OMGD China Tasting & Dinner
Bailliage of Xian
Xi'an, August 30, 2016
Grand Tasting of 57 New Zealand wines

Invited to a grand tasting of 57 wines at the Sofitel Xi’an led by the wineries, winemakers or their representatives, we had the opportunity to discover New Zealand’s famed vinous products. This annual event in China enables the Kiwi wineries to tour the country, showcasing their wines to the Chinese and foreign nationals, in particular to wine professionals.

New Zealand is recognized for producing quality wines. Besides the well-known Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, the country is also producing beautiful, complex Bordeaux blends. Red single varietals such as Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc are also gaining ground. For the whites, of particular note were the Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Late-harvest Riesling.

Following the tasting an eight-course plated Chinese dinner was paired with a wide selection of New Zealand wines. These ranged between the 2013 and 2015 vintages and were an excellent match for cuisine prepared by newly-appointed Chef Johnson Geng and his team.

The following wineries graciously sponsored the wines for the afternoon tasting and dinner:
- Alpha Domus
- Babich Wines
- Elephant Hill
- Mills Reef Winery
- Ngatarawa
- Rod McDonald
- Te Mata
- Vidal
- Paritua
- Trinity Hill

New Zealand’s wines, internationally acclaimed, can be appreciated with food or simply as an aperitif. However their prestige single vineyard and oak-aged whites are even better when paired with the right cuisine.

Everyone was impressed by the quality and readiness to drink for all those we tasted - especially the reds. One might think that these would need more years to mature; instead they demonstrated enjoyment now while still young.

Dominique Bonnel, Vice-Conseiller Gastronomique
& Jean-Philippe Jacopin, Échanson