Just before the Chinese New Year holidays, I went to Mali’s Wine Cellar for the shop’s biannual tasting / sale, and my friend gave me rmb5000 to spend on his behalf. I picked a few sparkling wines, some Spanish Albarino and Australian Riesling, and lots more, and happily noted the nice selection of Chinese wines from 1421, Grace Vineyard and Chandon. (In fact, this is the first shop I have seen with Chandon Brut and Chandon Rose from Ningxia.)
I found the task fun, but tough, simply because the owner, Ma Li, has created one of the more interesting wine portfolios in Beijing. From Chateau Montelena to Chapel Down to Boschendal, the shelves are full of wines I have tried and enjoyed over the years.
She is also enthusiastic. When we opened that Ningxia Rose, she raced to get a bottle of Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial for the sake of comparison. That became a kind of theme — opening one bottle justified opening another — and the number of wines on the table quickly grew. Making it even more enjoyable: the sense of community as we picked wines, opened and discussed them, and nibbled on pizza and, later, homemade dumplings.
Good wines, good times.
Mali’s Wine Cellar is in Room 105, Building 5, of Soho New Town Apartments at 88 Jianguo Road (北京市朝阳区建国路88号SOHO现代城公寓5号楼105室 / 6530-7823 / 6530-7842).
[Good content takes resources. If you find Grape Wall useful, please help cover its costs with a contribution via PayPal or WeChat. You can also find Grape Wall on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the China wine newsletter below. And check out sibling sites World Marselan Day, World Baijiu Day and Beijing Boyce.]