Huiqin Ma

What wine pairs with stinky tofu? The China National Sommelier Competition 2009

May 26, 2009 // 1 Comment

By Jim Boyce Know which wine pairs with stinky tofu? Able to identify the difference between a corked wine and one that is oaked? Realize that the pros ease open – rather than pop – a bottle of sparkling wine? Then the China National Sommelier Competition 2009, organized by Asia Wine Institute and Asia Business Group, might be for you. The contest is open to citizens of China who are aged 18 or up and who have been working in wine for a food or beverage restaurant establishment in China for at least one year. For more details and the […]

Palette Vino in Beijing: Cozy confines, good wines, superb prices

May 21, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce As I am a fan of the Palette Wines portfolio and of enjoying a few bottles with friends in cozy hutong surroundings, the combination of the two is bound to be a winner. Since writing last October about the Dongsishitiao branch of Palette Vino, in Beijing, I have returned four times to enjoy the reasonably priced wines and relaxed atmosphere. Palette Vino scores on several fronts. The prices are slightly above retail and thus about as low as you can find in the city, with wines on the by-the-glass menu from RMB30 and many of the several […]

Simply Bordeaux 2009: 100 bottles of wine in the hall, 100 bottles of wine…

May 6, 2009 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce The Simply Bordeaux 2009 tour recently stopped in Beijing to promote the “top 100” wine selections for China as chosen at a tasting held in January. I participated in that tasting with three wine experts in Shanghai – we judged more than 300 different bottles of Bordeaux in just over two days. The invitation to join the panel surprised me because I am neither a wine expert nor had I tried so many wines in such a short time, so I give kudos to CIVB for taking the risk of involving a consumer. (Note: I wrote two […]

Red versus white: The grape grapple in China

May 26, 2008 // 1 Comment

By Huiqin Ma Chinese consumers buy nearly nine times more red wine than white wine. One common explanation is that the color red denotes good fortune in Chinese culture, thus making wine of that color more popular. I doubt this. After all, Chinese rice wine, Chinese liquor and most Chinese beer are clear or light-colored, and each of these alcohols represent from several to fifty times more market share than grape wine. Instead, I suggest other reasons why white wine lags red in popularity as well as several reasons why this situation should change. Bordeaux: The magical word “Entry level-Bordeaux” […]

