Decanter has recruited a top selection of judges for its first Asia Wine Awards taking place in September - find out more about Meiyu Lee, a sommelier based in Beijing.
Tell us a little about yourself – Where are you based and where do you work?
I’m based in Beijing, working at Park Hyatt Beijing Hotel as Hotel Sommelier.
How did you first become interested in wine?
On a visit to Burgundy where I tasted eighteen different wines at Chateau Meursault. My guide’s very interesting explanation of the terroir, vineyards and vintages made me fall in love with the wine – the wine world is so magical!
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learn as a sommelier?
My studies at Cafa Formation Sommelier school in Bordeaux and training by M. Philippe Faure-Brac at Bistrot du Sommelier in Paris.
Is there a person or producer you particularly admire within the wine industry?
Spanish winemaker Raul Perez.
Which wines are you drinking at home at the moment?
Some Italian and Spainish wines, along with Burgundy and wines from Southern France.
What are your favourite food and wine combinations?
Canard Confit with a good Gevrey Chambertin of an older vintage, such as 1993 or black forest gateau with Beaujolais Nouveau. Many!
Who was your most memorable customer, and why?
Many customers are memorable because they really enjoy my service, like the wines I recommend and my pairings. They bring a lot of satisfaction to me.
Is there a strong wine scene in your city?
Have you noticed any new trends emerging? What are customers asking for at the moment?
Yes, they are looking for professional service and harmonious food and wine pairings – not only with French wine but also Italian, Chilean and Australian.
Finally, what are you looking forward to most about judging at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards?
Tasting experience, communicating with top-level specialists and learning.
Written by Decanter