Beijing Metro: The ‘wine humidor’

By Jim Boyce

If you hear the words “wine humidor” and think of oak barrel displays, wooden shelves, and row upon row of top-end wine, you might be a tad disappointed by the Metro hypermarket on Beijing’s outskirts. This is a storage facility, plain and metro-wine-humidor-3.jpgsimple, with fluorescent lights, fabricated steel shelving, and a warehouse feel.

While I spotted wine such as Napa Valley Shafer and Barossa Valley Penfold’s Grange alongside ice wine and the usual Champagne suspects – a three-liter bottle of Veuve Clicquot is RMB2190 – the selection is lighter than I expected.

In terms of Chinese wine, options include Dragon Seal and Grace Vineyard Chairman’s Reserve 2005 (RMB388). But unlike the imported wines they are kept standing rather than on their sides. Why put them in storage if you’re not going to lay them down?

The constantly opening and closing sliding door also made me wonder how well the temperature and humidity is maintained.

Note: Spirits are also available at Metro, including Macallan 30-year-old single malt (RMB3999) and Remy Martin’s Louis XIII Grande Champagne Cognac (RMB12999 kuai), which the sales staff told me is a popular item. A ceramic bottle of 1955 baijiu goes for around RMB50000. German beer fans will find about about 10 brands in the store proper. To shop at Metro, you need to be a member.

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