Feifei Liu Gives Insights Into The Chinese Wine Industry
Feifei Liu, Head Sommelier at The Middle House talks about the Wine Industry in China.
Which wines are more in demand during this festive season and which is your favorite wine?
For winter time, we have more order of red wines, than Champagne and White. I prefer much more the Bourgogne Chardonnay, Meursault, Montrachet, Puligny.
What are the consumer habits/consumer buying trends for wine in China?
In China, normally guest buys the wines with reputation, one side will go for the fine wines, another side will go for some commercial brand. Most common brand, I will say Penfolds from Australia, then like Mondavie from California; Montes from Chile, etc…
For guest who has been educated, wines with more value are much more important than the names. Also, today Sake and Natural wines would be the hottest topic.
Do you have Wine by the Glass Program at your restaurant, if yes, what?
Yes, each restaurant has different Wine by Glass; for Italian Restaurant Frasca, we are following the concept of “local food to pair the local wine”, so we only list Italian wines.
For Café Gray, based on Modern European cuisine, we are much more international, balanced with new world and old world. We also have a modern Chinses restaurant SUI TANG LI, highlight with Chinese wines by the glass.
How do you focus on your on-premise wine sale?
We don’t do any on-premise sales.
How frequently do you change your wine programs / how do you keep it updated? What factors affect your program?
Our wine list is updated every four months, in terms of the season and drinking trend.
We care about the balance of the wine list, on the pricing, structure, selections. Updating might depend on the demanding of guest, also the trend! Of course, sommeliers’ favor is important.
Is sustainability important in the wine industry? Is China coming up with sustainable wines? Can you name a few sustainable wines?
Sustainability is quite a fashion in the recent 5 years, you will meet the requests from the guests in the restaurant. People care more about the environment and health, that’s part of the reason. I think New Zealand and the USA are more going for sustainability than organic or biodynamic. E.g.: Villa Maria from Auckland, Eyrie Vineyards from Oregon.