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World Expo Shanghai, part of history in the making


Having witnessed over the last few visits to Shanghai the amazing build-up for which the city was preparing itself, World Expo 2010 is another demonstration of China's emergence. This visit took place on day 15 but Expo will be open until late November.

There is no question that the China pavilion is the star, high above all others on its own ground, but having our wine served on the French pavilion, we were quite happy to queue for just about an hour to get access. Located right next to the mighty German stand
, France plays the green card, nature, quality of life and French "savoir vivre" which seems to fascinate the local visitors, the French pavilion receiving on this day some 70 000 visitors ! A small tip to visitors of the French Pavilion, to avoid the long queue, just go through the access to the Sens restaurant and go straight into action.

But what a pleasant surprise to have the honour of being welcomed by Jacques Pourcel in person, on the one and only French restaurant on the fair. Les frères Pourcel were amongst the first to set foot in Shanghai with their Sens and Bund. And how not to be proud to taste a glass of Gentil side by side with eau de Perrier, due to the great efforts of Summergate, our Chinese importer.

The green theme chosen by France for its pavilion absolutely fits the organisers' slogan "Better city, better life" but its content is also a showcase for its financial contributors, from Citroën to Michelin, the Musée d'Orsay and the ever global Louis Vuitton. The proof of Bernard Arnault's integration of E-marketing, the presence of a couple of laptop computers allowing visitors interested in their products to register online and be added to their Emailing list. With the current boom of E-commerce in China they will certainly one day be purchasing handbags from virtual stores and why not one day, a bottle of château Cheval Blanc or d'Yquem...

As expected, this first Chinese World Expo takes place under tight security of the local police, probably the one aspect of China that has least changed in decades !

No time gets wasted in China, and while all infrastructures are well in place in Shanghai for their World Expo demonstration, newly built hotels are now running at full capacity. The Puli now buzzing with guests remains on the top of their art of Asian urban resort concept. It seems the whole city of Shanghai and especially the hospitality sector is taking advantage of the Expo boost. La Lé wine bar just opened last week and Hugel is there also well into place, and our wines are in very good company. If you drop in for a glass, say hello for me to the managing partner Mindy Chu.




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Interview on Graperadio.com and live tasting


Part of the agenda of the few days recently spent in California was an interview in the studio of Graperadio.

Brian Clark - Co-Host, Eric Anderson - Co-Host, Editor and Jay Selman - Producer discuss with Etienne their love for wines, share their experiences, knowledge and passion on all aspects related to the noble grape. A selection of wines were tasted and commented live on the program.

Click Below to Play the Show:
Show #268
(1:17:12 min 55MB)

GrapeRadio is a James Beard Award-Winning Audio and Video Program discussing wine related topics that is broadcast over the Internet.

Its content is also offered to Business and First Class passengers on American Airlines.


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On The Food Schmooze with Faith Middleton on WNPR


One the road to celebrity ? What about being on Faith Middleton's radio show with celebrity chef Thomas Keller ? ... what else ?

Missed the live broadcast ? Listen to FMS' Food Schmooze and write down the recommendations on our wines by Faith Middleton. Gentil and Pinot Gris on the podcast at 00:28:50 or Download this Episode

The following Saturday, our Riesling Jubilee 2004 was served at the French Culinary Institute of New York City an unprecedented evening with the stars of the French culinary stratosphere -- chefs Jacques Pepin, Alain Sailhac, and Andre Soltner.(View the Menu, handpainted by Jacques Pepin!) "word is spreading about this event that the 4 French legends have been asked to do this again for the President of the United States and first lady Michele Obama"

Host of the Faith Middleton Show, on WNPR, Faith Middleton has twice received the "Pulitzer" of broadcast journalism, The Peabody Award.

Thank you Faith and Mark Raymond, our importer's Frederick Wildman New England regional manager 


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The Wine Society coming to Blog age


The Wine Society, long standing UK customer is delighted to announce the launch of its new blog: Society Grapevine but also presence on the new social networks.

Featuring contributions from the buyers, fine wine advisers and others, Society Grapevine will offer members unique insights into our world of wine and the chance to join in... and visit a selection of Alsace wines with the presence of its best growers in London & Lewes on next 1st & 2nd June

Most interesting with the new interactivity is that now, users can also share their own valuable experience on the wines they recommend such as this on The Society's Exhibition Gewurztraminer, 2007

Click here to visit SocietyGrapevine.com


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Family reunion in Las Vegas


Back West for a couple of weeks in the US, a market that seems to be turning around after some 18 months where one could clearly feel the impact of the recession.

Starting in the West gave me a good opportunity to visit my son Jean Frédéric
who currently enjoys his few months as exchange student at the University of California in Irvine. Very lucky to have flown out of Munich and to have been on one of the last flights from Europe that was not cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano... "we asked them to send cash, not ash ;-)" was the latest local joke on this affair

Las Vegas was a obvious destination for a father and son weekend, especially since my own godson Julien Asseo just started a job in the kitchen of Las Vegas' most celebrated restaurant: Robuchon, which is the only restaurant in town to have been awarded *** in the Guide Michelin. Julien's father Stéphane, longtime friend, is the godfather of Jean Frédéric and owns the very successful l'Aventure Vineyards in Paso Robles.

"What goes to Vegas, stays in Vegas" so you may not hear all the details of our weekend but the yellow label is to be found amongst one arm bandits and l'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is soon to feature Hugel Gentil by the glass. The veteran team of Vegas sends its regards to Diego who now manages their Tokyo operation...

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