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UN toasts with wines from northwest China

www.prnewswire.com by China Daily USA08/11/2018  

Chinese gastronomy and spirits are famous throughout the world. Now, it's the nation's burgeoning wine industry's turn to take the global spotlight.

On Monday, the 2018 Chinese Food Festival took the stage at the headquarters of the United Nations, featuring wines from the East Foothill of the Helan Mountains wine region in Ningxia.

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Guests tasting wines from Ningxia at the China Ningxia International Wine Festival in New York on Monday. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A total of 21 wineries carefully curated their wines for the taste of guests from around the world.

By their side, chefs from Ningxia also prepared foods with international ingredients, such as beef from Australia and the United States and lamb from New Zealand to pair with wines.

Ningxia wines impressed the guests a great deal.

"I like Ningxia wines very much, which is gifted with the good aspects of wines of the old and new worlds," said Lazarous Kapabwe, permanent representative of Zambia to the UN. "It is unique."

Yuriy Sergeyev, who has served as permanent representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, noted that he "used to work in France for four years. I tasted three wines from Ningxia today. And one of them, Holan Soul, reminds me (of) wines from Chateau Latour."

The Ningxia wine region has 86 chateaux and plants nearly 40,000 hectares of wine grapes, which can produce nearly 100,000 tons of wine grapes a year. With an annual output of 120 million bottles, the wine industry's comprehensive output value exceeds $3 billion.

According to Rudy Lasher, Director of the Delegates Dinning Room at the UN, about 20 Ningxia wines have been included on its list for purchase and one of them, Red Helan, is its favorite.

"I made the right decision to invite Ningxia to the festival. I've been watching closely the development of the wine region," said Director Lasher. 

Guests to the festival also flocked to buy the wines, with an average price of about $50.

"I didn't expect our wines will be such a sought-after. I should have shipped more with me," said Shao Qingsong, owner of a Ningxia winery.

"Successful result from this test taste at the UN boosted my confidence in Ningxia wines' market," said Li Zefu, owner of another winery.

The UN holds food festivals every year to introduce the hosting country's culture to the world and enhance people-to-people friendships.

More than 300 guests from the UN's various offices, country delegates to the world organization, local entrepreneurs, celebrities and media representatives took part in the opening ceremony.