Grape Wall of China 2.0: John Isacs

Grape Wall of China will soon begin including contributions from ten people involved in the Greater China wine scene as academics, winemakers, distributors, educators or consumers. To kick things off, I will post a profile each day. (For more China wine info, join the Grape Wall of China group on Facebook and/or sign up for my free e-newsletter by emailing with “sign me up” in the subject line.)

Today’s profile: John Isacs
Main focus: Taiwan, wine education

“John Isacs is principal author of the bilingual (Chinese & English) wine and restaurant books “ISACS Guides”. He has authored over a dozen books, founded EnjoyGourmet lifestyle magazine and been published in publications that include GQ (Chinese version), Apple Daily, China Times and China Post. John founded the Enjoy International digital network, regularly appears on radio and TV in Taiwan, China and the United States, and is an educator and consultant for numerous corporations, trade and tourism offices, and beverage firms. In 2005, he was one of 30 international judges selected for the International Wine Competition in Verona and is the only certified Sherry-Jerez-Xeres trainer in Asia.”

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  1. @ Y A,

    Taiwan has an excellent wine scene. I remember a number of small wine bars in the area near where I worked (Chunghsiao East Road, Section 4). Each one had a small tasting area and a nice stock of wines, usually with some very unique finds. I continually ran into Taiwanese who were crazy about wine and had been on tours abroad.

    Cheers, Boyce

  2. John is a good choice. Wine education is the way to attract the Chinese to (grape) wine. After all the Chinese do value knowledge. But they are still stuck at the wine-drinking-is-fashionable stage. I did not realize that there is a serious wine market in Taiwan. My (male) relatives in Taiwan drink only beiqiu (clear hard liquer) and no wine at all. Also I read that the Taiwanese make fake wines (particularly icewine), a sign that they have yet to come up to the wine age. The earller Tawanese wine (in the 50s) was indeed a fake. It was made with alcohol, colouring and sugar. I remember the brand name was “Red Dew”. For that matter fake wine were made in Canada during WWII years. And you can buy (and export) fake icewine in Scarborough (east section of Toronto).

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