By Wang Yu
Red wine originated in Greece, but its reputation was built in France, Italy and Spain. Greek wines are rarely exported.
But Boutari – one of Greece’s most reputable wine brands – is an exception. A family-owned business founded 130 years ago and now operated by fifth-generation Boutaris, it currently has seven boutique wineries and makes more than 18 million bottles a year. It is the leader in the Greek market, with 15 percent market share, and 40 percent of its total production is exported to more than 45 countries.
It now counts China as an export destination.
Last month, Boutari held a dinner party along with its agent, Beijing Longevity International Trading Corporation, at Crown Plaza Hotel to introduce its wine to the local market.
Red wine sales are booming, but behind the scenes the industry is more chaotic than people like to admit.
By Wang Yu
A CCTV investigation recently stunned local red wine buyers. In Changli County, Hebei Province, some wine factories were producing fake wine using water, food coloring, alcohol and essence. All the products had labels of big overseas producers. More than 400,000 cases of such wines were put into the Chinese market last year.
It was an astonishing report to ordinary buyers, but insiders have long known about this dark side of the wine industry. Since 2005, when wine sales — especially of imports — began to boom, illegal dealers have been gradually entering the wine trade.
China has already become the “next big opportunity” for many foreign brands that face economic recession and saturated markets in the West. But what they must deal with here is a scene still in its infancy — which means chaos.
By Annie Wei
Looking to try some new wines? Check out below the winners of the 2nd Grape Wall Challenge, a contest to determine the best imported wines priced less than 100 yuan. We also profiled three places that offer quality wines, along with good views and a cozy ambience.
Six notable wines under 100 yuan
By Annie Wei
The Grape Wall Challenge’s verdict is out. Quite a few white and red wines won the label of “best imported wine at under 100 yuan” from a pool of more than three dozen entries.
The contest, back for its second year at Maison Boulud last Thursday, evaluated 21 reds and 18 whites from Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, Italy, South Africa and Spain.
Judges, composed of wine experts, journalists and ordinary drinkers, were tasked with identifying “wines that offer quality at modest prices,” said the organizers, adding that the emphasis was on what regular consumers liked and not what pleased experts.
The annual challenge was established by Nicolas Carre, a French sommelier, Frankie Zhao, a Chinese-wine expert, Jim Boyce, founder of blog Grape Wall of China, and Ma Huiqin, a wine professor.
Stop kidding yourself, The Heart Foundation says, there is no cardiovascular health benefit from eating chocolate or drinking red wine.
Coffee was another popular treat that also contained antioxidants, the foundation said, ensuring it was commonly referred to as part of a heart healthy diet.
November 20, 2009 Filed under Food
By Annie Wei
There is nothing like rich, flavorful food in a cozy restaurant to ward off the winter chill. This week, Beijing Today presents restaurants serving hot pot, Itlian pasta and Spanish favorites that will warm you inside and out.
Pasta madness for Saturday brunch
Pasta originated in 13th-century Italy, particularly in the south, where people innovated by shaping it from small grains into thin long ribbons that could be dried and stored for years.
Over time, the tomato-based pasta sauce became popular and developed a hundred different recipes. With so many pasta shapes and sizes, as well as a multitude of sauce choices, people can try a different pasta dish every day of the year.
In Beijing, people who want to experience exotic Italian pastas should try the Pasta Special Saturday brunch at Trattoria la Gondola of Kempinski Beijing. The restaurant launched the special at the end of last month.
The restaurant’s new head chef Paolo Ascani – known for his creativity with pasta and sauces – will be introducing his signature pasta to guests. All pasta are home-made from 100 percent durum semolina powder.
Diners can choose from four pastas served directly from the kitchen: pasta with Bolognese sauce, a classic Italian home-style recipe that Europeans love, though Chinese people find it a bit salty; pasta in rich tomato sauce with eggplant and red wine; air-dried pasta in pork ragout with courgettes; and rosemary and square pasta in spicy tomato mussel with white wine.
The brunch includes a choice of Caprese salad, traditional Caesar salad or classic chicken salad.
For desert, try Ascani’s panna ctta made with cream and milk with vanilla bean, and sliced seasonal fruits with fresh mint. Beijing Today highly recommends this light and fresh-tasting concoction.
Trattoria la Gondola of Kempinski Beijing
Where: 50 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District
Open: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
Tel: 6465 3388 ext. 5707
Cost: 125 yuan per person with 15 percent surcharge
October 19, 2009 Filed under Yu Shanshan
Party – Cocktail Party
Time and place
Date:20 October 2009
Time:9:00 – 17:30
Location:China World Trade Exhibition Center
How many kinds of red wine have you ever tasted at one time? 100? Or 1000?
Have you ever thought about to go to a winery for an overnight with your love ones free of charge
Do you want to know which the most valuable red wine is?
Do you want to buy the original imported red wine with a reasonable price?
Here we go! The Red Wine Carnival will be held at world Trade Center on 20th – 22nd October. There will have 150 wineries from 20 countries, and over 1000 kinds of original imported wine would show up.
Please make your reservation in advance, and then you will get an exquisite wine cup. You can also join our lucky draw with the entry ticket; you will win the romantic trip to winery for two people.