How good did you say? Chinese wine on sale in Ohio

By Jim Boyce | A curious thing happened while talking to winemaker Tong Lili about her then upcoming Marselan class at Wine to Asia in Shenzhen. Tong mentioned she is selling her wine in Ohio.

Ohio!? Really? The Buckeye State? The home of basketball star Lebron James and NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers? And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? The setting for one of my favorite all-time comedies, WKRP in Cincinati?

Yes, that Ohio.

“I have a friend there and they like the wine,” said Tong. “I am doing a special label for them and they will be selling it in several restaurants. And they’ve already purchased 1,000 bottles.”

The wine, bottled under the label Pretty Damm Good, is produced using Marselan grapes from Penglai, on the coast of Shandong province.

Not only that, but when I pushed a bit more, Tong added that she is now selling her wine in South Korea, too.

“I was a judge at the Asian Wine Challenge there and met someone who really liked my wine,” she said.

For South Korea, she will also send her Marselan from Penglai — she says it tends to have more elegance and structure than the more fruit forward Marselan she makes in Huailai County just outside Beijing.

This weekend, Tong will present her Marselan wine along with fellow winemaker Lee Yeanyean from Grace Vineyard at the Marselan beer tasting by Jing-A, part of the annual Maovember charity campaign in Beijing. I’ll post more details on that project, which also involves World Marselan Day, and on the Shenzhen master class soon.

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