Posted on | February 25, 2013 | No Comments
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By Jim Boyce
As the sky exploded with fireworks and my belly expanded from far too many dumplings, I spent part of my Chinese New Year holidays in Beijing creating a newsletter about wine in China. That might seem odd given my sometimes sporadic posting here but a) I know some people prefer newsletters, which arrive when there is new info, as opposed to visiting blogs, which may or may not have new stuff, b) I hope the newsletter will prove useful as a compact guide to happenings in China and c) I needed something to do other than eat more dumplings.
The result is GWoC Talk, short for Grape Wall of China Talk. It is free, will be sent every two to four weeks, and will include stories on winery visits, local and imported wines, consumer events and industry leaders plus useful info on wine fairs, job openings, distributors, and more.
Friends and acquaintances need not worry that I will regularly bombard them with newsletters. This is an “opt in” project. To get the newsletter, you need to do one of three things:
- Sign up on this site’s homepage by inserting your email address in the form below the banner.
- Tell me — in person or by email at grapewallofchina (at) gmail.com — that you want to receive it.
- Sign up directly on this page: you don’t have to include your name, the email address alone will do.
That’s all you need to do to get happy shiny China wine information in your email box. If you want to see a sample of a full newsletter, click here.
Posted on | February 21, 2013 | No Comments
A major South African wine company is seeking a country manager for China to handle everything from clients, events and media relations to warehouse management and creation of a trade sales program. The candidate should have excellent English and written Chinese skills and a relevant university degree. For more details on the job and its requirements, click here.
Meanwhile, Bordeaux winery Le Ponty seeks an executive assistant for its Beijing office. The job includes dealing with finances, deliveries, event organization, customers relations and more. Candidates should be fluent in English and Chinese and have good organizational and interpersonal skills and basic IT knowledge. More details here.
Posted on | January 30, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
Hong Kong had a super humungous wine auction last weekend if the press release from the organizer — Acker Merral & Conduit — is any indication. It states that the tw0-day sale broke 115 world records – pretty much everything but Usain’s Bolt mark in the 100 meters, it seems.
But you know what sucks to this outside observer? That only 96 percent of the lots sold. If Acker had gotten rid of everything, the number of records could have been even higher. That’s all I’m saying.
Anyway, the total reported sales were HKD52 million / USD6.78 million, with the direct consignments from Domanie Dujac and Domaine Roulut said to have created “an absolute frenzy in the salesroom“. Some notes from the Acker et al press release (my highlights):
- “An astounding 60 new World Records were set for wines from Dujac out of 70 unique lots offered! Handpicked by Jeremy Seysses, co-proprietor of the famous Burgundy Domaine…. Among the highlights… were 6 magnums of 1985 Clos de la Roche (HK$344,400 / US$44,154, Lot 222), and a Jeroboam of 1978 Clos de la Roche in owc (HK$177,120 / US$22,708, Lot 221). Also of note were 6 bottles of 1978 Echézeaux that realized HK$196,800 / US$25,231 (Lot 183), over three times the pre-sale high estimate.”
- “In the direct consignment from Domaine Roulot, records were set as buyers accounted for the top fifteen most valuable lots ever sold in the history of the Domaine. The star lot was a one-of-a-kind Methuselah of 2011 Meursault Clos des Bouchères, one of only two “first growth” monopoles in all of Meursault, which achieved HK$78,720 / US$10,092 (Lot 154A), more than three times the estimate.”
- “One of the featured collections was offered by a noted physician [My guess is Dr. Phil. - Ed]… DRC highlights from this collection included 6 magnums of 1990 DRC Assortment (HK$541,200/US$69,385, Lot 877), 12 bottles of 1999 DRC Assortment in banded owc (HK$344,400/US$44,154, Lot 879), a Jeroboam of 1976 Romanée Conti (HK$196,800/US$25,231, Lot 910) and 4 bottles of the legendary 1978 DRC Montrachet (HK$246,000/US$31,538, Lot 960), two of which were World Records.
