Lovers in a dangerous time | Valentine’s Day Beijing 2020

“You look like a romantic guy,” said no one to me ever. But I do like good deals, whether it is for meals, wines or more. And I know a lot of couples will be staying at home for this year’s Valentine’s Day, so here are a few wine-centric picks.

I write so often about Hulu that people accuse me of being on the payroll. Nope. It’s just that Hulu provides top-notch lunch and happy deals, good service and a smart centrally located option for casual business dinners.

Ignace Lecleir and team started their own delivery service this month, just in time for Valentine’s Day. I suggest you mix and match two “power lunches”–each comes with choice of appetizer, main and dessert for 98 kuai–and add a bottle of Chateau Nine Peaks Rose. It’s delicious and just 128 kuai. Hulu has some other wines and Valentine’s day deals, too.

Given China’s producers’ obsession with fruity ripe oak-y Cabernets, Ian Dai is a breath of free air with his natural wine-inspired offerings. He has a special wine for Valentine’s Day: Peachless, a “pet nat” made in Ningxia with a blend of Syrah (95%) and Italian Riesling (5%). Like any good relationship, this wine requires patience, to let that sediment settle: try chilling it for several hours.

There was a deal for rmb300, which included a bottle of Peachless and two of Dai’s unique Rona wine glasses, but it just expired. But you still get one glass if you order a bottle, he says. Want two glasses? Buy two bottles! Details on Peachless here.

By the way, I haven’t tried this one but have enjoyed Dai’s other wines.

Helene Ponty ranks among the sharpest people in the trade–Q&As here and here–and her family makes pretty good wine, too! She has a terrific online deal for February: spend over 202.02 kuai and get a free bottle of Clairet, a unique Bordeaux wine some describe as a light red and others as a dark rose. You say tomAYto, I say tomAHto, just try it.

Even better, if you are a member on Ponty’s site–become one by buying some wine or emailing the Ponty team–you get 50 percent off on select bottles. Does it mean that if you buy over 202.02 kuai of half-price wine ,you still get that free Clairet? Yes, it does. If you like sweet wines, give Ponty’s a try.

Find Ponty as “PontyWinery” or use the QR code in the poster below. Delivery currently available in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei.

As I’ve mentioned in WeChat, I’m going to team up with some graduate students on a wine selling project. It’s been on hold due first to holidays abroad and now the coronavirus crisis but one of our planned sources has some very good deals.

Grace Vineyard in Shanxi is pretty much the biggest China wine success story of the past years and the team there added some very nice wines to their Youzan platform for us. For Valentine’s Day, I would suggest one of the sparkling wines, either the entry level Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Cabernet Franc or, if you really want something special, the Reserve.

I’m also a big fan of their Aglianico: Grace is the only operation in China that is making wine with this grape usually associated with Italy. And it’s delicious. Use the QR code for more details or to order.

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Get regular Beijing updates via my Instagram and Twitter feeds. Also see my sibling sites Grape Wall of China, World Baijiu Day and World Marselan Day. Help cover the hosting and other costs of these sites with a WeChat, AliPay or PayPal donation.

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