Australian and French wine delivery to Shanghai is becoming increasingly common, but some of it is of questionable quality. With a limited selection of options to choose from, however, how can you tell whether or not the drink you are getting is a good one?
If your French wine labels itself as a Bordeaux, Champagne or Alsace then it must meet very carefully controlled standards of grape variety, cultivation, harvesting and actual making – meaning that you can be sure that it is of a good standard and no corners have been cut.
Be careful that you collect the right kind of wine from each region, however – Bordeaux is famed for its reds, Champagne for sparkling and Alsace for fruity whites. A white from Bordeaux is certainly not worth getting a wine delivery to Shanghai!
The Languedoc region is the largest producing region by pure volume, although its bottles are notorious for being cheap and of poor quality – not worth including in your wine delivery to Shanghai.
Australian wines are trickier to categorise by region, and tend to be far less standardised across different vineyards – even ones next to each other. In general, buying from the Hunter and Barossa Valleys will be a safe bet, especially for reds, but both good and bad drops are made all over the country.
French vineyards rely on the reputation of the region they are made in more than the brand; however you can still use some brands to separate the best bottles out. Moet &Chandon, for example, is an excellent champagne brand, while Pol Gessner is a cheaper variety.
From Australia Penfolds wine is the gold standard, especially for reds, with the Grange line being world famous and incredibly valuable. Jacobs Creek, on the other hand, tends to be quite cheap and not as nice. If you can get a wine delivery to Shanghai made up of Penfolds varieties to try you will not be disappointed!
French bottles tend to differentiate between their tastes by region, given the tight controls imposed on manufacturing in different areas. You will find that Bordeaux and Burgundy reds are very different flavours, for example, but it will be hard to know what separates one Bordeaux from another without trying them first.
Unlike other French regions Bordeaux labels its bottles by quality, with the best being called grand cru, while cru bourgeois is the next rank down. To work out what to include in a wine delivery to Shanghai from other regions you will have to research each individual vineyard.
Australian wines are categorised far more simply, so you don’t need to be an expert to know what you are looking for in your wine delivery to Shanghai. The most popular varieties of red are Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab Sav) and Pinot Noir, with many other types being blends of these categories.
Merlot is the fruitiest and heaviest, suitable for cold winters and accompanying a heavy meal such as beef. A Shiraz will have a slightly lighter, drier taste, although still with a strong flavour. Cab Sav is about as heavy and fruity as Shiraz, although the flavours are more subtle. Pinot Noir is the lightest red variety, and is good with light meals, vegetables and fish.
Whites are lighter in flavour than reds, and range in sweetness rather than heaviness. Sauvignon Blanc is the most common, and has a gooseberry flavour, as well as being quite sour. Chardonnay is very middle-of-the-road – it is generally inoffensive, but don’t expect any strong or interesting flavours. Pinot Gris is much drier, although not as sour as Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is quite fruity, while Moscato is a very sweet, so it is important to be very careful of how much you drink.
Understanding label categories and regions should give you a rough guide in what you should get in your next wine delivery to Shanghai, although the only way to really know for sure what you like is to try it.
A good strategy is to decide what you like the look of, and then try it – and keep trying new things and refining your tastes! There are so many different vineyards and varieties out there that you will never be able to try them all, so you might as well pick a selection for wine delivery to Shanghai and get started!