Translation: 英国葡萄酒大腕Jancis Robinson谈中国葡萄酒

May 9, 2008 // 1 Comment

By Ma Huiqin (The translation below first appeared here. The original interview in English is here.) 我的朋友Jim Boyce在3月5日采访了英国的葡萄酒大腕Jancis Robinson 原文见:http://www.grapewallofchina.com/page/3/,我的两个三年级的本科生赵丹和刘茜做了翻译,我对文稿进行远不完美的审阅和校对,我想这样的交流有利于我们跨过语言的障碍,倾听不同的声音。 昨晚,我在北京港澳中心瑞士酒店的Flow休闲吧对来自英国的著名葡萄酒作家简妮丝·罗宾逊(Jancis Robinson)进行了短暂的访谈。罗宾逊女士拥有一个广受欢迎的葡萄酒网站(Web site),她还为《金融时报》每周撰写一篇专栏,负责《牛津葡萄酒词典》的编辑工作,并且和另一位世界知名的葡萄酒作家休·约翰逊合作撰写了《世界葡萄酒大全》一书。 问:在本次访问中国期间,您在葡萄酒领域发现了什么变化吗? 答:这是我第三次来中国,三次访问分别在2002、2003和今年。我有点失望,因为在我看来中国葡萄酒的品质并没有进一步的提高。酒在风格上仍是波尔多一般葡萄酒的稀释版,而这种类型的酒是目前世界上最难卖的。 上海米氏餐厅Marcus Ford和他的朋友组织了一场有15款红葡萄酒的盲品。我想说的是它们都不是能让我眼前特别一亮的葡萄酒,尽管有三四个还算相当不错。出于我对中国人的工作态度和决心的信任,我曾经希望,这些酒会展示出最近五年来的进步,但结果并非如我所期待。 问:您去过中国的哪些葡萄酒产区,它们是否与您的预想相同? 答:我2003年去过新天和几个河北的酒厂,昨天去了怡园。当然,西部地区的地形是完全不同的。 从规模上来说——新天有大面积的葡萄园,那些农户的葡萄园看起来不是为农民所有,而是归新天所有,而怡园酒庄周边有农民承包的土地。 问:你对中国葡萄酒和所使用的酿酒葡萄品种的总体印象是什么? 答:说到葡萄品种,除了赤霞珠和美乐你很难尝到其它的。说实在的,我想不出还有哪个国家像这样拥有如此广大的葡萄栽培面积,却只种植了极少的品种。 最常见的葡萄酒的风格,干瘦干瘦的,红色而单宁感强,是最糟糕的配中国菜的酒。 问:您会给初涉葡萄酒的中国人什么样的建议? 答:我想说的是不要听信广告,而应该尝试多种不同风格的葡萄酒。根据你所吃的食物,可以尝试一款果香浓郁的白葡萄酒,甚至一款果香饱满的红葡萄酒。不要认为葡萄酒一定得是赤霞珠或者美乐品种。鲁信博士牌雷司令(美夏代理)的亲和性很好。不少业内人士告诉我,如果拿这款酒送人,人们会很喜欢。 笔记:我随身带了2003水晶干白和2005玫瑰蜜各一瓶,这两款酒都是云南红的产品,而且都是用杂交葡萄品种酿制的。鲁宾逊快评如下:玫瑰蜜配菜可能有一点偏甜,但是它在入门级的酒中是非常棒的。水晶干白的香气对我而言实在是太不熟悉了,非欧洲种葡萄的特点非常突出。 有关简妮丝·罗宾逊关于中国的更多信息,请参见‘中国的葡萄栽培与酿酒’The vinification of China和‘我的中国冒险 II’ My Chinese adventures – Part II。《城市周报快递》This City Weekend post包括一个博客空间以及对罗宾逊女士最近在上海国际文学节上讲话的记录。 感谢港澳中心瑞士酒店提供品酒的玻璃杯(顺便提一下,我发现在每周二、三、四下午5:30到7:3在Flow休闲酒吧会有买一增一特别的活动。)访谈结束后,我与酒店的 Dominik Hager 以及Nathan Wang 坐在一起,让他们品尝了这两款酒。他们俩都不喜欢水晶干白,觉得这款酒很奇怪(这款2003年的酒也许应该更早饮用,而且酒温也过高)。而对于玫瑰蜜,他们都认为其香气非常浓郁。王先生说这款酒酒体单薄,但作为清淡型的葡萄酒还可以。他品尝中国葡萄酒已经有超过十年的经验了,因此希望近期能够有机会采访他一下。

Wine education in China – campus edition

April 23, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Huiqin Ma Campbell Thompson of The Wine Republic was a recent guest lecturer in my Wine Culture and Appreciation course at China Agricultural University, on the outskirts of Beijing near the Summer Palace. He presented on China’s wine market to about 120 students from universities throughout the city. None of the students are in majors related to the wine business. They venture to the school every Saturday afternoon because they find wines attractive, mysterious and romantic – and want to know more about it. My course is an elective that started in 1999 and is open to university students […]

