Australian wines are doing well and aiming high in China, said James Halliday (pictured right), one of Australia's leading wine authorities, at a wine tasting for the media and industry insiders in Beijing recently.
China is currently Australia's fourth largest export destination by volume and value.
Many people believe French wines are the best in the world, to which Halliday responds with a story about judging wines at the London International Wine Challenge. He says he noticed there are always twice as many French wines participating, but in the end, twice as many Australian wines won awards.
At the tasting organized by the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation and
Australian Trade Commission, Halliday chose eight wines of the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon categories, which he thinks represent the country's wine production. The wines were picked out of 5,884 wines he reviewed in his new book, James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2010.
After the tasting, Geoff Raby, Australian Ambassador to China, along with Halliday, handed out five wine Australia Awards, to ASC Fine Wines, wine retailer The Wine Way, the Kakadu Bar & Restaurant in Shanghai and Taiwan-based freelance wine writer Denis Lin. Each winner will receive a sponsored 10-day trip to Australian wine regions.