This is why we have the internets:
- 1. After my report that I had found an "actually good" red wine in Gansu province, a reader in Berkeley wrote to say that this was exactly the same wine he had practically spit out in disgust when he tried it in Gansu. Versus my "actually good," his tasting notes:
Worst wine ever. It was pinot noir, but off-brown colored and tasted like crap. Supposedly the best wine of the gansu province. I think Chinese wine has about 50 million years before it catches up with the rest of the world. It made me end up barfing (well that plus a lot of weak chinese beer).
The explanation for this difference? I think it's not just that my standards have been affected by too much exposure to Great Wall and Changyu. It may be our old friend "quality control in Chinese manufacturing" raising its head once again. What my wife and I had didn't taste like crap and was normal red-wine color rather than brown. Your experience may vary! Caveat potor.
- 2. Fareed Zakaria, oenophile among other distinctions, reports that the "best wine in China" is from Grace Vineyards, in particular the "Chairman's Reserve." I have tried Grace's 60RMB/ $8 Chardonnay, which was OK. Could it be time to spring for the 388RMB / $52 Chairman's Reserve Cabernet? On the one hand, that's only a little more than twice as much as the 188RMB "Pride of Gansu" pinot noir in question. On the other hand, for the same money I could eat street food for two weeks and have change left over for REEB. Decisions....