- Bordeaux jewels with superb provenance were also on offer, and the market responded accordingly setting new World Records for the following legendary wines: a magnum of 1945 Vogue Musigny (HK$295,200 / US$37,846, Lot 873), a magnum of 1949 Cheval Blanc (HK$98,400 / US$12,615, Lot 730), a magnum of 1953 Margaux (HK$88,560 / US$11,354, Lot 787) and a magnum of 1961 Lafleur (HK$157,440 / US$20,185, Lot 762), as well as a bottle of 1947 Petrus (HK$98,400/ US$12,615, Lot 808) and a bottle of 1961 Latour a Pomerol (HK$93,480 / US$11,985, Lot 779).
- A 12-bottle case of 1982 Petrus in owc fetched HK$492,000 / US$63,077 (Lot 822). Further ancient treasures included 3 bottles of the legendary 1961 Pétrus (HK$295,200/US$37,846, Lot 811) and a very rare Jeroboam of 1961 Latour (HK$270,600 / US$34,692, Lot 775).
Acker’s next wine auction in Hong Kong is on March 22 and March 23.
Posted on | January 30, 2013 | 2 Comments
By Jim Boyce
Given these photos, it looks like California Grapes in Sanlitun Soho is a) preparing for renovations less than six months after opening, b) in need of a clean up after a bash so big most of the wine got guzzled and the ensuing chaos saw the posters stripped from the walls and the furniture tossed into the cold Beijing night or c) closed.
I have yet to hear back from Frank Yglesias, the guy behind this wine shop / bar, but there is no doubt this place is a tough sell given it: a) has a tough location in the lower level of low-traffic Sanlitun Soho, b) is dedicated to a niche market — one state of one country — and has mostly so-so wines, c) has had a 50-percent discount on all bottles over the past two months, which doesn’t inspire confidence in business longevity.
There was also the element of uncertainty after Yglesias resigned from the publicly traded California Grapes International in November — see here for a board of directors release with scary words like “liquidation”, “bankruptcy” and “alleviate debt”.
Whatever the case may be, it is a bit sad to see as California Grapes has been a fun stop given the prices, the live music, and the interesting characters, including Yglesias, that I have met there. I asked him several times late last year about the future of the store and he said he planned to keep it going and run it himself, so perhaps there are plans in the works to make that happen. I’ll update here if I get any more information.
Posted on | January 24, 2013 | 1 Comment
By Jim Boyce
Chile and Spain dominated the bulk wine sector in China in 2012. Recentlyreleased Customs stats show the pair held 69 percent of the market by volume and 64 percent by value, with Italy, France and Australia rounding out the top five although all about five laps behind.
A comparison of the big boys reveals very different stories. Spain easily dominated by volume in 2011 but found itself neck-in-neck with Chile this year, taking 36 percent to its competitor’s 33 percent. The race was nowhere near as close in terms of value as Chile easily outperformed Spain, nearly doubling it with almost 42 percent of market share compared to its competitor’s 22 percent. Put another way, Chilean bulk imports were ~40.1 million liters at ~46.8 million Euro, or ~1.15 Euro per liter, while Spanish bulk imports were 44.2 million liters at 24.8 million Euro, or ~0.55 Euro per liter.
Only three other sources took five percent or more of the market in 2012 either by value or volume: Italy, France and Australia. The latter stands out by taking 6.7 percent by volume but 11.1 percent by value.
The United States and Portugal were the only other sources to have more than 1 percent of the market by volume or value, with Macedonia just under that mark in terms of value.
Back in ###, we saw plenty of news coverage about China claiming the wine industry in Europe receives unfair subsidies — see The Spain Drain: Is China at Threat from Cheap European Imports — and these numbers will provide even more fodder. At least by Customs reckoning, Chilean bulk is coming in at Draink:
Posted on | January 23, 2013 | 2 Comments
By Jim Boyce
Growing by hops and jumps instead of leaps and bounds. That might best describe the wine import situation in China during the past year.
