St John’s College hosts first Chinese wine tasting

December 2, 2019

A Cambridge College has held an event to showcase a selection of wines from China, with a tasting session led by an international specialist in the field.


St John’s College welcomed Janet Z Wang, a renowned authority on fast-emerging Chinese and Asian wines and author of a highly-acclaimed book.


The event for St John’s College students and staff was fully subscribed and included a tutored tasting of wines with descriptions of the grape varieties and wine regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia. Wines included Silk Roads Vineyards Explorer Riesling, Xige Estate Yuge Cabernet Blend Rosé and Copower Jade Vineyard Cellared Syrah. The last wine was tasted with Chinese food from Sichuan, prepared by College chefs.


Bill Brogan, Catering & Conference Manager at St John’s College, said: “We were delighted to welcome Janet to run a special tasting event for us, much enjoyed by everyone who attended and with requests for similar events in the future. Domestic consumption of Chinese wine is really taking off, as the quality improves each year, which was evidenced by the excellent wines in our tasting. Exports are also increasing and it is becoming more and more popular in the UK. Recently we added a Chinese wine to our Catering Wine List and we will be holding a Chinese New Year Super Hall event in January for our students.


“On trips to China I have been impressed by my visits to several vineyards including the Dynasty Winery in Tianjin, as well as Dragon Seal in Beijing, Changyu just outside Beijing, Huadong near Qingdao and Yunnun Red Winery.


“As China has become one of the fastest growing wine producing countries in the world, a number of books on the subject have been published. These include ‘The Chinese Wine Renaissance’ by Janet, recently shortlisted for the prestigious Louis Roederer’s International Wine Book of the Year 2019”.


Leading the way in China are Cabernet Sauvignon wines – where there is the largest planting area of this grape in the world – and for whites, Chardonnay and Riesling are notable, as is Vidal which are making superb ice wines.


Janet Z Wang is a member of the Circle of Wine Writers (principal Chinese-English bilingual member), as well as a consultant, educator, speaker and frequent visitor of vineyards in China and around the world. She is also an alumna of Newnham College, Cambridge where she read Computer Science.