Dec 07: After traveling to several European countries since 2006, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles (CMB), one of the most prestigious international wine competitions is heading beyond the European borders and heading towards China for the 25th edition to be held in 2018 from May 10-13 in the Haidian district of Beijing, writes Subhash Arora who has been also invited to judge for the 10th consecutive year
One of the big excitements at any Concours Mondial de Bruxelles which started traveling outside of its home base of Belgium in 2006 is the announcement of the venue for the following year’s edition, usually at a progressive wine producing region in Europe. For the 25th edition to be held in 2018, the competition has looked beyond Europe and is being held in China, in Haidian district of Beijing from May 10-13.
Vinopres, the owner of Concours Mondial had already organised the First ‘Asian Wine & Spirit Forum and Tasting-The Silk Route,’ a 2- day Wine Tasting and Competition on the lines of CMB, in Beijing in October, 2016. Earlier in 2015, a Spirit Competition was also held in China when Baudouin Havaux, owner of Vinopres shared with delWine that the future in wines was in Asia, especially China which was the most progressive wine country today. With 847,000 hA of planted vineyards, China is now the 2nd largest wine-growing area in the world next only to Spain, he said last year at Valladolid, Spain- venue for the 24th edition.
Another first for CMB is that the 25th edition will use digital technology during judging for the first time. ‘The system was tested with a few panels in 2017 in Valladolid with very positive results. Evaluations are safer, faster and easier,’says Thomas Costenoble, the Competition Managing Director.
In terms of logistics, it will also be the first time that samples will be shipped by air, from Brussels to Beijing. According to the organisers, half a Boeing has been booked to ferry samples. The estimated weight of the samples and technical equipment to be transported is 75 tons. To ensure timely customs clearance , the samples will be shipped five weeks before the event. Consequently, the closing date for entries will be slightly earlier this time, on March 1, 2018. It is interesting that despite the new logistical contingencies, entry fee for the samples has not been increased.
Chinese interest in the competition is phenomenal and the number of entries is expected to be unprecedented. At the last year’ Belt and Road Wine and Spirits Challenge (BRWSC) 2016 at the Fangshan (FunHill) wine District of Beijing, Chinese participation and the performance was quite enviable, though it was a relatively small competition. About 700 wines and spirits samples were entered. A total of 175 medals – including 10 Grand Prizes, 60 Gold Medals and 105 Silver Medals were awarded. Chinese wines had cornered 7 Great Golds, 42 Golds and 82 Silvers, representing about 70% of the awards.
Chinese participation is expected to add a significant amount to the record 9,000+ samples received last year. The organizers expect similar or even higher figures for the total number of samples for the coming year, though the primary objective of the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is not necessarily a growth in the number of samples, says Thomas who emphasizes that they are looking to maintain quality.
The interest in the competition may be gauged from the fact that the organizers have received over 1,000 applications from Chinese wine experts to judge at CMB 2018. To maintain the quality of judges, CMB plans the most extensive and strictest selection process in the history of the competition to select only about 60 Chinese experts to participate and join the panels with experienced tasters from all over the world.
It will also be a proud moment for India and Subhash Arora who has been invited for the competition as an international judge for the 10th consecutive year. After being invited for the first time in Valencia in 2009, he has been invited for all the CMB competitions that followed: at Palermo-Italy (2010), Luxembourg (2011), Guimarães-Portugal (2012), Bratislava-Slovakia (2013), Brussels (2014), Jesolo-Italy (2015), Plovdiv-Bulgaria (2016) and Valladolid-Spain (2017) where he was also the President of one of the jury Panels.
He was also invited to judge in China last year, at the ‘Belt and Road Wine and Spirits Challenge 2016’ at the Fangshan (FunHill) wine District of Beijing , competition organised by Vinopres- organisers of CMB. Earlier this year he went to Chile to judge at ‘Chile- by CMB’, the competition organised for Chilean wines by CMB in Huilo- Huilo.
The 25th edition of CMB in Beijing will be held with the support of the Beijing Municipal Government, the Haidian District of Beijing and the Beijing International Wine and Spirit Exchange (BJIWSE).
For earlier articles please visit
CMB 2017: Successful Concours Mondial to visit China in 2018
BRWSC 2016: Grover La Reserve cracks the Code for Gold
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