Will Asian buyers refocus on Riesling?

hong kongRobert Parker goes to China. It doesn’t quite have the same geopolitical impact as Nixon goes to China, but the magnitude for the wine world may be similar as Parker heads there later this month for the first time. Jancis Robinson stopped by earlier this year too. And two big auction houses have resumed wine auctions in Hong Kong this spring after a seven year drought. The removal of the wine tax in Hong Kong has driven a “thirst for top-level wines” in the city “is growing at an exponential rate,” according an auctioneer quoted in Bloomberg.

Apparently Asian buyers are getting much more wine savvy. It wasn’t long ago that they only bought wines with 100 point Parker scores, perhaps a sign of slavish following more than connoisseurship.

But now I am wondering if the locals are waking up to the joys of pairing Riesling with the cuisine. And the quality of German Riesling just keeps getting better and better. Perhaps they now have confidence to venture away from Bordeaux and cult Cali cabs.

Actually, since I am really getting into the sublime pleasure of German Riesling, dry and off-dry, young and mature, the thought of demand from Asia is something of a doomsday scenario for me. The last thing I need is to have investors pile in and run up the price in yet another category of wine!

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6 Responses to “Will Asian buyers refocus on Riesling?”

  1. A beautiful picture of Central. For the same reason that German wines are not as popular here is that the Chinese will find the labels inscrutable….The match with Cantonese cuisine is like hand to glove however.

  2. Haven’t seen that Riesling trend in Beijing…

    By the way, the Parker wine dinner will be here on May 24 and cost ~USD2400. Pretty expensive, but it will be held on the Great Wall of China and catered by one of the better restaurants in town, and also include eight or so wines ranked 95 or up by Parker. If you are a wine investor who follows Parker and plunks down major dough for wine, it’s justifiable. If you’re a humble blogger, well, that’s another story…

    Cheers, Boyce

  3. As someone with a modest income and an abiding love of wines from producers like Fritz Haag, Robert Weil, Gunderloch, and J.J. Prum, all I can do is bite my tongue and hope that, as far as the Asian wine market goes, optimal food pairing takes a backseat to status seeking in Asia for some time to come. I couldn’t afford La Tache or Petrus before, anyway.

  4. Guys,

    in contrast to other wine regions, our german wineproducer are down-to-earth and have a strong connection to the home market. Really, I am quite relaxed…….

    No doubt, Riesling (dry or off-dry) is the perfect match for asian cuisine!

    BTW, a few weeks ago I spoke with the famous winemaker W. Weil/Rheingau about “Wine as a luxury product” and he clearly says that he don´t want that his wines will be a venture/speculation object or that a price helix to the top will start.

    Here is the podcast:

    Finally, I should tell you that the german vintage 2007 will be outstanding from Estate Riesling to TBA. Unique chance to buy great Rieslings for the cellar.


  5. Have to admit that I prefer Riesling from the Alsace region. although I grew up in Berlin with mostly Riesling from the Rheinhessen region…my taste buds have changed over the years and here in Cork, Ireland, most German wines are of the cheap variety….and I don’t mean the price but the quality of the wine. But no matter which Riesling…it always goes nicely with Asian food.

  6. […] buck. The lead article by Jancis Robinson is about Hong Kong as an emerging center for wine (as we discussed here with a focus on riesling) and I’d like to return to some of the other issues in future posts. For now I thought the […]


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