Customs stats for 2012 show wine imports increased at a far slower pace than at any other time in recent years. Those expecting annual growth of 50 percent or more will be disappointed by a rise of 10 percent — up to 266 million liters from 241 million liters in 2011. Indeed, that is disappointing for China although elsewhere such a number would be seen as a success. In fact, it should be considered a decent performance given suggestions the market might shrink in 2012. (See Is China Seeing a Slowdown in Wine Imports and Will the Market Shrink in 2012?)
France retained its grip on importers in China, representing nearly 50 percent by volume, followed by Australia, Spain, Chile, Italy and the United States (see the stats below). Those countries — the “big six” — continue to account for more than 90 percent of bottled imports.
The biggest shifts were with Australia, which saw slight growth but continued to lose market share. It now holds 12.7 of the market by volume, a far cry from the days when it claimed more than 20 percent, although there is some consolation in that it ranks high in value per bottle. On the other hand, Spain saw large gains, up nearly 50 percent. It now represents 10 percent of the market although has very low value per bottle.
I’ll have more on the statistics in the next 24 hours, including more coverage of the bulk wine and by value numbers.
(Hat tip: Tempranillo)
Posted on | January 23, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
Dan Dakin of the St. Catherines Standard reports that up to 25 shops dedicated to Canadian winery Pilliterri Estates will open in China as part of a recent deal:
As part of a Premier Dalton McGuinty-led trade mission to China last week, the Niagara-on-the-Lake company signed an agreement with Canbest International Trading to develop wine stores in the world’s most populated country.
The deal was announced by the government as being worth $20 million over the next three years, though Pillitteri’s president of operations said it’s more realistically worth between $5 million and $10 million….
Pillitteri had already been selling its icewine and table wines in China for the past 15 years, but the new deal is to develop Canbest Canadian Lifestyle Centre stores across the country….
[A recently opened] Beijing location will be the franchise’s flagship store, but the plan is to open as many as 25 more Canbest stores across the country with Pillitteri providing the wine.
Calling Pilliterri “the largest estate producer of icewine in the world”, Dakin added that residents of China who buy wine while visiting Pillitteri in Canada would be able to forgo carrying the bottles back and instead have the order filled via a shop at home. Full story here.
According to the Pilliterri website, the company is a partner in the Canbest project:
Starting in 2005 Pillitteri began to enter into the Chinese market… The emerging Chinese market was a challenging venture to undertake and required a partnership with local businesses and experts to successfully break into the market in full force.
In 2008 Pillitteri decided to form a cooperative business relationship with the Canadian Lifestyle Expo Centre with the interest of presenting an authentic Canadian experience in China for everyone who is interested in doing international business with Canadian companies.
Out of this relationship formed CANBEST of which Pillitteri is part owner.
See here for more details.
And also here for the government’s CAD20 million take on the deal:
Niagara’s Pillitteri Estates Wineryand Canbest International Trading has signed an agreement worth $20 million over the next three years that will bring Canadian ice wine to China. Pilliteri and Canbest will jointly own and operate a number of wine shops in China and will also sell Canadian ice wine to Chinese customers online. Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid, who joined the Premier’s trade mission to China, will participate in the opening of the partnership’s first store in Beijing on Saturday morning before heading back to Ontario.
For those keeping score at home, there is a deal that is stated to be worth anywhere from CAD5 million to CAD20 million and covering up to 25 stores but that currently involves only one retail outlet. Let’s keep an eye on this one.
Also of note, this news comes less than a month after another Canadian winery — Auk Island in Newfoundland — is reported to have a landed a deal to ship wine to China.
