The November 23, 2009 edition of the New Yorker contains a fascinating article by Evan Osnos titled “Letter From China – Reds: The creation of a wine-loving class.”
The article recounts a short period in the history of the A.S.C. Fine Wines company based in Beijing and run by two Canadians (a father-and-son team by the name of St. Pierre). Just as interesting as the trials and tribulations of the St. Pierre clan is the clear picture that Osnos’ article paints of fine wine consumption in China.
I’ll share some of those numbers with you in a moment, but before I do, let’s get the bottom line conclusion out of the way now: anyone who doesn’t think that China is not among the major players – if not the major player – in the world fine wine market needs to have a belly-button window installed (think about it… you’ll get it).
In a less than 15 years, China’s upper-middle class has gone from a “let’s mix red wine with soda” drinking culture to a group of savvy if star-struck fine wine and dining folk right out of a hackneyed, First-Growth-worshipping Wine Spectator lifestyle piece.
Welcome to the new world of international wine…
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Wines of Germany will be launching their very own TasteLive.com events page, and to celebrate they will be kicking it off with a redux of the on-line live tasting that we’d originally scheduled for the end of October.
I’ll be your blogger co-host for the on-line tasting, which will take place at 8PM ET / 5PM PT on December 3rd. This event is gonna be good – both upstate New York’s House of Bacchus and Manhattan’s Roger Smith Hotel will be hosting tweet ups for the event, and the wines are all kick-ass Rieslings from four of Germany’s premier Riesling-producing regions.
These wines all do a great job of representing their place of origin and how the terroir of those areas impact the final flavors of the wine produced there (they’re probably the next best thing to being there yourself):
Selbach-Oster, Riesling, Kabinett, Mosel, 2007/2008
Leitz, Riesling, "Eins Zwei Dry," Rheingau, 2008
Dönnhoff, Riesling, Nahe, 2008
Darting, Riesling, Durkheimer Nonnengarten, Kabinett, Pfalz, 2008
Join me on Dec 3rd, get the word out, and don’t forget to RSVP at TasteLive.com.
Technically, I wasn’t fired, I was laid off. Also, it won’t happen for another 14 months. And I wanted to get laid off so that I could collect a really nice severance package and take a sabbatical for a few months after it was all over, de-stress, and pursue the wine angle full-time for a little bit.
The strange part about it is that if I’d agreed to relocate I would still have a very lucrative job at the same company – but after 13+ years, I’ve basically had enough of that high-stress corporate environment (making a very long story very short).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m having some doubts. Did I do the right thing? Is the economy gonna pick back up? Can I make any real money doing this wine stuff?
You know, the standard stuff: Man doesn’t like shore; Man leaves shore; Man loses sight of shore; Man practically pees himself for losing sight of the shore.
So, let’s just agree that the title was a total bait-and-switch deal and move on, ok?
As odd as it sounds, this was an occasion to celebrate, cholesterol numbers be damned. So we celebrated at Dude Central, to the tune of six bottles of wine (we did not finish them), all of them from the sample pool with the exception of the first wine (which was one from Mrs. Dudette’s personal stash and predates our marriage).
At this point you probably (and understandably) care more about what we drank than about my future, so let’s get cracking…
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