November 2012

Sommelier showdown: Park Hyatt Beijing takes the China wine services title

November 21, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The finals of the recent National Wine Services Team Competition in Shanghai saw the Park Hyatt Beijing, led by captain Lee Meiyue, take top honors against dozens of teams from across the nation. The trio of Niki Hui 惠金凤, Honey Jia 贾晓林 and Kerry Qin 秦莉 topped the competition in an all English-language finale that included decanting, Champagne pouring, and food and wine pairing — any ideas what goes with duck tongue? The winners get a trip to the wine regions of Ningxia while the runners-up get trips to Yantai in Shandong and to Grace Vineyard in […]

Gerard Basset to China sommeliers: Your job is sales

November 21, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce “The sommelier is a salesman, but some [in the business] do not like this,” said Gerard Basset to several hundred people, including a good number of China-based sommeliers, at the recent China Wine Revolution event in Shanghai. Basset, who brings major credentials to the table as reigning World’s Best Sommelier, a Master of Wine and a Master Sommelier, was keynote speaker for the “Service Revolution” panel. Basset said some sommeliers want to see themselves as artists and poets but that is only part of the job at most. “Of course, there is some artistry and show,” […]

China wine maps: So, um, where is Ningxia? And where are its wineries?

November 21, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce While quite a few people have heard about the up-and-coming wine region of Ningxia, some only vaguely know the location of this isolated place and its wineries, with “vaguely” including “somewhere in China”. Here is a look at the region via five maps. Perhaps Ningxia is best described as being in north-central China. The region is usually considered as part of the “northwest” swath that is seeing an increase in wine-making, though it is toward the eastern fringe. Ningxia is 66,000 square kilometers, which makes it roughly the size of Ireland or West Virginia, and is roughly 800 […]

Head of the glass: Professor Ma Huiqin on teaching wine appreciation in China for 10+ years

November 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ Professor Ma Huiqin started a wine appreciation course in 1998 at China Agricultural University in Beijing. Except for a three-year break, when she was doing post-doc work in Stellenbosch in South Africa, Ma has introduced hundreds of students in Beijing to wine each year. While known to many as a molecular biologist and wine marketing expert, Ma also considers her wine class a high priority. Boyce: Why did you start the class? Ma: I like wine and I wanted to share it with my students. Back then, wine courses were for students in wine-related programs and only based on […]

Parker in Peking flashback: The man, the visit, the poster…

November 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce It’s been more than four years since Robert Parker made his first — and only — visit to Beijing, a trip that included sipping and nibbling on the Great Wall of China. Today, regular reader Mr Miyagi reminded me of this by sending the above e-poster. The wine scene has changed a good deal since early 2008 — the quick rise of social media, the massive growth in the number of imports and distributors, the increasing power of buyers from China both in auction houses and in the world’s wine regions, etc — but Parker continues to […]

New wine show math in Shanghai: ProWein + FHC China = ProWine China

November 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Messe Düsseldorf, organizer of the massive ProWein wine fair in Germany, and China International Exhibitions (CIE), organizer of Food and Hospitality China (FHC) in Shanghai, have teamed up to establish an annual event called ProWine China. The first exhibition is set for next year from November 13 to November 15 in Shanghai, alongside FHC China, and will essentially take over that event’s wine and spirits hall. At this year’s recently finished FHC China, the hall hosted vendors, seminars, tastings and a sommelier contest as well as a large ProWein area with ~300 winning wines from the […]

Michel Rolland to China wine industry: Work on your vineyards

November 18, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Focus on the vineyards. That is the advice winemaker and consultant Michel Rolland had for China’s wine industry during a series of “China Wine Revolution” panels at the FCH China trade show in Shanghai. Rolland was keynote speaker for a panel that included professor Li Demei of Beijing University of Agriculture and winemaker Cui Yanzhi of Bodega Langes, with organizer Tommy Lam as moderator. Rolland described China as taking a “very industrial approach” and said perhaps growth has come too fast and, in turn, not resulted in the best use of vineyards or grape varieties. His […]

English sparkling wine in China: Will Chapel Down fight its way in?

November 18, 2012 // 0 Comments

~ By Jim Boyce Perhaps not quite yet. But Chapel Down sparkling wine from Kent did make an appearance at the White Collar Boxing event held at the Renaissance Capital in Beijing on Saturday night. That event featured sixteen ‘white collar’ folks — an accountant, a bar owner, a magazine editor, and so on — putting on the gloves and finally going at it after three months of intensive training. One fighter was Beijing wine guy Oliver Murphy and I arrived with Chapel Down Brut Vintage Reserve so that he had something from his homeland to sip after the bout. […]

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