Posted on | January 19, 2013 | 2 Comments
By Jim Boyce
ProWein is a massive annual German wine show with huge tents, oodles of oom-pah-pah bands and voluptuous leiderhosen-clad servers walking about with fistfuls of dangerously full glasses. Actually, to be honest, I haven’t been to this event, and I might be confusing it with Oktoberfest, but what is important to this post is what is happening the day before ProWein.
German publishing house Meininger’s will hold a one-day wine conference on March 23 that will include quite a bit of China content.
The afternoon session, starting at 2 PM, will be dedicated to “The Chinese Market” and include these speakers:
- Li Demei of Beijing University of Agriculture talking about “the evolution of Chinese tastes in wine”.
- Robert Joseph of Meininger’s magazine Wine Business International talking about “wine distribution in China”.
- Alberto Fernandez of importer and distributor Torres China talking about “reaching the Chinese consumer”.
- Michael Thurner of Austria’s Fine Brands talking about “selling German and Austrian wines in China”.
In addition, a morning session about online wine retail will include a talk on the China market by Stevie Kim, general coordinator for Vinitaly.
You can check out the program here.
Posted on | January 19, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
If you didn’t make it to the last Wine Republic mini-portfolio tasting / guzzle fest — at Switch! in Beijing last month — you get a second chance today. This importer / distributor will have more than 60 wines available for sampling at Flamme, with all bottles available at half price, according to a flyer sent out by the company.
The event runs from 3 PM to 6 PM. The entry fee is rmb50 and gets you a gift certificate of equal value at Flamme, which I believe would be wisely invested in a Maker’s Mark Manhattan.
Wine Republic specializes in “cool climate” wines. Not sure what’s on offer today but recommend trying any of the Austrian wines, as this company has one of the better lineups in China.
Also of note, for those who plan to stick around for dinner at Flamme, there is no corkage on any wines you buy at today’s Wine Republic sale, including with the rmb399 chef’s recommended menu, which includes chicken barley soup, a 220-gram Australian Wagyu sirloin, and pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream.
Posted on | January 18, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
The upcoming Acker Merrall & Condit wine auction in Hong Kong — the year’s first for the company — should be pretty, um, great if the press release is any indication. “Great”, or its derivatives, is used twenty-nine times (29!) in that missive. Not to be picky, but does anyone at Acker et al have a thesaurus?
Anyway, given the upcoming Chinese New Year, it seems appropriate this auction strikes me as somewhat of a two-headed snake. Not only because it is being held over two days (January 25 and January 26) but also because it features, on one head, Bordeaux and Burgundy from “two of the world’s greatest collections” and, on the other head, wines from Domaine Dujac and Domaine Roulot, “consigned treasures directly from their cellars for the very first time — their greatest wines, vintages, vineyards and formats for this exclusive auction”.
A company press release states that the auction will have ~1,000 lots and an estimated value of around HKD40 million/USD5 million.
And it quotes CEO John Kapon:
“Our two featured collections are massive and from gentlemen I consider two of the world’s greatest collectors. You will not find greater wines or greater collections anywhere in the world than theirs. Their consignments represent almost half of our January auction – the catalog is well worth your time for their wines alone, one focusing on impeccably stored, older jewels and buried treasures rarely seen, while the other represents perfect provenance, original case Bordeaux at its finest. We are also honored and proud that two of Burgundy’s greatest estates, Domaine Dujac and Domaine Roulot, have chosen Acker to consign treasures directly from their cellars for the first time ever. There is no greater provenance for collectors than these two direct consignments.”
My experience in fine wine auctions is limited but do you know what I think would be great? Knowing the names of the sellers. Especially given the focus on provenance not only in the excerpt above but elsewhere in the press release: “Most of the older wines were purchased in the 1980s from trusted and reliable sources, while many of them have remained untouched for decades” and “The provenance is superb“. Given the scandals of the past year — see here and here — and concerns in China re fakes, allaying fears re provenance is a wise move.
