Wines under 元100 in China: Grace Vineyard Chardonnay 2010

January 1, 2013 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce While Grace Vineyard Chardonnay 2010 did not make the top four in our recent Grape Wall Challenge, it did get good scores from most of the seven consumers turned judges on the white wine panel. Six judges either “liked it” (five) or “loved it” (one), with one dissenter submitting a “didn’t like it” vote. One consumer picked it as her favorite out of the challenge’s 20 white wines. She liked the smell and thought this wine would serve as a “perfect summer drink”. Meanwhile, the journalists who sat in on the tasting also generally liked the Grace […]

From cork to screw cap: Three wine closure anecdotes from China

December 14, 2012 // 1 Comment

~ By Jim Boyce While most wine in China — whether domestically produced or imported — is bottled under cork, and while I repeatedly hear this is what consumers want, we are seeing more screw caps. Three recent cases: 1. I saw the above two bottles of China favorite Cabernet Sauvignon in my local corner shop (see full shots below). The wine is from Concha y Toro, a major brand by volume here. The bottle at front right is 2010, the ones at left and in back are 2011. (I mentioned the change  in closures to the employee on duty. […]

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 […]

Pour your way to victory: Seeking China’s best sommelier

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Koen Masschelein of Maison Boulud informs that the International Sommelier Association (ASI), organizers of the “Best Sommelier in the World Competition”, will hold its first contest in China. The initial selection rounds will be held in Beijing and Shanghai on April 28, with the top six candidates going to a final round on May 31. The winner will then go to Osaka for the best sommelier of Asia-Oceania contest in November. The contest is limited to Chinese nationals. The jury is headed by Shinya Tasaki, technical director of the World Sommelier Competition, ASI. The contest is being organized with Asia […]

Wine Word: Gelipu head Danny Wu

November 9, 2008 // 0 Comments

Danny Wu is head of GELIPU (GLP), a Beijing-based company that distributes Australian wines and is involved in a retail outlet. I asked him about the strategy of focusing on wines from a single country, the consumer trends he sees, and more. – GELIPU is focused on Australian wines. What are the pros and cons of this single-country approach and how do you position yourself vis-a-vis others who carry Australian wines? Most will be aware that Australia is one of the largest wine producing nations as there are more than 50 geographic wine regions scattered right across this sixth largest […]

Vintage tasting: City Weekend surveys Beijing’s wine scene… in 1998

October 26, 2008 // 0 Comments

By Jim Boyce A few weeks ago, I popped into Jenny Lou’s gourmet shop near Chaoyang Park and counted around 100 different sparkling wines. One hundred! Choice in Beijing, in terms of shops, tastings, and restaurant, bar, and hotel wine lists, is incredibly diverse when compared to a few years back. Case in point: this 1998 City Weekend story about a tasting of four local and four imported wines. Author Anne Stevenson-Yang noted the difficulty of finding imported wine, particularly at a reasonable price, and posited: “So when you’re thinking of uncorking a red to go with dinner, you may […]

Grape finds: Lufthansa Centre

October 18, 2007 // 0 Comments

I popped into the basement supermarket of the Lufthansa Center in Beijing and found a bonanza of booze. In addition to solid imported wine, vodka, gin, sake and whisky selections, the latter including the rarely found (in Beijing) Woodford Reserve Bourbon (561 kuai), it also offered a decent selection of Chinese wines. Alongside the Great Wall, Dynasty and Fengshou, which included plenty of vintages, at least according to the bottle labels, in the 1990s, there was the fairly hard-to-find Huadong, although no recent vintages. The Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon were both 2000, the Riesling was 2002. A range of Grace […]

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