Sunday, December 25, 2011


Yao Ming, tall wine lover

While Wine Spectator reports that Burgundy is replacing Bordeaux as the most sought-after wine in Chinese auctions, one Chinese man is bringing California Cabernet to the party.

France has a 47% market share of bottled wine imports in China, so selling California wine to a nation enthralled with French wine may seem like a tall order.  The Wall Street Journal says former NBA star and Chinese legend Yao Ming feels up to the task.

Yao Family Wines is being launched solely for the Chinese market.  Made by Napa Valley winemaker Tom Hinde, the Yao Cabernet will sell for the equivalent of $289 American, per bottle.  Yao aims to put California wine on a higher plane in China, but despite his fame there, it won't be a slam dunk.  Wine from the United States currently ranks sixth in Chinese imports, behind France, Australia, Italy, Spain and Chile.  

Yao does not own any vineyards presently, so the grapes will be sourced for his line.  He does, however, have plans to purchase some Napa Valley land in the near future.

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