It’s been a while since we bought a bottle of Chinese wine — we occasionally trawl through the wine aisles in the supermarkets, but our eyes glaze over when we see some of the prices. Nevertheless, we’d like to know: What kinds of Chinese wines are (don’t laugh) good? This article from The Independent tells us that wines are a growth industry in China:
Only a decade ago, China had some 240 wineries, but more than 100 new vineyards have been set up since then. Most of them are small or medium-sized, and they are trying to produce ever better wines to appeal to increasingly discerning tastes in China and abroad.
Of course, wine isn’t just a drink, it’s part of a lifestyle:
And it’s not just the largely Muslim province of Xinjiang growing wine – how about a cheeky Shandong merlot? The Bodega Langes vineyard was set up in 1999 by Gernot Langes-Swarovski, of the Austrian crystal family of the same name. A 200-hectare vineyard in Changli, 150 miles east of Beijing near the coast in Shandong province, it includes a hotel, restaurant, wine school and China’s first vino-therapy spa, which uses grape skins and the oil from pressed grapes to pamper the body. With more than 30 wineries in the area, Changli has been called the “Oriental Bordeaux”.
Vino-therapy sounds cool, though given our proclivities, too much of that life and the next thing you know you’re headed for wino-therapy …
The article also states that the wine boom has led to a “chateau-building boom in China,” which we also think is pretty cool. Anyway, we’d be interested in hearing from the wine connoisseurs out there (hipsters, corporate executives and winos, we’re talking to you) about what you think of the state of Chinese wines. In particular, are Shandong Merlot’s really … cheeky?