2019 – a year of Chinese wine adventures
In the Chinese language, ‘nine’ and ‘wine’ are homophones – both pronounced ‘jiu’. So I take it as cosmic design that 2019 should turn out to be my most unforgettable year of wine adventures.
Since the publication of my book ‘The Chinese Wine Renaissance‘ in January 2019, I have been inundated with requests for Chinese wine tastings – from corporates, universities, China-related forums, for parties, socials, masterclasses, drinks receptions, gala dinners… The interest in Chinese wines is growing all the time, and we are really just seeing the beginning. Do get in touch if you are interested in hosting or attending a Chinese wine tasting!
Here’s a highlight show of my most treasured (Chinese) wine moments of 2019:
January 17: Book Launch at 67 Pall Mall, London
My first book – The Chinese Wine Renaissance is published by Ebury Press, Penguin Randomhouse.
A book launch, Chinese wine tasting followed by masterclass was held at 67 Pall Mall, London’s preeminent wine lovers’ private members club. This is surely one of those special ‘life event’ days – to have Hugh Johnson OBE, Steven Spurrier, Jancis Robinson OBE, among the many great wine industry figures coming to support and celebrate my book is spine tingling… the whole day was like a dream to me on cloud number jiu! Can’t thank Grant Ashton enough for making my day at this special venue!
January 29: Oxford University Bacchus Wine Society masterclass
Great fun to host a Chinese wine masterclass for this bunch of bright young things who asked interesting questions and wrote fabulous student paper articles…
February 3: my first Channel 4 Sunday Brunch appearance to introduce Chinese wines!
To ring in the Chinese New Year of the Pig, I showcased three Chinese wines to Tim and Simon and their panel of celebrity guests, including Gok Kwong and Busted. First live TV experience and it went by like a flash!
More details and watch again here.
February 8: BBC Radio 4 live interview on You and Yours about Chinese wine
I’ve been listening to Radio 4 since the age of 15, so I had to pinch myself all day to check if this actually happened. Recorded and broadcasted live from Media City Salford, with the wonderful host Richard White.
More details and listen again here.
February 21: Talk and wine tasting at Penguin Randomhouse Colourfull Series
I was invited by my publisher Penguin to talk about my writing journey and about the backstory to my book: The Chinese Wine Renaissance, as part of their ‘Colourfull Series’ celebrating gender and ethnic diversity among their published authors.
February 23: Oxford-China Forum presents a gala dinner with my Chinese wine pairings debut!
I matched three Chinese wines to a European style menu and gave a pre-dinner speech at the Oxford-China Forum Gala Dinner.
More about this event here.
March 17-19: Prowein Dusseldorf, Up-China
It was great to see China’s most acclaimed wine educator & consultant professor Li Demei and a group of Chinese boutique wine producers showing their wines to an appreciative international audience at the world’s most high profile professional wine fair. I also had the privilege to present my book at a Chinese wine reception hosted by professor Li and Mr Ch’ng Poh Tiong.
April 29: Golden Chopsticks Award, London
Where a collaborative future for Chinese wine and culinary arts might turn into something fruitful in coming years, courtesy of Lu Ban Culinary Arts School. Seeds of ideas may have germinated on this night with another fated meeting with Gok Kwong, as well as culinary greats such as Ken Hom OBE, Ching He Huang, Nigel Haworth…
April 30: Michael Broadbent MW – re-married and re-published at age 92 – what a legend!
A rare honour to personally present my book to this wine legend as a birthday / wedding present at the launch of Academie du Vin Library, the brainchild of another wine legend, Steven Spurrier (who put California on the wine map). Michael is the founder of Christie’s wine auctions and made auction histories time and again with famous and rare bottles throughout his distinguished career.
May 11-16: Bordeaux Vinexpo ‘reader acquisitions’
A few more notable user acquisitions for my book including Jack Ma, Baron Rothschild and Michel Rolland! Bordeaux is always a magical place for me.
June 8: Chinese Wine talk & dinner for Cambridge University British Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies, held at Jesus College, Cambridge
A wine tasting always livens up a conference /forum (and boosts attendance)! Especially one that’s about China – what better way to socialise after a long day of talks about China than a glass of fine Chinese wine!
June 9: Second Channel 4 Sunday Brunch appearance
To mark the Dragon’s Boat festival and the lychee season, I presented three lychee based wine and spirits on the show: a lychee wine from Mauritius, a lychee gin from England, and a lychee brandy from China!
