Exclusive – Hit Chinese reality show music director: My life as a wine enthusiast

By Maxime Lu / 陆江

(Published on DecanterChina.COM,  Chinese version of Decanter.)

The mega hit reality TV show ‘I am a Singer 我是歌手’ needs little introduction to the Chinese audience. Ever since its first season in 2013 one of the top producers in Greater China, Kubert Leung, has been the music director for this highly popular show.The musician, who came from Hong Kong, is known to the Chinese audience as a talented, gentle and elegant producer in the world of music (as well as for being a low-key workaholic who never leaves his studio). Few, however, would have imagined that the musician is also a serious wine enthusiast in his personal life.This month Decanter speaks exclusively to the award-winning music producer. Read all about Kubert Leung’s life as a wine lover.

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Image credit Kubert Leung

Q: How did you fall in love with wine? Which are your favourite wine regions at the moment?

Kubert Leung: When I was studying in New York many years ago, there was a big wine shop near my house. I would go there to buy some wines. These were my first experience with wines, mainly produced in the US, though I wasn’t really drawn to wine just yet.Fortunately, I had a Chinese friend whose uncle worked for a high-end local restaurant. From time to time he would bring unfinished wines from the diners, and I would get to try them whenever I visited their house. ‘What good wines do you have this time?’ was always my first line at the door. These wines gave me access to many of the most famous and interesting wine regions and producers outside the US.When I went back to Hong Kong in 1997, I grew a habit of drinking whiskeys, as they were easier to store, and I could take my time to finish them. At that time, we didn’t have many wines to choose from, until Hong Kong abolished its tariffs on wine.From five years ago, I started to visit Mainland China frequently and now I’m based in Beijing. Here I met a group of enthusiasts who share my passion for wine, and my interest in wine grew stronger.What I drink the most at the moment are wines from Burgundy and Italy. I’m fascinated by the finesse and elegance of Burgundy, as well as the versatile characters of Italian wines.

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Image credit Kubert Leung

 

Q: Who is in your ‘wine circle’? Tell us a little bit about your wine gatherings in Beijing.

Kubert Leung: My wine friends come from various professions; some are from the music and movie industries, or in finance and media, while others are wine merchants and wine critics. It’s a fun gang of interesting personalities, though we are from very different backgrounds.Our ‘headquarters’ is always Beijing. We try to meet once or twice a month, even when we’re busy with our day jobs. We would pick a theme every time, and each would bring a bottle to share and talk about with others.We even spend festivals and celebrations together—the year before last a few of us met up for Valentine’s day. I brought a bottle of Clos de Vougeot Grand Crus, while my friends brought wines including limited edition Champagne and icewine from Canada. We had lots of fun (though not romantically) by sharing good food, wines and interesting topics.

 

Q: As an artist who loves wine a lot, how would you balance work and drinking?

Kubert Leung: I would drink a little bit to get into a more creative state. But drinking for fun is a different matter, and I’d rather keep them separate—honestly, drinking too much will bring nothing but a negative influence to work.We would only drink abundantly to celebrate after the end of a show. My team came from around the world, and the Australians and Canadians would bring wines from their home countries to share with everyone. When I travel to Changsha for a show I would bring my own wine or sometimes, whiskey.

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Image credit Kubert Leung

Q: Has your love in wine brought any changes to your life?

Kubert Leung: I have learnt to enjoy life more and discover the small and beautiful things in life—this is an attitude associated with the wine culture.I also try to visit more wine-producing regions when I travel. A while ago I was invited to Sweden as a commentator for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. I decided to drive all the way to Rome and Florence and visited a few wineries.On my way I was the most impressed by an almost mythical Vin Santo from a famous winery in Tuscany. The wine was so rich and sweet; I heard that it was matured for 10 years, during which 2/3 of the wine was lost—imagine how precious and delicious it was. They (the winery) would use the fat brandy glasses to swirl the wines around, releasing the luscious aromas of the wine. That was a very interesting experience.I also loved visiting the ancient castles of these wineries—you would hardly meet any tourists there. These old chateaux at nights are so mysterious and somewhat spooky—maybe I’ve watched too many horror movies.

