About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Blind Tasting, Chinese Wines Outdo Bordeaux

by Nancy Needhima on December 19, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Font : A-A+

Blind Tasting, Chinese Wines Outdo Bordeaux

Far-flung region of northern China began farming grapes for fine wine only a decade ago but has now outdone the classic French wine-producing Bordeaux region in a blind tasting held in Beijing.

A group of wine experts -- five French and five Chinese -- ranked the bottles from the remote and sparsely populated Ningxia region above those from Bordeaux at the tasting, held on Wednesday in Beijing.


The jury sampled five wines from each region, selecting a cabernet sauvignon from the Grace Vineyard in Ningxia as the top-scoring bottle -- a shock result echoing a 1976 contest that saw the classics humbled by New World wines.

Wines from Ningxia took the four top slots in the contest and a 2009 Medoc from the Lafite vineyard in Bordeaux was the highest-scoring French wine, in fifth place.

All the wines in the contest were produced in 2008 or 2009, and all were priced between 200 and 400 yuan ($30-$60) in China -- putting the Bordeaux at a disadvantage because China levies a punishing 48 percent import tax on wine.

Nonetheless, Bordeaux expert Nathalie Sibille said the Chinese wines had "performed very, very well", adding, "this region (Ningxia) has enormous potential".

China has enjoyed a huge wine-drinking boom in recent years and is now Bordeaux's largest export client. Analysts have predicted it will overtake the United States to become the largest wine-consuming nation within 20 years.

Most of the wine made there is mass-produced and of low quality, but experts say there are now some good Chinese wines being produced -- notably from Ningxia.

Moet Hennessy, the wine and spirits arm of France's LVMH luxury group, said this year it was planting its first Chinese vineyard in Ningxia to produce sparkling wine.

And a Ningxia vintage was named best Bordeaux-style wine over 10 pounds ($15) at the Decanter World Wine Awards in London this year -- prompting Wednesday's event.

The tasting came 35 years after British wine merchant Steven Spurrier organised a blind tasting that pitted some of France's finest wines against lesser-known names from California.

The American bottles came out on top, shocking the wine establishment, which had always considered Old World vintages to be superior.

"Wine is not a new thing in China, but we are at the very start of China's fine wine story," said the organiser of Wednesday's event, Jim Boyce, who runs the China wine blog www.grapewallofchina.com.

"The very good ones are mostly being made in Ningxia. For me, the link is that a lot of the winemakers there have been trained in Bordeaux."

For judge Fiona Sun, editor of the Chinese edition of a French wine magazine, the results of the contest mean that "people should change their minds about Chinese wine".

Source: AFP


Latest Lifestyle News

Want Smooth Underarms? 4 Ways to Pamper Your Armpits This Summer
Summer skincare tips for underarm sweating and smelly armpits: For silky smooth underarms, make sure to shave armpit hair, use deodorant roll-on, moisturize, and exfoliate properly
Sleep Well to Work Well: 5 Ways to Be More Successful at Work
Is sleep the secret of success? Having a good night's sleep can make you more productive at work. So, sleep better to work well.
Attend Live Sports to Walk Away From Loneliness
How to deal with loneliness? Just sitting in a crowd and watching live sports can make you stop feeling lonely.
Hot Showers are Good for Your Health: Here's Why
Are hot showers good for you? Bathing with hot water can calm your mind, relieve stress, relax your muscles and help you sleep well. Choose hot water bath every day to stay healthy
Mind-Body Connection: Benefits of Dual-Task Walking Performance!
Walking is a complex activity that can be impacted by multitasking, highlighting the importance of maintaining physical and cognitive health as we age.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Blind Tasting, Chinese Wines Outdo Bordeaux Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests