Posted by She Said
Beijing is turning us into wine snobs. For those of you who have stuck with us for a while, you know that statement is like saying we are suddenly into name brand clothing. It is an enormous stretch. However, I should clarify the meaning of what it means to be a wine snob for us in Beijing. It simply means we want REAL WINE. We don’t care how dry or aromatic it is; we don’t care if we can silently pop the cork; we don’t even care if it shows nice leg down the side of our plastic cups. We simply want it to be real. Because you see, not just the Guccis (and the USB key we bought at Zhongguancun) are fake here. The wine can be too.
We learned this the hard way.
Being the consummate bargain hunter, I found a nice dry Chardonnay from Chile for 39 yuan during one of my market trips. That is about what I get a whole box for back in the states, but here that is a smokin’ deal.
That should have been my first clue.
My second clue that this “deal” was a shady one was the color of this Chardonnay. I have never seen one look the color of pee from a 75 year old man who has been dehydrated so long it took him three days to eek out several drops. Yeah, gross, right? Well, that best describes the maple color of this wine I bought.
(See that QS logo on the top right? Yeah, that means it has the Chinese Food Administration’s seal of approval.)
My third clue was the shit tasted BAD. What? Yeah, we drank it. Well, mostly Greg did.
Then we googled “fake wine”. Here are the highlights:
- Counterfeit wine makers were (are?) buying empty wine bottles from hotels and restaurants on yearly contracts to refill with their swill.
- Over half of the wines sold in 2007 were no more than water, color pigment, alcohol, and maybe a splash of grape juice.
- Authentic resealing and labeling makes this hard to detect prior to purchase.
So, we thought, let’s scrap the wine and work on our beer bellies instead. Then, damn it all to hell, we found this article. Luckily they are imitating Budweiser, which frankly, can’t be all THAT hard to do.