Lu Yang is first Master Sommelier from China



Lu Yang has become the first master sommelier from China. Hong Kong-based Lu, the corporate director of wine for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts during the past five years, was born in Xinjiang, spent his teenage years in Shanghai, and studied in Canada, where he earned a degree in viticulture from Niagara College in 2007. This weekend, he passed an exam by the Court of Master Sommeliers to become one of fewer than 250 people with the master sommelier title
Lu, previously sommelier at Peninsula Shanghai, won the inaugural Penfolds China sommelier contest, co-organized with ASC Fine Wines, in 2008, as well as the second China National Sommelier Competition, organized by Tommy Lam, in 2010. His Chinese translation of “How to Taste” by Jancis Robinson went on sale in 2011. And, as noted in this Wine Business International article earlier this year, he is one of several people involved in establishing an official national sommeliers association.
“Face” is a very important part of our culture. You need to positively affirm a guest’s ideas if they are right, and correct them in an extremely subtle style if they are wrong. At the same time, you need to showcase your own knowledge in a humbly confident yet very delicate fashion, to somehow positively link your own proper knowledge with what they have just told you and what they believe, even though they might be wrong.
If you are able to do this, you will gain their trust, and more importantly, their fondness. This is a subtle art, and guests will keep coming back if you can master this. Also in China, sommeliers really need to be careful about the serving order for certain type of guests. It’s a big thing here.
The first master sommeliers exams were held in 1969, with the Court of Master Sommeliers officially established eight years later. The organization is led by president Gerard Basset, who is also a Master of Wine and a wine ambassador for Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, and founder and chief executive Brian Julyan.
Yang graduated from the Sommelier Diploma Program of the International Sommelier Guild in 2007 and passed level 2 of the Court of Master Sommeliers exam in 2008, both firsts for someone from continental China.

An article from GRAPE WALL OF CHINA by Jim Boyce

Anson: Are these rare grapes the future of Roussillon?

Jane Anson uncovers some long-lost gems in this tiny corner of southern France, near the Spanish border.

There must be some kind of sweet poeticism in holding a rare grapes festival in a village that is, to say the least, something of a challenge to find.
Off the beaten track hardly does justice to the location of Trilla. It’s at one of the highest points of the Agly Valley in the Fenouillédes region of Roussillon, at close to 450 metres above sea level.
It’s quite the climb up here, through wild landscape of craggy hillsides along hair-raisingly windy roads. This is not unknown winemaking territory by any means – the wider area is home to some of southern France’s most exciting names in the shape of Domaine Matassa, Clos de L’Oum, Domaine Gauby, Domaine de l’Agly and La Soula – but it’s little surprise that there are only 65 villagers (of seven different nationalities) who make Trilla their permanent home, and that over half of the houses are holiday homes rather than main family properties.
The nearest boulangerie is a good 20 minutes drive away and the only commerce is one very small bar with uneven opening times. This is not a place for the faint-hearted or overly sociable, even if the sunset over the surrounding hills takes your breath away every single time.
Trilla does, however, play a supporting role in protecting the treasures of the Roussillon – largely because one of these 65 permanent residents is André Dominé, journalist and writer who was born in Hamburg but who has lived in the village with his Mosel-born wife since 1981. Dominé was a novelist early in his career and has published dozens of books on French wine and gastronomy, including the magnificent Wine that runs to 900 pages and has been translated into 17 languages (it started, as you might expect, as Wein). He now also runs one of France’s most unusual – and for my money worthwhile – wine festivals.
‘The Roussillon region has one of the most important collection of old vines in the whole of France,’ he tells me over supper in the village’s former wine cooperative, long since closed down and now converted into a private house. ‘And yet as demand for the local sweet wines fell away, many of the vineyards that produced them were abandoned or grafted to more fashionable grapes such as Syrah’.

An article from Decanter by Jane Anson

Wine Matcher “techs it to the next level”


Wine Matcher could take “days” off the time it takes to value a fine wine list, according to an article in this month’s drinks business magazine.
In the article, db’s Rupert Millar examines the online tool, identifying its capacity to “help merchants quickly and easily work through wine lists to determine prices, find trading opportunities and move stock through the supply chain.”
It does this by standardising fine wine lists using LWIN – the Liv-ex Wine Identification Number. It can then retrieve a number of different price points, such as Market Price, best bid and last trade, from Liv-ex’s 50-million strong database.
The article hints at Wine Matcher’s potential to change the way that the trade works in the future. Millar comments: “Many, I’m sure, looked askance at LWIN when it was introduced, and that is steadily becoming the technological ‘language’ on the systems of numerous merchants and logistics and warehouse providers. Wine Matcher could be the same; it’s there to use and it’s there to save time, freeing up merchants to speak to their clients, speed up trading and increase revenue.”

