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A Wonderful, Little Change

WELCOME TO EDITION 761 of GRAPEVINE Last month, I made a conscious decision to effect a change in my life. I suppose you could call it a resolution as it was close to a new year but, to be perfectly honest, it had seemed rather ridiculous to make a change in one’s outlook …

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DRC Romanee-Conti 1990

WELCOME TO EDITION 760 of GRAPEVINE Back in 1993, a friend called – on a land line, not mobile, phone – to ask if he should accept an offer he had received from the distributor of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti. I am not sure if the same technique is used to sell the …

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Breaking Rules • 24 March 2020

WELCOME TO EDITION 759 of GRAPEVINE Champagne flutes waiting to be filled at Restaurant La Gare, le Mesnil sur Oger. New Year is a traditional time for people to make resolutions. What this usually means is that for the entire year, we had been making excuses not to implement those decisions in the …

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Happy Holidays!

WELCOME TO EDITION 758 of GRAPEVINE Champagne flutes waiting to be filled. Photographed at La Gare, a casual restaurant that used to be a train station in Le Mesnil sur Oger. Christmas is a public holiday in Singapore and Hong Kong. But not in China. In Singapore and Hong Kong, most of us …

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Champagne Anyone?

WELCOME TO EDITION 757 of GRAPEVINE Our Bordeaux Tour for the public next February is fully booked. Thank you very much for the support. It’s the first time we are doing it. And are delighted with the response. I restricted it to 8 people because I wanted it to be as personal as …

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Chinese Sommelerie

WELCOME TO EDITION 756 of GRAPEVINE Greetings from sunny Shanghai. Yesterday, I was invited to be one of six judges of a Sommelier Cook-Off. Six teams comprising three sommeliers each from throughout China created dishes to pair with Rioja reds. The winning teams – 1st, 2nd & 3rd place – won RMB6,000, RMB4,500, and …

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T is for Taittinger

WELCOME TO EDITION 755 of GRAPEVINE Virginie Taittinger had worked 21 years at Champagne Taittinger with her father Claude. She launched her own brand Virginie T in 2013. Virginie Taittinger hosted a dinner in Singapore on Saturday 30 November 2019. And charmed everyone with her direct plain talk, humour, and champagnes (more about …

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The 100 Card

WELCOME TO EDITION 754 of GRAPEVINE Necessity, they say, is the Mother of Invention. So it is with the current economic downturn, not helped by economic uncertainty and political unpredictability. I know there is a recession and that it bites because Shanghai – which I have visited three times in as many months …

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Baijiu and Chinese Wine

WELCOME TO EDITION 753 of GRAPEVINE Last Saturday 16 November, we co-organised an event where our readers and the public tasted Chinese wine from six wineries, two huangjius, and six baijius. Over 100 people turned up at The Tower Club. The Guest-of-Honour was China’s Cultural Ambassador Mr XIAO Jiang Hua. The media was also present …

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A Best Friend

WELCOME TO EDITION 752 of GRAPEVINE Dogs are often referred to as “Man’s Best Friend”. The accolade is an acknowledgement of their loyalty. As such, I was affronted when Donald Trump – describing the assassination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi – said he “died like a dog”. How does a dog …

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