Wine tasting event

A company that was started by an American imports wine to China. The company celebrated its 15-year anniversary this year, and to celebrate, they held a wine tasting event in various cities in China. Shenyang was the last city on their tour. The company invited three officers from the Consulate, and because of a last-minute cancelation from someone (much, much) more important than me, I was lucky enough to fill in at the last minute. The event was held in Shenyang’s Grand Hyatt hotel. It was a very swanky event.


American marketing specialist Rex, me, and co-worker Liu Cong enjoying inspired, drunken conversation.


“I can’t believe they’re letting a Philistine like me drink their expensive wine! Hope I don’t say anything stupid that reveals what a moron I really am!”


They had over 60 different kinds of wine from all over the world. The company’s staff was there to explain the features and special characteristics of the various wines that they import. I tried a lot of different wines (not all 60, but close), learned more about wine, and met some interesting people. As an employee of the U.S. Government, I tried to be obvious about wanting to try all of the AMERICAN wines.

Their featured Chardonnay tasted exactly like my favorite (cheap) Chardonnay that I drink in the U.S.. That means that either my taste in Chardonnay is good, or all Chardonnay tastes the same to me.

My favorite red was the Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon (American, yay!), and my favorite white was was the Domaine de Cigalus Blanc (French; oh well, can’t win them all).


Another first

In the taxi on the way to work, my driver asked me how easy it was to get a visa to the U.S. We had a little talk about “immigrant intent” that I think went over his head. Then he took a wrong turn on a street and we had to double back, making me late for work and costing me an extra few bucks.

It’s never boring here in China, but I’m starting to think that sometimes a little boring can be a good thing…

The “Puppet Emperor’s” Palace

The city of Changchun, about an hour north of Shenyang, was the capital of the puppet country Manchukuo from the 1930s through the end of World War II. The emperor Puyi was installed there by the Japanese.

Several scenes of the movie “The Last Emperor” were filmed in the historic palace, which is now a museum. It was fun to visit and see the actual palace, as well as to remember the scenes from the movie.




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