Updated: 2011-07-17 08:44
By Yang yijun (China Daily)
The wine-drinking population in China is growing every day, especially in a top-tier city like Shanghai. The love of the grape is shared by both the elite communities and white-collar workers.
Now they will have the chance to sit down together with world-renowned wine connoisseurs to taste exquisite vintages at the second China Wine Challenge opening on July 19 at the Hilton Shanghai.
The event this year, hosted by the hotel and Brown and Co Ltd, will have 350 wines from all major wine producing countries nominated by China's domestic wineries, importers and distributors. That's 100 more wines than at its debut last year.
"Currently wine consumption in China is polarized between a very strong demand for Grand Cru Classes and other signature wine names, which are often purchased regardless of price, and between very low-priced wines.
"Our expectation is that as this very important market continues to mature and develop, an increasing number of consumers will realize that the real value for money lies between these two extremes," Ronald Brown, president of the competition, says.
The four-day competition features a series of gourmet events including a blind tasting dinner and a private wine dinner.
The highlight will be a gala dinner, which is the award ceremony as well as a charity auction, at the hotel's grand ballroom on July 22. Five celebrated chefs from Hilton Shanghai and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund will prepare culinary specialties to pair with the premier wines.
At the same time, wines with total value of 100,000 yuan ($15,473) will be available for auction, including some of the most sought-after wines in the world, like Chateau Ptrus 1953 Magnum and Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 Magnum.
Brown will lead a panel of top wine professionals from China and internationally to select the best in eight categories such as wines, wine importers and winemakers.
"This event is targeted to introduce more wines to local Chinese consumers, and we will factor in the effect of Chinese palate and Chinese preference," says Yang Lu, who is the head sommelier of the Peninsula Shanghai. "The first and most important thing in judging a good wine is that it needs to be a quality wine."
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(China Daily 07/17/2011 page15)
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