I love to drink wine and try to drink only good wines – Life is too short to drink bad wines, right? Over the past decade I tried many different Chinese wines, but most of the time I was not very impressed with what I tasted. Sure, there were a few decent ones among the tens of locally produced varieties that I drank, but generally they were at least twice as expensive as a similar non-Chinese wines. I’d love to find a good Chinese red wine below RMB 100 that I could drink at night on weeknights, but so far I have not been able to find one.
A couple of weeks ago I was doing a late night ice wine tasting at home. My friend Alexandre Imperatori (a race car driver who among others races in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, you can watch him this weekend at the Shanghai Circuit before the Formula One race) had given me a couple of excellent Canadian ice wines, and it was time to try them.
I posted the results of the tasting on Facebook and then one of my FB friends told me that a friend of his was related to the owner of a Chinese vineyard that produces ice wines. I was intrigued, because I had never heard about Chinese ice wines before. He asked me if I would be interested to try the Chinese ice wine, and if so he would arrange for some bottles to be delivered to my home.
And indeed about 2 weeks ago 2 beautifully packaged bottles of Vidal Eastars Ice Wine were delivered to my place. Because I was about to go on a business trip I decided to save them for a better moment, which turned out to be last Sunday. My parents were visiting and they also like good wines, so we opened one of the bottles.
To be honest, my expectations were not very high. I had been disappointed so often by Chinese wines that I expected an okay wine, but nothing special. But I was wrong: the wine was excellent! It was a typical dessert wine, deep yellow with a thick almost oily structure. Of course the wine was intensely sweet and it had a very nice after taste. If someone had told me that this was a Canadian ice wine I would have believed it, this wine was at least on par with some of the bottles I had before.
This means I can’t keep up my saying that China doesn’t produce any good wines. This bottle proved me wrong and I am happy to admit it. And the good news is that I still have a second bottle waiting to be opened!
Eastar ice wine’s website is here (Chinese only). The webshop is empty however, so you can’t buy any wines there. I found another shop online where you can buy the wine, 6 small bottles (375 ml) for RMB 1488 (USD 227).