 

Q: For leisure, which wine region would you visit next?

Kubert Leung: I would love to visit Burgundy, a region I have admired for so long. I am in fact looking up information about chateaux visits in Burgundy right now.I would go to the regions where my favourite wines were produced, to feel the local culture and environment for myself. The experience of visiting chateaux and communicating with winemakers always fascinates me. But I would prefer a spontaneous holiday— I’d choose not to plan every detail before I set off for a trip.

 

Q: In the Chinese music circle, what beverages are trending right now?

Kubert Leung: When I first came to work in the Mainland, Chinese Baijiu and expensive top cru classes from France, such as Lafite and Petrus, were the most popular.Whiskeys were the next to become popular, especially single malt whiskies. These can be very characterful and they satisfy different preferences, but they’re increasingly expensive nowadays—especially those Japanese whiskeys, which are the most fashionable right now.Although in the music circle people mainly drink whiskeys at the moment, there are a few wine lovers as well. Like me, they found their favourites when exploring wines from various regions and styles — eventually falling in love with wine.

 

Q: Finally, what is your wine dream?

Kubert Leung: My dream is to try more good wines, and visit as many wine regions around the world as possible with my fellow wine enthusiasts.

 

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

 

Maxime Lu / 陆江

-The founder and Chief wine editor of WineOnline.CN since 2005
-The founder and Chief wine educator of  WineSchool.CN since 2006
-The founder and main contributor for WineBlogChina.COM since 2011
-Wine Judge for international wine competitions: Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2015(Hongkong) , Wines of Portugal Challenge 2014(Lisbon) , Radici del Sud 2013 ( Puglia ) ,and some domestic wine competitions.
-A contributor for Decanter China(Chinese version of Decanter.com),Prowine China(Prowein branch) and for main stream media on fashion, finance , food and wine.
-The consultant of  Wine Collection.
-The consultant of wine companies.

京东:中国葡萄酒电商的发展现状(规模与模式篇)

作者: 陆江 (Maxime LU)

(本文已发表于Decanter中文版-醇鉴中国,转载请标明出处和署名)

 近年来中国的葡萄酒市场变化巨大,在线零售业对中国人消费习惯的改变直接反映到了葡萄酒行业,葡萄酒电商成为葡萄酒销售的重要渠道之一,也是增长最快的渠道之一。

DecanterChina.com撰稿人陆江,独家专访中国最大的电商之一京东(JD.COM)的葡萄酒业务负责人赵大彬,听他详细介绍京东葡萄酒业务的发展现状以及面临的挑战。

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图片:京东集团葡萄酒部门负责人赵大彬(右下)与京东董事长及CEO刘强东(右上)与澳大利亚富邑集团(Treasury Wine Estates)签署合作协议。

销售模式和规模

京东开展葡萄酒业务始于2010年底。葡萄酒业务负责人赵大彬介绍说,京东的葡萄酒业务分两种模式:一个是自营模式,也就是从进口商或国外直接采购,加一部分利润卖出去;另一个是平台模式,即招一些商家开店,以他们自主经营为主,类似“购物中心(shopping mall)”。

葡萄酒自营和平台渠道(销售额)相加,目前约占京东各类酒种的四分之一。2016年,京东预计在酒类产品取得105亿总销售额。赵大彬介绍道,无论自营还是平台,“中国白酒还是占到主导”。

2015年,京东葡萄酒自营部分销售额超过人民币4亿元,2016年预计达到12亿,平台部分则预计达到15亿左右,“是2015年的3倍”。不过这个预计可能“有点保守了”,赵大彬表示,截止到2016年1月20号,京东自营葡萄酒部分的销售额已经达到一个亿,“一月份是去年(同比)的四倍”。

 

自营和平台

尽管自营部分发展迅速,赵大彬认为京东自营业务和平台(其他进驻商家)“还没有到针锋相对矛盾的状态”。

首先,适应自营和平台两种模式的葡萄酒产品有所不同。“不是所有的品牌都能做自营的。”赵大彬表示,京东自营葡萄酒不仅需要提供“固定的毛利共享”,销售额也必须“跟上脚步”,京东则会对这些品牌的表现进行评估,也会淘汰一些表现不好的品牌。

