Vinitaly in Beijing: All aboard the grape gondola

Vinitaly China 2008 comes to Beijing on November 19 and that means a day of wine tasting and info sessions at the Ritz Carlton Chaoyang.

According to Asia Business Group, organizer of the Beijing leg, this event debuted in China 10 years ago and will include wines from six areas of Italy, including Sicily and Tuscany. It targets those in the wine industry as well as wine lovers, culinary students, and those into wine appreciation or the latest on EU wine standards.

To register, fill out the form here or contact Francesca Xu at francesca.xu@asiabusinessgroup / 5828-7728 by November 14.

Here is the seminar schedule:

10:30 AM: Opening of Vinitaly China by Italian Ambassador Sessa and a press conference on the new EU wine evaluation method / 中意国际葡萄酒展开幕-意大利大使举行开幕仪式

11 AM: Seminar hosted by Unione Italia Vini, with a presentation of data on the Chinese wine market and a press conference on the EU project / 意大利葡萄酒联合会主办的的讲座会(介绍在中国葡萄酒市场的UIV数据,及欧盟项目的新闻发表会)

2 PM: Presentation of Italian olive oils, hosted by UNAPROL – Italian Association of Olive Oil Producers (at Piazza Italia) / 意大利橄榄油生产商协会将举办介绍橄榄油的研讨会。请注意,本次研讨会将在意大利广场举办

4 PM: Presentation of the wines of Sicily, hosted by Istituto Regionale della Vite e del Vino (includes tasting of indigenous grape varieties) / 由Istituto Regionale della Vite e del Vino主办的西西里葡萄酒的介绍会(供选品尝西西里的葡萄酒,其中包括由土著葡萄品种所酿造的葡萄酒)

Again, for the Beijing event, RSVP with or call 010-5828 7728 for these seminars.

Top five watering holes: Bjorn Stabell

In part nine of this series, Bjorn Stabell, founder of “agile software development company” Exoweb, shares his top five places to eat and drink in Beijing. Actually, he’s gone that extra mile and given us six, and noted a couple of spots for the laptop crowd to enjoy. (Links are to the City Weekend Web site that Exoweb built.)

Best find: Giyan
Nothing beats the intimate atmosphere of this Mongolian bar, especially on Friday evenings when you can listen to live throat singing and matouqin (if the musician isn’t on some world tour), and sip on “horse milk alcohol” with friends. (This is such a find, I probably shouldn’t tell anyone.)
Best view: Wain Wain, Soho
Enjoy a 35th-floor birds-eye view of the CBD, Third Ring Road, and Changanjie. Even on cloudy days you don’t miss out: a projector shows a helicopter fly-by of Tokyo at night, complete with descriptions of the buildings and crossroads. Great deals on food and drinks as well. Probably my favorite place to do laptop work.
Best view (summer): Yin bar, Emperor Hotel
Sip a drink while gazing at the Forbidden City and listening to a live guzhen performance. Only good for summer nights due to the outdoorsy nature of this rooftop bar.
Best atmosphere: Nanlou Guxiang
I love the atomsphere of this street, especially around dusk. Favorites include the rooftop at Passby Bar and Mirch Masala.
Most impressive: Maison Boulud, Legation Quarter
The most exclusive restaurant and bar I’ve seen in Beijing, with a very cool colonial atmosphere and excellent French food, but a bit dangerously expensive if you’re the one footing the bill.
Best overall: Luga’s, Sanlitun
A cozy atmosphere and great value-for-money food and drinks. Drink selection isn’t the best, but I love the DIY guacamole and burritos. If you want better beer go to the new Luga’s Villa around the corner where they have Guiness and Stella on tap, but unfortunatly no burritos. Both places are pretty decent for laptop users as well.

The Big Bite is back: Kiosk re-opens

A veteran returns to the Sanlitun burger battle: Kiosk is open again in its original location in the original Nali Studio. That means 250-gram “Big Bite” burgers with cheese for RMB33, 160-gram “Kiosk” burgers for RMB26, and fries for RMB12. Good value is to be had.

And that reminds me: a mere 18 months ago, I was writing about the difficulties Eddie O had getting a burger at the now-long gone Capone’s. How this city has changed since then.

See also:
Luga’s Villa: Bumping up burger prices
Sanlitun burger battle: The Rickshaw fights back
Today’s beef: Union Bar & Grill
Let’s Burger: A bit too saucy
Bits and bites: Burger battles et al.