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wine talk:
Taste Test

In this monthly column, Shanghai’s most committed dipsomaniacs get together to share and compare some of the wines available around town. It’s a no-nonsense guide to the good, the great and the bloody ordinary of wine. Which wine will win the day this month?


Andy Campbell – Funeral photographer to the stars. Business is dead.

• Lukeo – Aleshan, Vodka company. Kiss Vodka. Loves his liquor.

• Alan – Cuvee Partner.

• Mat – Cuvee Partner.

• Gaylen Richardson – Importer of Californian wines.

WINE 1 – Maple Ridge Chardonnay, USA

Actually, in a first for this column, this wine was unfortunately tainted. Oxidised due to a faulty cork. According to some figures, cork taint affects eight to ten per cent of all wines; it’s not the winemaker's fault, or the importer's, just one of those things. It’s one of the reasons stelvin seals (screw caps) have made such great leaps forward, particularly in new world wines, in recent years. Despite our bad experience, we know this wine is a big seller around town, so we’ll try it again in a couple of months.

Pacifica Selections. Price: RMB 120

WINE 2 – Taft Sonoma Valley Pinot Noir, USA

Lukeo was happy with the new music selection at Cuvee and enjoyed the tunes with this great little Pinot. Alan mentioned that the label has a picture of The Shed on it (The Shed being a classic institution in Shanghai). “A move in the right direction,” said Andy. Everyone loved this wine which has a “great balance of fruit and shit,” according to Lukeo. He and Alan agreed that, in terms of a Chinese food pairing, something spicy from Hunan or Sichuan would be the best bet. There are a lot of flavours in this wine and it’s quite light on colour (typical Pinot). Made to be drunk in anger, was one of the comments. Gaylen declared this one a great, perfect bottle and thought it would be a good match with Peking duck, or maybe some spicy beef. Everyone was happy with it. Mat’s a fan – though it’s not as long as a Kiwi Pinot, it is typical of what it should be, which is a Sonoma Pinot. Mat went back to the Pinot after an hour, and found it opened up really well.

Pacifica Selections. Price: RMB 300


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