above depicts — an egg splattered on images on the “big five”. (Sounds like the makings of a superb breakfast, IMHO.) The wine is called Second Vin, is distributed by Label France, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, and is priced at rmb70 per glass or rmb280 per bottle at The […]

Cups runneth over: Major upcoming wine tastings by Torres, Aussino, Hilton in Beijing

September 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

The sixth annual Taste of the Nations by Torres China, under its Everwines brand, is slated for September 22 at China Lounge at Workers Stadium in Beijing. This ranks among the city’s best tastings, with 180+ wines from 14 countries, including some of China’s best brands, and this year will also feature Joselito ham from Spain. At 228 kuai for three hours of free-flow wine — 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM — it is hard to go wrong with this one. You can also get your tickets early, for rmb208, by contacting Maggie at 5165-5519, extension 284 or (at) […]

Uncorked: Torres China officially opens first Everwines shop in Beijing

September 12, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ Torres China officially opened its first Beijing retail shop and bar under the retail brand Everwines last Saturday with an afternoon of wine, music and snacks, including Spanish ham Joselito. The B1 shop is on Xindong Road, across from the Bentley dealership, and includes patios out front and back, a VIP / events room and an enomatic machine with eight wines. Among the half-dozen wines poured at the opening was a tasty reserve Malbec from Salentin. GM Damien Shee (above) also opened a magnum-sized barrel sample of Emma’s Reserve from Silver Heights in Ningxia. This wine spent an extra […]

Ningxia Wine Awards: Helan Qing Xue, Xi Xia King take top honors

September 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce Ten judges spent last Friday morning sniffing, sipping, spitting and scoring more than three dozen wines from Ningxia during a tasting in that region’s capital city of Yinchuan. Called the Ningxia Wine Awards, the event aimed to gauge the quality of local wines by having a combination of judges from China and overseas blind taste them. Cao Kailong, director of the Bureau of Grape and Floriculture Industries initiated the project and stated that only wines made in Ningxia from grapes grown in Ningxia were to be entered in the contest. The judges tasted 39 wines in flights […]

Wine brands in China: Jia Bei Lan vs Jia Bai Lun

September 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The Chinese wine Jia Bei Lan rose to fame last year when it won an “international trophy” at the Decanter World Wine Awards. Although this wine — made by Helan Qing Xue in Ningxia — had its fans long before the award, global recognition helped make it more widely known. This is what bottles of Jia Bei Lan look like: Last week, fellow Grape Wall contributor Nicolas Carre sent me a photo of a wine with a nearly identical name — save for two letters — called Jia Bai Lun. This ones hails from Changli County in […]