Monday, November 28, 2011

Travel diary: China in November - continued

Monday 14
Visit of the new offices and warehouse of our French partner FTI who started in Shanghai several years ago. Then had lunch with the local branch of one of our French bank in Bordeaux, the BNP. We went to a good Vietnamese restaurant located in a nice area: fashion boutiques and restaurants located in an old neighborhood with narrow & picturesque streets.

Following, we visited to a major internet retailer, shot a small video clip about Bad Boy and my story, played a short game of foosball (I lost 2 to 1) and ran to catch the high-speed train (300 kms/hr) to Changzhou for a dinner organized by one of our distributors who has over 30 shops and restaurants. A brand new Days and Suites Hotel, with 4 star comfort for less than 50 euros.

Dinner was of very high standard: we were 9 and had a very good and filling meal. The main guest had a great sense of humor and has been a wine lover for over 20 years. He was born in 1951, like me, but looked much younger ... genetics! Well, this traditional meal with its multitude dishes was served by two waitresses and a sommelier, to make sure that nothing was missing at any time: the glasses are filled with a small amount of wine for the countless "cheers" where it is customary to finish your glass!

Vegetables, soups, dishes?, Chicken, beef, crab and pork dim sum, black mushrooms, fresh water fish, shrimp, small and large, game, turtle, shark fin soup, a large crab from a local river prepared for me because there are no crab tongs and everything is done either by hand with gloves to avoid getting dirty or... with teeth.

Salad and noodles, I must have forgotten a few dishes... The wine we drank with pleasure were Bad Boy 2006 which is imported exclusively by my distributor, 3 de Valandraud 2003, Virginie de Valandraud 2006 and a very good Valandraud 1997 (4800 bottles produced) still young, fat and even a hint of green pepper and vegetal. Still, this wine should have no problem to reach the top 3 when tasted blind with other famous wines in this difficult vintage.

I went back to the hotel with a box of rare Chinese tea and a 30 year old bottle of Moutai, one of the rarest and most expensive Chinese spirits (€2000), the level of some of the rarest cuvees of Cognac. (Our guests received from our client the usual gifts of Valandraud and Virginie).

Tuesday 15
We left with the HRC, the local TGV for the city of Kunshan. I am happily surprised by the quality and punctuality of the high-speed train, comfortable and on time! We had an appointment with a potential client, a state company with important means and potential. This city is the capital of manufacturing for the internet, iPods, cameras, computers, a wealthy city...

We tasted Valandraud 2006 followed by a lunch on the water by a lake. It is the season for local crabs which are supposed to be better than the neighboring region. In any case, they already have an experimental vineyard, a cellar and plans for agro-tourism. On the road signs were posted to promote a colleague in Bordeaux, Castel, using all means of communication, with lafite and a portfolio of small Bordeaux and Torres from Spain: they open the doors to Wines: their own and then ours, different and necessary for them and for us... Diversity is our strength.

1 comment:

Ray Grimm said...

Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.

Ray Grimm