Some sommeliers from the Court of Master Sommeliers probably have been tracking the oldest bottles of champagne in the world at auction. A few years ago it may have been hard to beat the age of a bottle of bubbly that has laid on the bottom of the ocean for 170 years.
However, Decanter Magazine just released news from China that may blow away any European claims that Bacchus vino started in the Western Hemisphere. It seems that the historic set, complete with a “drink in moderation” table set, have now been unearthed with dates likely to be older than 3,000 years. It may be that everything old is new again in China soon.
Several years, I had the occasion to travel extensively on a healthcare-related business mission across China, from Beijing to Xian to Shanghai. Back then, it was still far easier to find many exotic green teas at elaborate tea houses, before you would find lots of fine wine lists. However, with a taste for global offerings of luxury, China is replacing the historic demand in European wines that was once lead by Americans.
Chinese wine buyers lobbying to buy up the best of Bordeaux have now surpassed German buying on the famed Atlantic Coast. Wine Spectator also had a recent article that Chinese investors are buying up some California estates such as Atlas Peak. Whenever a NBA superstar sports brand like Yao Ming can move in to peddle $625 bottles of Cabernet to China, you know that market demand is really hot.