An article from LivEX Insights

Go Wine Tasting with Jennifer Lawrence


Jennifer Lawrence is passionate about a lot of things: politics, Doritos, reality TV and most importantly… wine. You ready to share that passion with Jen? Great, because you and a friend are headed to one of California’s many vineyards to sip on the good stuff—a lot of it. You’re wine tasting! You’ll swirl, sniff, sip and spit (or not, no judgement) as you hang with Jen, joke around and become best friends. Enjoy a picnic lunch, play some lawn games on the vineyard, maybe even call your ex! Although they do say that there’s truth in wine, so you might want to think that one through. Either way, you know Jen—she’s super cool and down for a good time, so this is sure to be a grape day (ugh, we almost made it without going there). Flights and hotel included.

An article from Omaze

Tell me your Chinese Zodiac sign, I will tell you your Bourgogne wines


Chinese Zodiac Sign - The rat The Rat

The Rat is the smallest of the 12 animals featured in the Zodiac cycle. It is nocturnal, acute, charming and versatile. The Petit Chablis is most appropriate to be likened to the Rat. Petit Chablis charms the nose with aromas of white blossom, citrus fruit and sometimes peach, and delights the palate with zesty and light sensation, while a roundedness balances the vibrant acidity, leaving the palate with a lasting impression. This may be Chablis’s ‘baby’ sister appellation, but it is not a ‘petit’ wine at all.

  The Ox

The Ox symbolizes diligence, dependability, strength and determination. It is treasured for its honest and steadfast nature. The red wine from Mercureyone of the five Village appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise, aptly embodies these bovine characters in its rich, sturdy and meaty style, showing sometimes unyielding tannins in youth and rewarding lengthy cellaring allowing the tannins to become more rounded.

 The Tiger

The Tiger is brave, competitive, unpredictable, and self-confident. What better to compare with the Tiger than the Pernand-Vergelesses Village appellation from the Côte de Beaune. The white wine of Pernand-Vergelesses displays confident upbringing, sharing some of the noble traits of neighbouring Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, with linear tension in youth, developing mineral-laden complexity with age. In red, Pernand-Vergelesses is fleshy and robust, confident in its balance, freshness and well-groomed structure, making it a fine and earlier-drinking alternative to nearby Corton Grand Cru that typically takes patience to reach its pinnacle.

 The Rabbit

Tame and gentle it may be, the Rabbit is a popular animal. People born in the year of the Rabbit display compassionate and sincere characters, and they thrive in the company of friends and family. Pouilly-Fuissé, a Village appellation from the Mâconnais is the most convivial of Bourgogne’s appellations. Elegant and full of charm, Pouilly-Fuissé entices with layered notes of hazelnut, almond, citrus, acacia, buttered brioche and honey, and an opulent texture and full-bodied structure. It is a straightforward, yet rich and complex wine, to accompany a diversity of cuisines and dishes.

 The Dragon

The Dragon is the most powerful animal in the Zodiac range. The village of Morey-Saint-Denis in the Côte de Nuits could easily earn the enviable nickname of “Crête du Dragon” or the Dragon’s crest by counting 20 Premier Cru Climats and five Grand Cru appellations in the hillside above the village: Clos de la Roche, Clos Saint-Denis, Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays and sharing the Bonnes Mares appellation with Chambolle-Musigny. Stylistically, the red Morey-Saint-Denis Village appellation forms the bridge between Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny, it is masculine, full and powerful in the mouth and marries well with game and meat dishes with intense flavours.

 The Snake

The Snake is enigmatic, intelligent and wise. Being the only Village appellation in Bourgogne that can appear in three colours – white, red and rosé, Marsannay delivers diversity and quality. It shares the sturdiness of neighbouring Fixin and the regal structure of Gevrey-Chambertin in the Côte de Nuits. Red Marsannay is powerful and generous on the palate, leading to a long meaty finish.

 The Horse

The free-roaming Horse is self-sufficient and energetic. The Chablis Premier Cru encompasses 40 different Climats across the two banks of River Serein, each with its unique typicity, depending on exposure and soil. Chablis Premier Cru can be tight and mineral or flowery and opulent in youth, depending on the Climat. It beguiles the wine-lover with its multitude of personalities.

 The Goat

The Goat treasures solitary moments to develop its creative thoughts. Similarly, Saint-Véran does not overwhelm the taster with opulent notes. This white wine appellation from the Mâconnais is fresh, full-bodied and luscious but dry and well-fruited, with good concentration backed by sufficient acidity. Perfect as an aperitif drink, but it can also stand up to pairing with creamy poultry or seafood dishes, thanks to its lively acidity.