Uncorking nine Chinese wines in Beijing / 四个外国人对9款中国葡萄酒的品评

April 17, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Ma Huiqin Here is a Chinese translation of the article “Taste test: Uncorking nine Chinese wines in Beijing“, which saw Lawrence Osborne and James Fallows as well as fellow contributors Campbell Thompson and Jim Boyce try local vino. It first appeared on my personal blog. 四个外国人对9款中国葡萄酒的品评 爱酒的我们常常会品尝葡萄酒,写下自己的评语,也会看葡萄酒专栏作家对葡萄酒的品评。外国人对中国葡萄酒的品尝总体上非常有限,有些人是抱着先入为主的看法对中国葡萄酒持不懈一顾的态度,即使有偶尔的品尝也是一两个出名的酒园而已。 Jim Boyce是我遇到过的对中国葡萄酒持非常开放态度的外国人,他和他的几个朋友前些天搞了一些小小的中国葡萄酒的品尝活动,并把这次活动记录在他的博客上。古话讲:开卷有益,我想有不少葡萄酒消费者和业界的同仁愿意了解一下这些来自国外的葡萄酒爱好者和专业人士是如何评价这些我们常见或不常见的葡萄酒,从另一个角度,听听不同的声音。 参加品酒的四个人是来自纽约的葡萄酒记者Lawrence Osborne、太平洋月刊的记者James Fallows,曾任ASC精品葡萄酒市场总监的Campbell Thompson和Jim本人。 因为时间的关系,我无法把Jim写得美丽而精确的英文完美地翻译给读者,尽管在我阅读他的文字的时候,得到了极大的享受,再一次感受语言的美好。有兴趣的读者请访问他的博客http://www.grapewallofchina.com/ 以下为英文的译文 长城赤霞珠2003 有一定的果香,尽管香气较为微弱并带有一丝止咳糖浆的感觉,不坚实的酒体带有轻微的浆果/樱桃的香气,收结很类似于葡萄汁。 餐桌评语:“口感尚可,但并不宜人,果香已经松弛消退。” 新天红葡萄酒(无年份,人民币 28元) 色泽为沉郁的红色,带有一点黄色的色调,能感受到橡木和一点(相当微弱的)黑色水果的香气,没有回味(原作者注:因为曾经从我的读者那里听到对新天的积极评价,所以很快我会尝试更贵的新天葡萄酒。) 餐桌评语:“我很高兴这款酒的定价没有超过28元。” 撒拉莫世家赤霞珠2004(人民币45元) 闻起来有淡淡的水果味儿(黑樱桃),酒体蕴含着一些深色水果的芬芳,果酱感和一丝的香料味儿。 餐桌评语: “有一定的品种特征,但还是有些单薄。” 怡园赤霞珠2005 (人民币60元) 闻香带有轻盈宜人的水果风格,果香和单宁相当协调,但葡萄酒的色泽让人觉得它仿佛来自一个更老的年份。 餐桌评语: “尝起来象一款完美的美国葡萄酒”,“显然比撒拉莫世家高了一个层次”,“他们想达到某种不容易达到的境界。” 波龙堡2005珍藏(人民币195) 闻起来有很多的橡木(锯木屑?)味,对随后的黑果酱味来它说太浓了,在酒体上是同样的特征。 餐桌评语: “橡木味奇怪而且重” ,“象进了木匠店”,“象松脂”,我个人喜欢这一条评语:“带有果实风味的有趣的木头味儿”,“既会有人喜欢这款酒,也有人会讨厌这款酒” 太阳桃红2005 (人民币60) 桔-粉红色,闻起来有蘑菇感,底层是果实的味道(桃?淡红色的水果?),入口有类似的水果味,如果你想尝试这款酒,宜早不宜迟。 餐桌评语:“它在逆境中挣扎,所做的努力令人尊敬” 华东干白(雷司令) 2002 (人民币76) 非常成熟,几乎发酵了,闻香中有苹果味,稍微有点酸,带有热带水果(菠萝)的感觉,但缺乏足够的酸度和收结。 餐桌评语:“这款酒没有酸度,没有核心,雷司令不能酿成这样”,“它已经过了最佳饮用期”,“收结不够干净”。 怡园夏多丽 2006(人民币60) 闻起来有烤面包的香气,酒体中有橡木和绿苹果的感觉,尽管酒尝起来有轻微的不成熟感”。 餐桌评语:“它连贯性不好”,“它的酸度不平衡”, “它没有优雅感”。 中法农场霞多丽2005 (访问时得到的样品) 轻盈的,奶油般的,带有新鲜感,酒体上呈现柔和轻盈的水果香气,尽管收结并不悠长。 餐桌评语:“It doesn’t have that buttery angle,” […]

Travel with wine, trouble with wine

April 14, 2008 // 1 Comment

By Huiqin Ma My friend and wine maker Charles was stopped at Yantai airport in Shandong Province last week. The reason: security found more than two bottles of wine in his check-in luggage. He had to leave numerous bottles of expensive wine behind, including a special one meant for me! Charles asked if there is a new law on how many bottles may be included in check-in baggage. The answer is no. The original limit was two 750 ML bottles, but enforcement of this rule has become stricter since March. In addition, no bottles may be carried on as hand […]

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