This Week In Wine

Mouton Cadet Wine Bar In Guangzhou, Sommelier Certification In Hangzhou, The Yantai International Wine Festival, And The World’s Largest Bottle Of Wine In Shenyang

Lin Guoping received his sommelier education in England

Lin Guoping received his sommelier education in England

 Some of the most interesting stories coming out of the wine industry in China this week:

Mouton Cadet wine bar to open in Guangzhou (Grape Wall of China)

Torres China has announced that Baron Philippe de Rothschild will launch the world’s first Mouton Cadet wine bar in restaurant No. 9 Garden in Guangzhou. Torres is the exclusive distributor of Baron Philippe de Rothschild in China and is partly owned by the company.

According to Torres China, the Mouton Cadet wine bar will have a “similar theme to its wine museum and cellar door in Bordeaux” and that it will be “the first time that dedicated display materials will be showcased outside of its territory in France.”


Hangzhou’s First Sommelier Training Certification Body Formed (Wine China)

The Hangzhou Wine Cultural Center, led by director Lin Guoping, will begin offering wine taster and sommelier qualification training after the Spring Festival. So what’s the difference between a wine taster and a sommelier? Lin Guoping has a very imaginative way of explaining it: “80% of what a sommelier wants to know about a wine is outside the bottle, and the other 20% is inside it, but for a wine taster the opposite is true.”

“A good sommelier is like a superior assistant. He can tell, just from the wine label, the wine’s region and vineyard, and can discern whether the quality’s good or bad. Also, he can recommend food pairings for clients based on their favorite red wine. Of course, pouring etiquette is important as well. And as a sommelier, one can judge a wine’s alcohol content, place of origin, vintage and so forth just by the wine’s color, smell and taste. In front of a professional sommelier, a counterfeit wine can’t hide. Like those counterfeit wines that are essentially grape juice mixed with alcohol, a (skillful) wine taster can tell right away.  

China’s Wine Industry Sees Opportunity amid Global Downturn (CRI)

As the link between the Chinese and world wine industries, Yantai City in eastern Shandong Province is to take this opportunity to boost China’s wine industry by holding an international wine festival.

The Fourth Yantai International Wine Festival will be held between Sept. 23 and 30 in Yantai City, China’s largest wine production city, local official told a news conference Friday.

A total of 50,000 people in the wine industry, including 2,500 people from foreign wineries, are expected to showcase their products in the festival.

“The festival has been and will continue to be the bridge between Chinese and international wine industries,” said Long Yongtu, secretary general of Boao Forum for Asia.

“Hosting the festival amid the global economic downturn is of great significance not only to the domestic wineries but also to the world wine industry as a whole,” Long added.

Yantai is the only Asian city named “International Vine & Wine City” by OIV. The city became the birthplace of China’s wine industry and culture after Changyu Pioneer Wine Company Ltd., China’s first winery, was set up there in 1892.


China’s Growing Love Of Wine Goes To The Extreme (Jing Daily)

We knew that wine was pretty popular in China, but the 15ft high, 1,850 liter (489 gallon) bottle of wine produced by Wang Cheng Beverage Company in Liaoning province may be a bit much. The massive bottle, over three times larger than the previous recordholder, a comparatively puny 490 liter bottle of Grande Cuvee by Austrian winemakers Kracher, has succeeded in getting some attention for Wang Cheng (and, by extension, the Liaoning ice wine industry, which producers there see as a niche they can monopolize thanks to their chilly climate).

According to an article by the Shenyang Evening News (Chinese), creating the world’s largest bottle of ice wine did have a point aside from publicity. As the article states, Wang Cheng, with the support of the Shenyang Food Industry Office, produced the bottle in honor of the Shenyang Food Festival, which began this week.

Considering Wang Cheng (王城饮品有限公司) advertises itself as a producer of everything from hawthorn juice to a form of V8 to ice wine, it’s hard to gauge how serious the company is about being accepted as a top-quality winery. Although we can’t vouch for the taste of the wine itself, if the Shenyang Evening News article is any indication, however, it sounds like the giant bottle did manage to help kick off a pretty great party, if nothing else.


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