 The Monkey

The Monkey is witty, energetic and active, if sometimes lacking a little discipline. The Chablis Grand Cru is a worthy pairing companion with the Monkey. Jewel in the Crown for the Chablis range, the Chablis Grand Cru is a single appellation with seven different Climats emcompassing its multiple personalities. It can be firm and powerful like Les Clos or soft and rounded like Les Preuses.

The Rooster

The Rooster is observant, resourceful, honest and conservative. The Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru appellation from the Hill of Corton does not reveal all its promises in youth. It waits and takes a long and measured pace to achieve maturity, delivering its full power, complexity and long finish. It rewards the taster with the perfect balance between rounded opulence and remarkable acidity. Corton-Charlemagne is an astonishing demonstration of what the Chardonnay grape is capable of in terms of richness, power, concentration, distinction and balance. It epitomizes the perfect synthesis between grape variety and terroir which is so unique in Bourgogne.

 The Dog

The Dog is man’s best friend. It is loyal and honest, amiable and kind, cautious and prudent. Chablis is the perfect accompaniment to any form of gathering or dish. A good Chablis is never overpowering but lends its freshness, subtle complexity and structure to accompany dishes from international cuisines. Who doesn’t love Chablis and Oysters?  And why not try dim sums or sushi with Chablis? The Chablis brandname alone stands for honesty, reliability and quality.  In the hands of Chablis’s capable producers who have worked relentlessly to promote this world-famous brand, it never fails to deliver a readily recognizable style.

The Pig

Finally, the Pig is diligent, generous and compassionate. People born in the Year of the Pig enjoy finer things but are never perceived as snobs. They are diligent, always in search of more knowledge. Beaune Premiers Crus are generous and fleshy, showing great aromatic power and solid texture, in both red and white colours, making them very respectable dinner companions.

An article from Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB),2536,10366.html?&args=Y29tcF9pZD0xODY3JmFjdGlvbj12aWV3RGV0YWlsJmlkPTE0NiZ8



In an effort to provide local beer and reduce emissions, a brewery based on the Isles of Scilly sent its beer to a Cornish micro-pub by way of a replica 18th century privateer sailing boat.
Ales of Scilly is the only brewery to be based on St Mary’s, the largest island in the Scillonian archipelago. Having been launched in 2001 by retired local teacher Mark Praeger, it was taken on by Jennie Trevithick in March 2017.
It currently provides beer for local events and also supplies local bars, cafés, restaurants and shops on the islands.
Earlier this month, the brewery was contacted by the owners of The Barrel, a micro-pub based in Bude in North Cornwall, who, keen to stock its beer, devised an unusual and antiquated delivery method.
In a Facebook post, the pub announced: “We expect a special delivery in Penzance on Thursday 16 August. Special because our latest beer delivery is from Britain’s most South Westerly brewery, Ales of Scilly and is arriving on the Grayhound; a replica 18th Century three-mast Cornish Lugger!”
“Two barrels of beer were loaded on-board on Friday the 11th by Jennie Trevithick the first female Cornish brewer at the Ales of Scilly brewery and hopefully, with fair weather, they will arrive in Penzance in the inner harbour, where the supply ships for the Scillies dock at 11am”.

An article from The Drinks Business by Phoebe French

The House of Camus launches an Irish whiskey


Cognac producer Camus has unveiled a project to make an Irish whiskey, using old cognac barrels with ex-bourbon casks blended and aged on an Irish island.
Lambay whiskey takes its name from the island off the Irish coast near Dublin, which is owned by the Baring family, of Baring Bank fame.
The whiskey was unveiledbut it will be formally launched at the TFWA travel retail/duty free show in Cannes in October. It comprises a blend and a single malt, both 40% abv.
The suggested retail prices are €25-30 and €45-50 respectively.
The young spirit (4YO for the small batch blend and 7YO for the unpeated single malt) comes from West Cork Distillers. Camus master blender Patrick Leger, then blends the whiskeys and the casks are left on the island to marry and age.
The company has experienced the effects of a maritime climate on the ageing process through its Île de Ré Fine Island Cognac. Leger said that ageing close to the sea means more alcohol than volume is lost than in a ‘dry’ cellar and apart from possible salty notes, the humidity gives a roundness to the spirit.
Both Camus CEO, Cyril Camus and Leger were at great pains to stress that the whiskey is still “work in progress” but the three-year project is in its “final stages”.
Just as Lambay island is privately owned and strictly by invitation only, both parties see Lambay whiskey as a limited edition, luxury, bespoke product for discerning palates.
Camus said there are no immediate plans to build a distillery on the island but growing barley on the island and using it for distillation is a possible long term plan.

An article from Drinks International by Christian Davis