The Grape Wall Challenge: The countdown is on!


The judges are confirmed, the bottles are ready, and the 24-hour countdown is on for the Grape Wall Challenge, a contest to be held tomorrow to judge wines that retail in China for less than RMB100.

We’ll have two groups of judges – experts and consumers – sniffing, sipping, savoring, and scoring during the day to help find inexpensive but good wines, an especially worthy endeavor given the economic crisis.

This is NOT a public event – it is limited to the judges, staff at Maxim’s Solana, and the media. But we will work with interested participating wine distributors to hold a public tasting of these same wines in April.

I will post the list of consumer judges tomorrow on just before they head to the tasting room. I will also – Internet connection willing – provide updates during the day via my twitter account. And we will release lists of the top-scoring white and red wines, as picked by experts and consumers, on Monday.

I have organized this event with Nicolas Carre (Maxim’s Solana) and Frankie Zhao (Pro-Wine Consulting). Special thanks to Winpact for providing gifts for the judges. Thanks also to those readers who have given RMB200 each to cover the costs of posters, design, and so on for this contest. I will have a full list of these contributors on Monday (we’re looking for a few more, so if interested, please email me at beijingboyce (a) Due to conflict of interest issues, we cannot accept contributions from wine distributors or bar or restaurant owners).

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