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Of China wines raising a buzz and discussions on writing...

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THE phrase "Made in China" may not be what you would expect to hear in the same breath as "award-winning red wine" or sake, but things are changing. With big names like LVMH and Domaines Barons de Rothschild investing heavily into wine production in China, labels like Ao Yun - from grapes grown in northern Yunnan - have emerged as front runners in wine circles. Traditional baijiu, once the domain of older generation drinkers, is now used in trendy cocktails at local bars - and who would have thought that sake could be brewed in Wuhan?

But quality aside, convincing people to try Chinese alcohol is another issue, thanks to preconceived notions about China-made products. Lack of availability outside China is another obstacle. In Friday's issue of Weekend magazine, we look at how wine distributors and bars are raising a new appreciation of Chinese spirits.

Next, we speak to Man Booker prize winner Marlon James, whose novel A Brief History Of Seven Killings made him a literary star when it was published in 2015. He has launched a new project, a three-part fantasy epic that has been touted as the African Game of Thrones. He talks about writing and the violence in his books.

He is in Singapore to deliver the opening lecture at the Singapore Writers Festival, described as the "wokest" festival yet, with participating authors discussing issues such as racism, ageism, classism and homophobia. Check out the lineup of writers attending the festival; they include Roxane Gay, Min Jin Lee and Kaite O'Reilly. There are also workshops and an epic spoken-word night.

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Elsewhere, we take a look at two exhibitions showcasing the design aesthetics of France and Japan, theatre company Wild Rice's latest production, Merdeka, and an expat textile artist who creates artworks inspired by Singapore's heritage homes.