On my Shanghai excursion , and elsewhere in the country , I could see firsthand the evolution of the wine culture in this country . New to the wine world and curious of its health benefits, much publicized here , these chinese check bottles in this picture during Shanghai's french week . This was on Yandang pedestrian street , between Huaihai lu and Nanchang lu . The french first lady was supposed to visit that day but her program was tight and the visit was skipped . Gathered on this short street were a few wine importers , car dealers , Airbus representatives and importers of other french products . The wine landscape here is still limited by high import tariffs .
The chinese production , wich has gone through rapid improvement not only in terms of quantity but also in quality , has still a long way to go , for the quality and the diversity of its wines .But the tremendous changes seen in many aspects of life here allow to contemplate the possibility , in a not so far future, of another country in the list of new world wine producers : China . The government wich already encouraged beer production & consumption as a way to disminish high alcoholic spirits intake, now considers wine both as another economic opportunity for development and a a health issue that would benefit its people : Less strong alcohol and the potentially anti-cancer effects of the red wine. But it is still far to be in the ordinary chinese lifestyle to drink wine . It is now something between luxury and exotism .
The weather in this country is often warm , but precautionary measures to store the wine are rare . Bottles are stored in unregulated rooms , both the ordinary wines and expensive big names , Champagnes or wines . This is not a question of money as even the convenience store around the corner has regulated temperature shelves and fridges with glass doors . This is because they need more time to understand the wine world and its laws .
My big disappointment is I could'nt reach the Huadong winery when I was in Qingdao . For some reason my phone call would'nt get through . Although not very close the city , this winery was at a reasonable distance and I thought I might have a visit there . I did not stay long enough in the town to make repeated attempts . The Huadong winery is one of the estates of interest in China , and it happened to be at my reach . It will be for the next time . The following picture shows one of the many Great Wall posters . Great Wall seems to have a poweful advertising strategy in China .
Then, you have these Shanghai Tobacco Group stores , where you will find a selection of bottles . This one is on Nanjing Lu ( picture at bottom ). I looked at several of the bottles : Pomerol Jean Pierre Moueix 19999 , 348 Y . Chateau Puy-Blanquet St Emilion Grand Cru 1998 , 428 Y . Domaine Laroche Chablis 2001 , 288 Y . Brut Imperial , Moet & Chandon , 350 Y . Veuve Cliquot 370 Y .Moet & Chandon cuvee Dom Perignon, 998 Y .