More details and watch again here.
June 10: Cambridge University Wine Society Chinese wine masterclass, held at Churchill College, Cambridge
Giving a wine masterclass at my alma mater is a very special experience, especially doors to certain previously unknown and inaccessible rooms are opened to you with special private high table dinners and original wall hangings of Winston Churchills and Andy Warhols.
July 31: Wine Book of the Year 2019 nomination for the Louis Roederer International Wine Writers’ Awards
Really delighted to make the shortlist of this prestigious award!
More details here.
September 15: Channel 4 Sunday Brunch appearance – Asian sparkling wines
I showcased three sparkling wines from Japan, India and China. Another highlight is to have Gyles Brandreth on my celebrity tasting panel – we exchanged books at the end of the show too – what good luck to have met him, he is my favourite Just A Minute player on the long-running BBC Radio 4 game show.
Details of the three wines here.
September 18: Chinese wine presentation & dinner at Brooks’s Club, London
A fun evening as the guest of Chris Ruffle and Ben Howkins to co-host a dinner with Chinese wines at one of London’s oldest gentlemen’s clubs! As a result of the evening the club will start to offer a Chinese wine on their wine list!
October 5: Chinese wine: culture, market and business – talk & tasting at LSE
I gave a talk followed by a Chinese wine tasting at the London School of Economics, thanks to an invitation by Dr Hong Lu OBE at the Confucius Institute. It was also a privilege to have a Q&A session in conversation with Mr Shi Rong – editor at China Report.
November 18: The Chinese Wine Renaissance talk & tasting at SOAS
I gave a talk followed by a Chinese wine tasting at University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, thanks to an invitation by professor Yiling Hou of the Confucius Institute.
November 21: Chinese wine tasting and dinner at St John’s College, Cambridge
It is always a pleasure to go to Cambridge – I love any excuse to visit my alma mater. Thanks to an invitation from Bill Brogan, catering and conferencing manager at St John’s College Cambridge, we hosted an evening of Chinese wine tasting and food pairing. I was even treated to a very special stay in one of John’s spectacular senior guest suites – which feels like a major lifetime achievement in itself – such a room in college was certainly beyond my realm of imagination as an undergraduate!
November 22-23: Three Wine Men Crackling Christmas Wine festival – Wines of China soft launch
This pre-Christmas wine extravaganza is hosted by none other than my hero Oz Clarke (who penned the foreword to my book), along with two other Britain’s favourite wine personalities Olly Smith and Tim Atkins MW. I cannot thank Nicky Smith enough for making our participation happen this year, and to Liang Tive-Hive and Tony Zhu for their incredible work in putting everything together for the show! It was a true team effort and we showcased 14 wines under the banner of ‘Wines of China’. This show also marked our soft launch of Wines of China Overseas Association as a resource centre for all things to do with Chinese wines – be it information, contacts, wines, events – we will serve as a point of contact for press, trade and consumer information.
November 26: Wine tasting at Black’s Club, Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation
Thanks to the initiation from Graham Henderson and Chris Ruffle, we hosted a cosy pre-Christmas Chinese wine tasting in association with the Rimbaud and Verlaine Foundation, complete with sparkling Christmas tree, in the intimate Black’s Club, Soho.
December 5: Wine tasting and winemaker’s dinner at Lu Ban Liverpool
Raising a glass to 2020…
…and introducing Wines of China Overseas Association
Soft launched at the Three Wine Men event in November, Wines of China will establish a resource and information centre to showcase top quality wines from China to the international audience.
From supplying information to the press & trade, organising speaker and tasting events (for professionals or novices; be they social, academic or corporate occasions), to sourcing and recommending wines for all purposes… we will represent a wide range of fine wine producers in China in the overseas market.
We also help the Chinese wine industry to achieve long-term, frequent, organized and strategic promotional opportunities to achieve brand building and market development.
Follow Wines of China on instagram @winesofchina
Where to get The Chinese Wine Renaissance
UK bookstore: The book is available (or can be ordered from all major book stores, such as Blackstones, Blackwells, WHSmith, etc.)
Worldwide: Please search online at Amazon, or ask to order at a book store.
UK & World wide delivery (with or without your wine order!): Hedonism Wines
If you would like to host or attend a Chinese wine tasting, or if you require information/assistance with anything to do with Chinese wines!