This week finds me in
Paso Robles, courtesy of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, presumably because you folks don’t get enough images of beautiful vineyard locations coupled with smarmy captions here on 1WineDude.com, so we need a trip to get you some more, you greedy little things!
I’ll be taking part in what they call a “Lifestyle Media Tour,” the aim of which is to get an “understanding of Paso Robles’ approach to sustainability, experiencing a true sense of place, seeing what the consumer may experience on a visit and meeting the personalities of the region.” It’s unclear if those personalities include Bugs Bunny, but for some reason I woke up this morning wishing they did (maybe it was the Absinthe…). Oh, and I’ll be visiting (hopefully) more than a few producers of Paso wine, since the region is CA’s third-largest and by many counts its fastest-growing wine area.
Anyway, I’ll be “roughing it” once again in the hopes that the trip will net some interesting stuff to share with all of you (it would suck to take those 6AM flights out to the Left Coast for nuthin’!).
But I’m not here to talk about Paso today, folks. I’m actually here to talk about China (Abrupt Transitions: 1, Joe: 0)…
Yeah, that’s right – China. Because – and I suppose, given the current state of the wine market and the influence Asia currently has over it, that it shouldn’t have surprised me even though it did – I’m starting to get invites to press trips and wine events in China.
Now, I haven’t exactly been kind (or reserved – go figure!) when it comes to my commentary on the Chinese wine market (as in, how China’s market has reacted to wine, and not about wine produced in China of which I’ve had very, very little) and the Chinese government in general. So I think any reasonable person might ask whether or not I’d actually accept one of those wine-biz-related offers to visit China.
To which I’d reply: “f*ck right I’d go to China on one of these trips, what kind of freakin’ question is that?!??”
But in all seriousness, China – and Asia generally, including Japan and India – is where it’s currently at in terms of the market trends driving fine wine sales, and anyone hoping things will go back to the good ol’ days when the U.S. and Europe set the directional flow of fine wine dollars has their head planted firmly into the… er… sand.
So the way I see it, a trip to China is inevitable if I’m going pro in some way/shape/form within the wine biz. And that will be true whether or not I dig their government or their wine biz’s penchant for all-but-worshipping wine scores. Will I get there soon? Not sure – I’ve got a lot of trips lined up already for 2012, and so far none of the China dates have played nicely with my schedule… but it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened (much) sooner rather than later.
Would I be a hypocrite for going on one of those Chinese jaunts? As always, I leave it all on the virtual table of the Global Interwebs and will let you tell me!