Anyway, among the bottles to be sold are a dozen of 1982 Petrus, three of 1961 Petrus, four of 1978 Montrachet, a Jeroboam of 1961 Latour, magnums of 1949, 1952 and 1961 Cheval Blanc and lots involving Angelus, Ausone, Haut Brion, Lafleur and Margaux and others.
Posted on | January 6, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
When I visited Hong Kong in November, I went to the fortieth birthday party of Patricio de la Fuente-Saez, head of wine importer and distributor Links Concept. I was supposed to spend the night preparing for a speech the next day but I couldn’t resist the combination of him and a disco theme and wine maker Dave Powell from Torbreck — in town from Australia — since it meant the possibility of enough wild stories to fill this blog for a year.
Unfortunately, de la Fuente-Saez and his fellow party-goers were rather well-behaved, although they took the disco theme to heart in the most big-haired bell bottom-panted way possible, all while shaking their groove things to a band (see photos below). Also of note: the buffet had enough chicken nuggets — with three dipping sauces — to feed the entire city. The only thing missing was John Travolta arriving as Tony Manero.
Anyway, it’s good to see the wine crowd let its hair down — or maybe, in this case, out — and hope we see some of the same here in Beijing this year.
- de la Fuente Saez on 1831 Y’Quem, 1917 shipwreck Champagne, and more
- de la Fuente Saez on expanding wine distribution in China
Posted on | January 6, 2013 | 2 Comments
By Jim Boyce
China has bundled up for its coldest five-week spell in more than thirty years, according to this AP story. Beijing has been no exception, with friends getting out the long johns, donning extra scarves or just staying home. Some call the cold unbearable. I prefer to describe it as bracing.
It all reminds me of an interview I did nearly four years ago — one as atypical as the weather, since the questions covered the effects of freezing wine and the hazards of eating corks — with Shinya Tasaki, winner of the world’s best sommelier title in 1995. We did it in Shanghai, with Nicolas Carre as translator, and I have pasted the eight answers and questions below. You can see the original post here.
Boyce: Say I have a bottle of very cold red wine that I want to drink right away. Can I warm it in a microwave?
Tasaki: It’s possible to use a microwave because it won’t change the wine structure, but be careful to not heat it to more than 18 degrees. Another way is to decant the wine three or four times. The movement will help warm it, although this will introduce far more oxygen than if you simply use a microwave.
What if I put the bottle in a pan of hot water?
If you use hot water, the maximum temperature should be 30 degrees. If you use very hot water, it causes too much agitation in the wine and this introduces too much oxygen. By using a microwave, you don’t have this problem.
I should add that when it comes to sake in Japan, we traditionally warm it, and many people now use microwaves to do this.
Say I put a bottle of wine in the freezer and forget about it. The wine freezes solid and pushes the cork halfway out. Is it still OK to drink?
Because the wine is frozen, you end up with two results. First, it causes the tartric acid in the wine to take crystal form and this makes the wine less acidic. Second, when wine freezes, it expands and absorbs oxygen, which will make the wine taste flatter.
Say it is a hot day and I want to keep my glass of wine cool. Can I make wine ice cubes and then add them to my glass?
Just as with the frozen bottle of wine, the problem is that freezing wine introduces more oxygen into it. So, you can do it, but the wine will taste flatter.
Say I have a bottle of wine but no corkscrew. How can I open it?
Simply use something strong and thin such as a pen to push in the cork. Once the cork is in, use the pen to push it away from the bottle neck and start to pour the wine. The cork will then float into the empty space in the bottle and you are fine.
You can also use this method if you break the cork. If you use the corkscrew to pull out the broken piece, it might crumble the cork and you might get small pieces of it in the wine. Since the broken cork section is a solid piece, it is better to push it into the bottle and then pour.
When experts decant wine, they place a candle or light near the bottle neck when they pour so they can see when the sediment is about to come out. Could I use a pair of new nylons as a filter instead?
Nylons won’t work, but there are filters that can be used instead of a candle or light. For example, with vintage port the bottle is so dark you can’t see through it, so filters can be used.
