중앙데일리

Report ranks imported Italian wine

Dec 14,2010
Balbi Soprani Moscato d’Asti 2009 was named as the best Italian wine in the 20,000 won ($17.50) range, according to Wine Consumer Reports, which is sponsored by the JoongAng Ilbo and Winenara, a local wine retail chain.

Balbi Soprani Moscato d’Asti, which is produced by the famous winery Balbi Soprani in Piedmont, is known for its attractive scent of acacia, orange, apricot and peach.

The wine was chosen by 30 wine experts and 30 wine aficionados, including university professors, sommeliers, wine columnists and wine bar owners.

This is the first time that a major Korean media outlet has published a wine consumer report, in response to the rapid growth of the local wine market, which has annual sales of 800 billion won.

The report’s first evaluation review concerned Italian wine, which has a price range of around 20,000 won. Affordable Italian wine was chosen as this month’s theme because demand for Italian wine in the Korean market has been growing rapidly.

Italian wine is the third largest wine import to Korea - after French and Chilean wine - with a total value of $18 million last year, according to the Korea International Trade Association.

French wine accounted for $37 million and Chile $24 million,

“Every month an evaluation team will taste 75 to 100 wines for that month’s theme and choose the top 10 wines,” said Lee Chul-hyoung, Winenara CEO. “We expect the consumer report to provide information on the various wines.”

Chang Hong, a wine expert, said Korea’s wine culture is still in its early stages, focused mostly on high-end products.

“The wine consumer report will act as an excellent guide for consumers because the evaluation will include both experts and aficionados,” Chang said.

Next month’s theme will be American wines selling for less than 20,000 won.

In this month’s test, 35 Italian reds, 21 whites and 19 Moscatos or Muscat were tasted. Wine was scored on a scale of zero to 100, with only a 1.39 point difference separating the No. 1 and the No. 10 wine.

Experts say it was difficult to rank the wines because wines imported into Korea are of top quality.

Muscat, which tastes sweet, took most of the top 10 spots.

“Although Villa M was excluded from the evaluation because it exceeds 20,000 won, Villa M, which has been the most popular wine in Korea since early 2000, is a Moscato as well,” said Winenara CEO.

Moscatos took all top three spots including Casa Sant’orsola Mosacato d’Asti 2009 and Fontanafredda Le Fronde Moscato d’Asti 2008.

In fifth place was Neirano Pitule Moscato d’Asti 2009 with 84.73 points, followed by Marenco Gulietta Moscato NV, which shared the sixth spot jointly with white wine Cantine del Borgo Reale Orvieto 2008 with 84.50 points. Another Mostcato, Tenimenti Ca’Bianca Moscato d’Asti 2008, ranked 10th with 84.43 points.

There were three white wines in the top 10. Lagaria Riesling 2009 ranked fourth at 84.80 points and Danzante Pinot Grigio 2008 was eighth at 84.47. Longo & Sincini Nero d’Avola NV was the only red wine in the top 10 at ninth with 84.47.


By Lee Soo-ki [ojlee82@joonagng.co.kr]



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