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John Salvi MW : A Wine Competition and an International Exhibition

Time:2020-01-12 02:42wine - Red wine life health Click:


The 21st session of Interwine China 2018 organized by Canton Universal Fair Group Ltd., was held last month from November 9-11 at the Canton Fair in Pazhou Complex in Guangzhou, which was attended by our Bordeaux Correspondent, John Salvi MW , who also took part in an International Wine Competition in Foshan, Guangdong,China and shares his enjoyable experience.

John Salvi MW : A Wine Competition and an International Exhibition

To both my surprise and delight, and totally out of the blue, I was invited to judge a wine tasting competition in Foshan and give a Master Class at an enormous wine and spirit exhibition in Guangzhou, the 21st China (Guangzhou) International Wine and Spirits Exhibition (Interwine 2018), at the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou.

The moment that I said I would be interested a ticket arrived before you could say “Jack Rabbit”.  I have to say that I was quite excited but had no idea what to expect.  I was a guest of the Canton Universal Fair Group.

The day arrived, and I flew to Guangzhou via Amsterdam to be met at the airport by a delightful gentleman by the name of Nick Xian, who turned out to be a curator in a magnificent gallery of ceramicartsand with a passion for wine.  Off his own bat he elected himself my guide, guardian and friend for the duration of the trip.  During the shuttle, arranged by the New Pearl Ceramic Group, to the hotel in Foshan, the Foshan Huaxia Pearl Hotel(owned by New Pearl Group), we started talking Chinese gastronomy and he immediately started organising meals on his mobile.  As soon as we had checked in to the hotel he took me for a delicious dim sum breakfast, and after a short rest, for a hotpot lunch of Mongolia lamb.

Interwine Grand Challenge (IGC)

That first evening all the judges of the 21st Interwine Grand Challenge Tasting Competition met for a delicious Chinese get-together dinnerin the presence of a famous local rice wine (baijiu) distiller.  This was Monday.  The tasting Competition was under the Presidency of Rita Jia of Interwine and the Canton Universal Fair Group.  We were 18 judges with 7 Masters of Wine divided into 6 juries of 3 each.  I was a panel leader.

John Salvi MW : A Wine Competition and an International Exhibition

The next day (Tuesday) and the following morning (Wednesday) were devoted to the competition.  There were some 600 samples to judge.  The tasting was in the magnificent Foshan Pearl Hotel, where we were lodged in great luxury.  The room was airy, cool, spacious, well-lit and comfortable.  

Tasting was done in sets of 5 wines and we had 5 good glasses.  Black spittoons, white tablecloths, paper napkins, mineral water and bread were all provided.  The tasting sheet was complicated with many more boxes to fill than the OIV sheet and it was soon agreed that we judges did not have to fill them all in, but simply give our marks out of 100 and write a clear and comprehensive tasting note.  A Silver medal required 85 points, a Gold 90 and a Double Gold 95.  We were given little or no information, not even the grape variety, which caused some consternation among several judges.  It really was a blind tasting!  There was a coffee break in the middle of each session.

John Salvi MW : A Wine Competition and an International Exhibition

We tasted 35 wines the first morning and 35 more in the afternoon and the wonderful Nick had arranged a special lunch for Christopher Burr (an old MW friend) and me of the wonderful, in-season, hairy crabs marinated in yellow wine accompanied by a 30-year-old yellow wine.  Sensational!

John Salvi MW : A Wine Competition and an International Exhibition

The evening of Tuesday there was a delicious Chinese dinner in the hotel and an equally delicious one the following day.  Nick again organised a lunch with Cantonese-style raw sliced fish fillet in a wooden palace, in the most magnificent gardens, on a beautiful lake, right in the middle of the city.

This also belonged to Delin Ye (see below).

Fine Wine Tasting at Guangzhou

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