Sommeliers drive China's on-trade trends

Sunday, 21. October 2018 - 15:15

Yang LU MS
Social media accounts might control the airwaves when it comes to China’s emerging mass market, but it is professionals who set the wine scene in the country’s fine dining restaurants.

Christian Zhang, chief sommelier at Noahs Yacht Club on the Bund in Shanghai, has amassed plenty of awards that recognise his excellence as a sommelier of South African, Australian, Canadian and French wines. He has helped top hotel brands launch in China, including JW Marriott, Hangzhou.

Tansy Zhao, chief sommelier at Noble Spirits Shanghai, is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. He tried Penfolds Grange “by accident” and was inspired to discover more about wine. Zhao’s natural talent landed him a job as junior sommelier at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai and, through his passion and expertise, he has won multiple sommelier competitions.

Lu Yang, corporate wine director for Shangri-La Hotels, became China’s first Master Sommelier in August 2017. A graduate of Viticulture and Winemaking from Niagara College in Canada, Lu writes, judges and speaks regularly about wine and has grown to be regarded not only as one of Greater China’s most important and influential sommeliers, but also as one of its finest wine educators. DecanterChina.com reports that Lu has won all three major sommelier competitions in China.
Debra Meiburg MW

This is a sidebar from the article China's Top Influencers, which appears in Issue 5, 2018 of Meininger's Wine Business International. The magazine is available by subscription.