目前平台的经营规模相比自营“略大一点”。越来越多商家自主进驻京东销售葡萄酒,或由京东招商进驻,“商家的数量决定了我们平台的成长性”,这与京东本身的业务经营模式是同样的,赵大彬表示。

京东葡萄酒的消费受众现阶段主要集中于北京、上海和广东,以上班族人群为主,赵大彬介绍道,京东准备在2016年下半年“深入到农村,渠道要下沉,到三四线城市”。

“目前葡萄酒消费者还处于初级的入门阶段,葡萄酒品牌也非常多。”而京东为数众多的会员中“仅有百分之三到四的人在买葡萄酒”,赵大彬认为,这意味着其中还有很大的开发空间。

 

国产酒vs进口酒

2015年中国葡萄酒进口明显回升,加之中国与澳大利亚签署自由贸易协定,中国本土酿酒商被认为将面临更大的挑战。

目前京东自营部分国产葡萄酒占销售额的30%,进口葡萄酒为70%。赵大彬表示“30%在电商里还算做的比较大的”,他认为天猫,一号店等其他电商平台销售的国产葡萄酒比例更低。而平台部分,国产品牌占比约在15%左右,“主要是进口酒”。在销售数量上,“国产酒比进口酒要稍微多一点点”。

尽管进口葡萄酒势头强劲,国产葡萄酒在三线四线或更小的城市依然拥有极大的消费量,“进口酒还是进不去”赵大彬介绍道,“但对于一二线城市来讲,进口酒越来越接近他们的市场占有率,经常五五分。”

面对这样的市场现状,本土酿酒商正在寻求业务的拓展,张裕集团以及拥有长城品牌的中粮集团均已投入进口葡萄酒业务。

尽管如此,“在京东葡萄酒定期发布的排名里,张裕和长城都能进葡萄酒品牌销售排名的前三位,国产这两家占国产葡萄酒总额的90%以上。”赵大彬表示。

 

最畅销的葡萄酒价位

在主要进口葡萄酒来源国中,在京东的销售排名从高到低为法国,澳大利亚,智利,西班牙,意大利和美国,赵大彬介绍道,销售量最高的是“50元以下”和“50元到100元”两个价位段。

50元以下的葡萄酒以西班牙日常餐酒为主。50元到100元的价位可见拉菲罗斯柴尔德集团(DBR)旗下的部分产品、澳大利亚Penfolds洛神山庄(Penfolds Rawsons Retreat)、黄尾袋鼠(Yellow Tail)以及智利甘露集团的红魔鬼(Casillero del Diablo)等品牌。

赵大彬表示,自营葡萄酒产品中,100元到200元之间的葡萄酒销售提升明显。“我们做直采,既是进口商,又是面对消费者的零售商,我们加利润不多,这价位段本身也是整个市场的重点需求范围内的。”

200元到500元是京东在精品葡萄酒(Fine Wines)上重点发展的价位。赵大彬认为,2015年以及2016年春节的销售显示了这个价位的潜力。“所有电商不可能只卖入门级的低端产品,未来需求都要往上拓展。”

 

反三公与经济发展放缓的影响

和一些传统高端酒商不同,反“三公”政策“对我们没有一点负面影响,反倒对我们有促进作用。”赵大彬表示。

“三公限制主要限制的是一些中高端价位的产品,对于我们京东来讲,我们是一个零售商,目标人群是大众消费者,市场定位正好错开。而且因为中高端产品泡沫基本被打掉了,价格回归理性。越来越多的人追求性价比,其实对我们有很好的促进作用。整个行业虽然增长受挫,可我们京东葡萄酒业务从2014到2015增长了三倍。”

 

筛选供货商

京东葡萄酒业务已开展五年,赵大彬认为目前面临的最大问题是上游供货商跟不上其快速的增长。供货商“没有那么好的前瞻性”,在供应酒的种类、库存数量等方面“不一定跟得上”。

