Wine Lovers To Face Off At Hilton Shanghai
With China’s wine market expanding every year and an ever-increasing number of young Chinese getting more interested in developing their understanding of wine, over the past several years there has been a blossoming in China of interest in serious wine appreciation. This week, China’s aspiring wine connoisseurs and budding sommeliers will get their chance to interact with respected names from the global wine industry at the second annual China Wine Challenge, taking place at the Hilton Shanghai.
Jointly organized by the Hilton Shanghai and Brown & Co., Ltd., this year’s event will include around 350 wines from producers from around the world, including a number from China. Over the course of its four-day run, the China Wine Challenge will consist of wine judging contests, a blind tasting event, and a private gala dinner, all aimed at introducing Chinese drinkers to a wider range of wines. Currently, as China Wine Challenge president Ronald Brown said this week, the Chinese wine market “is polarized between a very strong demand for Grand Cru Classes and other signature wine names, which are often purchased regardless of price, and between very low-priced wines.”
With Chinese auction buyers scouring the globe for every bottle of Château Lafite or Latour they can get their hands on, and banquet attendees at the other end of the spectrum guzzling low-end Great Wall or Dynasty wine, it’s not hard to see why mid-range producers are so eager to see Chinese consumers warm to their segment. Brown added that as this middle market matures over the course of the next several years, “an increasing number of consumers will realize that the real value for money lies between these two extremes.”
One of the most anticipated events at this week’s Wine Challenge is Friday’s gala dinner, which includes an award ceremony and charity auction. At the auction, some of the wines most popular with Chinese collectors, including Château Lafite 1982 and Château Petrus, will go under the hammer along with other vintages worth a total value of 100,000 yuan (US$15,473). At the night’s award ceremony, a panel of Chinese and international judges will select winners in eight categories including best wine, best importer, and best winemaker.
Tickets for the event and gala dinner are available for 1,500 yuan (US$232).
2nd Annual China Wine Challenge (July 18-22)
250 Huashan Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai
Tel: 021-6248-7777 ext. 1140