Sometimes I have realized a wine is “corked” from tasting and smelling the wine rather than from smelling the cork. Why is this?
A cork won’t tell you everything, that’s why a sommelier usually tastes the wine. For example, there might have been a problem due to moisture in the cellar or to mold that somehow entered the wine during vinification or aging, and this might not be apparent from the cork. Even with screw caps, you can find wine that is “corked”.
What happens if I eat a cork? Will it poison me? Is it good roughage? Will I get splinters in my esophagus?
Nothing will happen. Cork is a natural product. But don’t swallow an entire cork – it might get caught in your throat. And avoid the plastic ones.
Posted on | January 4, 2013 | 7 Comments
By Jim Boyce
Why does the import sticker always cover the back label?
This is a common pet peeve of imported wine buyers in China. They pick up a bottle, check the back and see an import sticker that covers the label and makes it impossible to read more about the wine. Countless times I have seen someone squinting in an attempt to decipher the faintly visible tasting notes under that sticker or get frustrated while trying to (unsuccessfully) peel it.
And while I’ve heard people say Customs regulations dictate sticker placement, such is not the case, says Frank Yglesias of California Grapes. At his shop, no stickers cover labels.
Yglesias says the regulations dictate font sizes on a sticker but there is leeway for its shape and placement. He chooses to make and stick them so the label can be read and thus give customers more information.
I’ll dig a bit more into this issue and post some examples of sticker covering labels. More soon…
Posted on | January 3, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
While my acquaintances described the recent La Revue du Vin de France ‘Beijing Salon’ as having too few vendors (~20 exhibitors at ~35 tables) and too much heat (notes of pit sweat?), I took a glass half-full approach and figured that a) I had a shot at actually trying all of the wines and b) this event included some interesting producers in China.
Based in the Huailai area in Hebei Province, Chateau Nubes had four wines available at the RVF Salon The 2008 and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2009 Syrah were very oaky although there was some nice fruit beneath that wood, with spiced red licorice coming through on the 2008. I preferred the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, which had more emphasis on its admittedly light fruit and a more rounded body. These wines aren’t cheap at rmb780 to rmb980 per bottle. Production is typically 10,000 bottles per wine.
1421 makes wine in Xinjiang and packages it in Shandong, and had six bottles on offer — the ‘Silver‘, ‘Admiral’s Reserve‘ and ‘Gold‘ versions of the company’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. I liked the 2010 Admiral’s Reserve Chardonnay best — it had some honeysuckle aromas that I didn’t remember from previous tries — although I found it too acidic at the finish. The ‘Admiral’s Reserve’ series is available at Metro stores for, if memory serves, rmb108. The ‘Silver’ level wines are simple but clean and found in Beijing at the Raffles Hotel, Temple Restaurant, Hotel G and elsewhere.
This Pernod Ricard-invested operation in Ningxia had three options, including a 2008 Riesling, although the winery no longer produces wine with that grape. This one has a light distinct petrol smell and some nuttiness. It is a bit over the hill but clean, light and fun to try.
The Reserve Pinot Noir 2012 had cherry and light spiced oak aromas, moderately juicy fruit and a slight graininess. Meanwhile, the Reserve Merlot 2012 had similarly juicy fruit, but seemed closed. These are among the better wines made in China and each cost rmb220 per bottle.
Another Ningxia winery, Silver Heights, served Family Reserve 2010 and top-of-the-line The Summit 2010. As on a few other occasions, I found myself liking the Family Reserve more. It was, for lack of a better word, brooding, which isn’t surprising given the wines made by Emma Gao have been described as having personality. It had a good fruit to body balance, and I was split between wanting it to savor it and to gulp it down to its spicy finish.
Helan Qing Xue
I have written many times about Helan Qing Xue, which makes the Jia Bei Lan brand, and the company presented three bottles at the RVF Salon. The 2010 reserve had floral smells, a slightly waxy body, and was pleasant, getting praise from one of my acquaintances, while the white wasan interesting mish mash of grape varieties.