面对这一挑战,2016年京东准备对目前的1300个SKU(最小存货单位)细分到产区进行评估,“优中选优,再精简品牌,最后是精简供货商”。但是业务调整并不会影响增长速度,赵大彬表示,葡萄酒业务“会保持在百分之三百到四百的增长速度”。

 

2016年市场趋势

赵大彬认为,2016年中国葡萄酒市场整体发展“速度不会是爆发”,“消费者数量还是少,现在还是要鼓励消费者去喝酒,同时尽可能控制各环节的成本,为消费者提供实在的价格。”

(采访和撰文:陆江Maxime)

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*点击 http://www.DecanterChina.com 查看原文,查询身边的优质葡萄酒,读遍名家专栏,学练WSET知识点,阅览海内外葡萄酒信息。DecanterChina.com是1975年创刊的国际葡萄酒权威媒体Decanter为日益成长的中国葡萄酒爱好者量身打造的中英文双语网站。

Decanter Asia Wine Awards judge: Jiang Lu (Maxime LU) – Decanter亚洲葡萄酒大赛评委: 陆江

Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) judge: Jiang Lu (Maxime Lu)

Decanter亚洲葡萄酒大赛评委: 陆江

 

Jiang Lu, founder and chief wine advisor of Wineonline.cn based in Beijing, is a judge in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA).

DAWA judge: Jiang Lu

DAWA judge: Jiang Lu (Maxime)

Jiang Lu (Maxime Lu) is the founder and chief wine editor of Wineonline.cn and has been running a wine club based in Beijing since 2005.  He is also the founder and chief wine educator of Wineschool.cn since 2006, and the founder and core contributor for Wineblogchina.com since 2011. Jiang Lu is a columnist for ProWine China nad 1756Chile in China.

A member of several blind tasting panels for publications including RVF China, Food & Wine (China), Wine in China, and a regular wine judge for international and domestic wine competitions, Jiang also acts as a consultant for various companies.

Jiang has been visiting the wine regions of USA, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Portugal for over 15 years.

Jiang Lu has been a Decanter Asia Wine Awards judge since 2015.

Read more at http://www.decanter.com/dawa/the-dawa-judges/dawa-judge-jiang-lu-270491/

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陆江澳洲维多利亚葡萄酒产区游记(中)

维多利亚州四个子产区:
Bellarine半岛 – Mornington – Bendigo – Heathcote

图文:陆江(Maxime LU)

2015年5月24日,今天开始,第一站是Geelong产区内的Bellarine半岛,位于墨尔本西南方,墨尔本出发车程约1个多小时。冷气候,以夏多内,长相思等白品种,以及黑皮诺和冷气候西拉等著称。维州政府部长们也来站台欢迎大家。第一站Scotchmans hill,位于产区的中心位置,是优质的海洋性冷气候葡萄酒的生产商,产区代表酒庄之一,夏朵内白葡萄酒实力不错,最顶级西拉是偏旧世界风格。第二站Jack rabbit标示是两只兔耳朵,识别率很高,产品全面,品质稳定,适合大众市场,还有相当棒的海边餐厅、酒屋和葡萄园景观,是上佳的葡萄酒旅游目的地。中午虽然是冷餐会,不过出品水准的确名副其实。

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Scotchmans hill

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Jack rabbit

在Bellarine半岛试到的这两家黑皮诺,都是单宁偏强,和第一家聊时,他们提到整串带梗放入发酵(并无二氧化碳浸渍过程),发酵和浸皮2周,单宁偏强为了追求较长的陈年实力。

傍晚回到墨尔本下车路边树坑尽是蘑菇丛生,到了Bottega咖啡吧,进行“Rutherglen Muscat & Topaque” 大师班。分别对比四个不同类别的特质差异,维州的加强酒瑰宝,水准相当不弱。

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路过地标的最著名老火车站,还有“爱墙”,墨尔本的夜很美。……

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5月25日,今天去Mornington半岛,墨尔本出发车程约1个半小时,本产区属海洋性气候,夏日多潮湿和雨,但有温和的较长秋季,拉长的成熟季,使葡萄有不错的酸度,细腻单宁,还有丰富的果香风味。过半数种植是黑皮诺,种植黑皮诺历史超过40年,正好和Bellarine产区比较一下。此外本产区夏多内占25%,灰皮诺11%,还有些西拉。

在Paringa Estate酒庄,酒庄有很漂亮的餐厅景观,听庄主介绍Mornington半岛产区概况​,40-300米的海拔差,海洋性气候,不同地区的采摘会最多差2周,据说Mornington半岛的葡萄园地价几乎是全澳最贵的。在Stonier酒庄品鉴本区的夏多内,选出的都是能代表当地典型性和实力的夏朵内,果味清新,结构细致,酸度很好,整体实力相当不错。在PortPhillip品鉴12款本区黑皮诺,和当地的酒庄代表一起午餐尝试餐配酒和相互交流,Mornington产区的黑皮诺,很干净,果味纯净,细腻;另外有些酒庄还带了几款西拉,都是冷气候特点,品质也还不错,以后可以多关注本产区的这些品种。

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Paringa Estate

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Stonier酒庄

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Port Phillip

下午回到墨尔本的酒展,80多家酒庄,维州也组织了国际酒商采购团,遇到不少国内进口商朋友。晚上的站立式品酒餐会,餐酒搭配试了些本地四个主力食材产区(Geelong, Gippsland, Grampians and Macedon)来的大厨的小点……。酒展对面就是墨尔本著名的outlets聚集的购物中心,俺也赶紧添了件外套,准备明天离开墨尔本下乡,走较远的子产区。深秋的维州入夜时,在葡萄园还是挺冷的。

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IMG_20150525_182713_副本

5月26日,今天上午到达Bendigo产区,墨尔本出发车程不到2小时,在Balgownie酒庄,品鉴数家酒庄的作品:Blackjack, Harcourt Valley, Mandurang Valley, Sandhurst Ridge, Sutton Grange, Turners Crossing, Water Wheel and Balgownie Estate。赤霞珠和西拉子是本地扬名的主力品种。由于夏季有较长的光照时间,本区的干红有相对坚实的单宁骨架,颇具实力。中午就在这家酒庄与本区的酒庄代表们一起午餐交流。

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下午行车40分钟到了不远的Heathcote产区的名庄Jasper hill,绝佳的葡萄园位置,土壤类型得天独厚,有寒武纪土层,很早就实行有机和生物动力。品鉴的酒款是酒庄风土条件差异的上佳展示,如Georgia和Emily(2000升每公顷的产量)两块葡萄园相聚1公里,一样的西拉品种克隆,同一个团队,表现出来差异很大。庄主和法国罗纳巨头M.Chapoutier还有酿酒合作。

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下一站是在Heathcote小镇的酒屋Wine hub,进行本区典型酒的集中品鉴。西拉是本区的代表葡萄品种,不少是介于新旧世界之间的风格。

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行程已过大半,这几天维多利亚州的各子产区密集品鉴,带给我不少惊喜,整体实力超乎我的想象。

5月26日傍晚从Heathcote行程2小时到达雅拉谷,夜宿雅拉谷的Balgownie Estate(和前面Bendigo的同名酒庄是同一家)。

第二天5月27日,我们将走访维州知名度最高的雅拉谷子产区,详情请见【陆江澳洲维多利亚葡萄酒产区游记(下)】

 

欢迎微信搜索【万欧兰葡萄酒俱乐部】或【wineclos】,关注我们公众号,我们有国际国内热点的葡萄酒资讯和专家观点,还有有趣好玩的美食美酒旅游活动。

 

陆江(Maxime LU)

– 国际国内葡萄酒大赛专家评委,独立酒评人,美食美酒旅游类撰稿人,葡萄酒行业咨询顾问,资深葡萄酒和烈酒收藏顾问,万欧兰葡萄酒教育首席讲师

 

王智慧(Serien WANG)

– 资深葡萄酒编辑、撰稿人和专业译者,《葡萄酒在线-WINEONLINE.CN》葡萄酒专题总监,万欧兰葡萄酒教育葡萄酒讲师