All in all, a small but significant blend of producers. And kudos to those operations whose booths were staffed with knowledgeable and friendly people, including 1421, Helan Qing Xue and Nubes. The Pernod Ricard table was hit or miss, depending on if the company’s education manager was there, while the Silver Heights table was simply miss — the two people there poured while sitting down and didn’t know anything about the wines, including the vintages, although that information was listed on the bottles. This likely had nothing to do with Silver Heights, given it is a small operation and none of its employees were on hand, but it doesn’t look good for RVF.
A few more photos from the day:
Posted on | January 2, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
Last year I organized a contest called North by Northwest and included a bottle of Helan Mountain Dry Red 2008 in a flight of six Chinese wines priced under rmb150. That flightincluded wines by Grace Vineyard from Shanxi, 1421 from Xinjiang and Hansen from Inner Mongolia. The Helan Mountain Dry Red was easily the cheapest bottle as I picked it up for rmb29.8 at a Jenny Lou’s shop one night earlier in case I was short a wine for the contest.
The overall winner of that flight was another wine from Ningxia-based Helan Mountain — the pricier “Classic” Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 — but the Dry Red made the “top three” of nearly every one of the 14 judges, who were split between journalists, chefs / bartenders and wine industry professionals.
More than a year later, I still see this wine about Beijing for rmb29.8 — most recently at the Jenny Lou’s shops in Central Park and on Xindong Road — and recommend it as a low-risk option for anyone who wants to try some Chinese wine.
For more details on the North by Northwest Challenge, see here.
Posted on | January 2, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
One fun thing about living in Beijing is witnessing the ever-widening scope of wines available in the market. True, the “big six” — France, Australia, Spain, Chile, Italy and the United States — account for ~90 percent of bottled imports And sources like Germany, Argentina and New Zealand account for a good chunk of the rest. But we also have plenty of other interesting stuff trickling in — Tannat from Uruguay, Gruner Veltliner from Austria, Bordeaux blends from India, options from Brazil and Bulgaria and Greece and Israel and Georgia and Romania.
And today I saw that China is now the second-biggest importer of wines from Peru, with which it has a free-trade agreement. Before anyone gets too excited, the numbers are admittedly small:
The Peruvian Exporters’ Association (Adex) said Tuesday that 76.3 percent of wine exports were shipped to the United States and China between January and October 2012, when total shipments to 22 markets totaled US$563,000, up 5.1 percent from the same period of 2011.
The U.S. is the main destination with $314,000, which represents 55.7 percent of total Peruvian wine exports, despite registering a fall of 20.5 percent compared to the same period in 2011 ($395,000). China ranked second with purchases of $115,000 in the period, which accounts for 20.5 percent of total shipments and an increase of 49.5 percent compared to the acquisitions of 2011 ($77.000).
In terms of value, that is less than rmb1 million per year, money that wouldn’t go far in a typical Hong Kong fine wine auction. In terms of volume, a check of China Customs stats show that rmb17,000 bottles from Peru turned up in the fourth quarter of 2011 and nearly 19,000 bottles coming in the third quarter of this year.
Source: U.S. and China, main markets for Peruvian wines in 2012 by ANDINA
Posted on | January 1, 2013 | No Comments
By Jim Boyce
English sparkling wine maker Chapel Down last appeared on this blog due to its presence ringside at White Collar Boxing in Beijing. This time it again pops up on a special occasion: we opened a bottle of Pinot Reserve 2006 at the New Year’s Eve party at Switch! restaurant last night.
As usual, people were surprised to try such a tasty wine from England — it also helped that the rockabilly band had us all in a good mood — though they still tended to favor the featured Champagne of the night, Deveaux, with its biscuit-y aroma.
Let’s see if anyone will start importing this or other English bubblies to our fair city….« go back — keep looking »